100 YEARS AGO
Sunday, Oct. 22, 1916
Tokyo Bay steamer hits rocks near Sasage
The Tsu-un Maru of the Tokyo Bay Steamship Co. grounded near Sasage, Chiba, early yesterday morning.
The steamer, which runs between Tokyo and Tateyama, left Reiganjima at 10 o’clock on Friday evening for Tateyama, and as she was preceeding off Sasage, Chiba Prefecture, on Saturday morning, she suddenly ran on the rocks. The fishermen of Sasage noticed the distress signals, and went to the rescue of the 46 passengers and the crew, all of whom were saved.
Early Saturday morning a dense fog set in, and the captain mistaking the course ran the ship on the rocks. Capt. T. Deguchi, 62 years old, has run steamers across Tokyo Bay for the past 30 years, and this is reported to be his first accident.
When the steamer struck, some of the passengers lost their tempers and accused the captain of falling asleep while on duty. Deguchi was so chagrined that he attempted to throw himself overboard.
75 YEARS AGO
Thursday, Oct. 9, 1941
Shiobashi, Hamazono slums may be cleared
The slum quarters of Shiobashi and Hamazono in Fukagawa Ward will soon be cleared if Tokyo’s plan for removing the inhabitants turns out satisfactory.
It was just after the great earthquake of 1923 that these quarters came into being. Many daily laborers hit by the quake came one after another to find shelters there. The result is that now the two districts are inhabited by about 230 households holding some 1,200 people.
The lure of the spots for these people has been that since they are newly reclaimed land possessed by the city, they expected they could live there without paying any rent. So they have lived up to the present without paying rent. The city authorities could not very well squeeze rent out of them. Recently, however, the need for the reclaimed land became more keen to the city than ever. The land must be recovered from the poor inhabitants at any cost, the city thought. With the object of removing the people, the city has just completed preparations to furnish a certain vacant lot Edagawa-cho in the same ward. The lot now has a number of empty houses so that the removed people may live there with low rent. To encourage them, the city will make it possible for the new arrivals to live without paying rates for gas and electric light.
The only question still remaining, Domei News Agency fears, is whether the new move of the city will come to work as it expects. The slum quarter people may or may not be encouraged by the new conditions, which, however better, necessarily involves some payment for their house rents of which their old sites are completely free.
50 YEARS AGO
Sunday, Oct. 09, 1966
Tokyo sets up bins for ’embarrassing trash’
The Metropolitan Police Department has set up some 44 white trash boxes at various points throughout the city.
This is news enough, it might be commented. However, these boxes are of a particular kind of trash — namely, obscene literature.
The project is being carried out by the MPD’s Juvenile Section, in cooperation with the Tokyo Mothers Association.
It is one phase of a “Three Don’ts” campaign: “Don’t let it be read,” “Don’t let it be seen” and “Don’t let it be sold.” Added to each of the imperatives the qualifying words “to juveniles” are understood.
The receptacles have been placed in what are considered to be strategic points, that is railway stations.
They provide a convenience for those who are embarrassed by the possession of trashy magazines or books while on their way home.
Unfortunately, though, many of the readers of such filth are likely to be the unembarrassable types.
Others would be embarrassed to be seen depositing anything into such a container.
Expectations for the results of this project, as measured by the volume of obscene material collected, should not be placed high.
Yet if it does nothing more than to encourage a sense of embarrassment over possessing obscene literature it will have been worth the effort.
That is what society has lost and needs to regain.
To embarrass the merchants of the stuff, though, is a goal to work toward.
25 YEARS AGO
Saturday Oct. 5, 1991
Kaifu decides not to seek re-election
Prime Minister Toshiki Kaifu decided Friday not to seek re-election as president of the Liberal Democratic Party when it became clear that the faction that installed him two months ago will not support him.
Kaifu reported his abrupt decision to senior leaders of the LDP, including former Prime Minister Noboru Takeshita and former Deputy Prime Minister Shin Kanemaru. Kanemaru is the powerful co-leader of the Takeshita faction, which controlled the government through Kaifu.
The prime minister is expected to formally announce at a press conference set for 3 p.m. today his decision to step down Oct. 30 at the end of his current term.
Political observers’ attention is now focused on whether the 106-strong Takeshita faction will field its own candidate for the next LDP president or whether it will throw its support to one of the three presidential hopefuls who lead their own factions: Kiichi Miyazawa, former deputy prime minister; Michio Watanabe, former chairman of the LDP Policy Affairs Research Council; and Hiroshi Mitsuzuka, former foreign minister.
The three leaders are also expected to make announcements today of their bids for the LDP presidency.
In this feature, which appears on the first Sunday of each month, we delve into The Japan Times’ 118-year archive to present a selection of stories from the past. This month’s edition was collated with the assistance of Andrew Field. The Japan Times’ entire archive is now available to purchase in digital format. For more details, see jtimes.jp/de.
IN FIVE EASY PIECES WITH TAKE 5