National / History | JAPAN TIMES GONE BY

Japan Times 1992: 'Oita village sells itself as "Twen Peaks" '

by Elliott Samuels

Staff Writer

100 YEARS AGO
Sunday, July 1 1917

There are heard such cries as “To the mountains” as the hot summer approaches. As may be remembered, a number of excursionists met with disaster last year owing to the improvidence on their part as well as the inclemency of weather in the heart of mountains. These incidents, however, did not diminish the zeal and fervor of many young adventurers this year who have determined to make mountaineering trips.

The Mountain and Forestry Bureau of the Home Department has therefore recently published a notice as a warning to such adventurers, giving them advice in regard to precautionary arrangements they should make before climbing.

The notices says that such expeditions should only be undertaken with a certain number of men for company, and they must precalculate the distance they would make each day in reference to the speed of the slowest walker of the party.

Regarding traveling outfit, the travelers should dress themselves in a jacket with a stick-up collar and half-trousers furnished with many pockets. Besides these garments, they should carry with them some woolen shirts and belly hoses, for warmth, and a hooded overcoat to guard against rain and straw mats for sitting. The following odds and ends are also suggested as being handy to carry by such travelers: map, watch, a case of magnetic needle, whistle, handbook, pencils, paper, name cards, knife, cane, towels, lint, bandages, flaxen ropes, oiled paper, water bottle, tallow matches, small kettles and pots, rice, dried bonito, dried boiled rice, biscuits, wheat flour, buckwheat flour, dried sweet “mochi,” salt, candy sugar, brandy, etc.


75 YEARS AGO
Saturday, July 11, 1942

The latest U.S. craze is all things Japanese

The successive debacles suffered by the U.S., particularly in the Pacific, are responsible for the enthusiasm ever mounting in that country recently for the study of Japan, reports the Asahi this morning, quoting information reaching authoritative quarters of this country on Friday.

In the U.S. of late, books on Japan are being published in succession, while in newspapers and magazines, articles concerning the Pacific War are appearing abundantly, states the paper.

According to a recent issue of Life, a popular American magazine, the Japanese language is being taught in the U.S. Army, while judo and Japanese chess are also in vogue, all for the purpose of learning Japanese strategy, the journal continues.

In New York of late, a Japanese chess contest is held regularly every Monday evening, states the dispatch, adding that even Edward Lasker, a noted chess player, gave up his chessmen for white and black go stones.

Go boards made by the Richard Howell Exhibits Co. are selling fast, while New Yorkers are rushing to book stores for a Japanese primer on go written by Walter de Havilland, father of noted Hollywood actress, Olivia de Havilland, who lived for a long time in Japan, adds the dispatch.

Thus, with the expanding Japanese war achievements in the current War of Greater East Asia, American optimism of the past has been completely replaced by Japanophobia, resulting in their earnest study of things Japanese, adds the paper.


50 YEARS AGO
Saturday, July 15, 1967

Elderly man embarks on 180-km row up river

A man is struggling on his way to finish a 180-km adventure by rowing down the Mogami River, Yamagata Prefecture, in a small raft.

Not much news compared with the stunning 10,000-km crossing of the Pacific (on Thursday), but the man is 70 years old and the ship is a 1½-meter-long rubber boat, 3½ meters shorter than Ikuo Kashima’s Korasa II.

Chu Imai of Urawa, Saitama Prefecture, paddled off aboard the rubber boat with a flag of the Rising Sun flapping in the breeze on Wednesday morning at a point about 180 kilometers upstream from the river mouth. Imai plans to finish his adventure in eight days, sleeping on the river bank at night.

He took three years to equip his all-weather rubber boat with an umbrella, stabilizing rubber inner tube on both sides and a flag pole.

“I’m determined to prove an old man like me has yet enough guts left to compete with courageous young men,” Imai said with confidence.

Ikuo Kashima became the first Japanese to complete a solo voyage across both the Pacific and Atlantic oceans on July 13, 1967.


25 YEARS AGO
Friday, July 31, 1992

Oita village selling itself as ‘Twen Peaks’

The tiny village of Maetsue, Oita Prefecture, and Kyushu Japan Railway Co. are riding on the bandwagon of the popular U.S. television series “Twin Peaks,” asserting that the local scenery closely resembles the fictional American town.

A JR Kyushu poster designed to attract tourists to the area features a scenic photograph with a “Welcome to Twen Peaks” sign. The spelling was intentionally changed as a joke, a JR spokesman said.

The poster also bears the slogan, “Your Twin Peaks might be there,” and an advertisement for the “Twin Peaks” movie with a photo of actor Kyle MacLachlan.

Kikuya, a confectionary in Oita Prefecture, is selling cherry pies that are purportedly the same kind loved by FBI special agent Dale Cooper, who MacLachlan plays.

The owner of the confectionary says that cherries imported from Michigan are used in the pies.

He claims MacLachlan visited Japan, ate the pies and certified that “they taste just like the cherry pies back home.”

Wowow will air David Lynch’s rebooted “Twin Peaks” in Japan from July 22.

In this feature, we delve into The Japan Times’ 120-year archive to present a selection of stories from the past. This month’s edition was collated with the assistance of Junhyeok Yoon. The Japan Times’ entire archive is now available to purchase in digital format. For more details, see jtimes.jp/de.