/ |

Japan Times 1942: ‘Public to be trained to stab enemies with bamboo spears’

by Elliott Samuels

Staff Writer

100 YEARS AGO
Saturday, Dec. 1 1917

Rice to be sold by weight not measure

Soon rice will be sold in Japan by weight and not measure. The Department of Agriculture and Commerce has been long investigating the question, and requested the Commercial and Industrial Investigation Committee of Tokyo to submit a report upon the plan of selling rice by weight. After thorough study, the committee decided that the new method would be more practical and beneficial to the public, and submitted its report to that effect to the Department of Agriculture and Commerce.

It is not known whether the department will at once issue an order to prohibit the sale of rice by measure, but as the report of the committee supported the change of system, it is believed that in due time sale by measure will be stopped. If rice is sold by weight, the practice of using illegal measures will cease, and the public, especially the poor, will benefit much from the change.


75 YEARS AGO
Wednesday, Dec. 9, 1942

Public trained to stab enemies with spears

The simplest form of suicide for any enemy parachutist would be to attempt a landing on Japan, for the Dai Nippon Martial Arts Association and the Dai Nippon Physical Training Association will train every Japanese in the manly art of stabbing enemy paratroops with bamboo spears.

Furthermore, the two agencies, both under the control of the Imperial Rule Assistance Association, have jointly decided to train all Japanese behind the guns in kendo, judo, bayonet exercise and other forms of physical training so that each will be a formidable warrior on the home front.

“Annihilation of America and Britain Even With Bamboo Spears” will be the slogan for the movement to arm the people with effective defensive training, which is one of the undertakings of the Imperial Rule Assistance Association decided by the Cabinet last May. Simultaneously, impracticable adaptations of various sports and martial arts will be abolished so that greatest stress can be laid on the question of national defense.

Meanwhile, another enterprise, sea defense training, is also expected to be launched shortly.


50 YEARS AGO
Saturday, Dec. 2, 1967

Free treatment given to people with disabilities

Forty-two persons stricken with progressive muscular dystrophy, a fatal disease that slowly weakens the muscle, and cerebral palsy visited a free roving clinic at Senju Public Health Center, Adachi Ward, Sunday to receive treatment.

The clinic, sponsored by the Japanese Association for Muscular Dystrophy Children, was manned voluntarily by six doctors, all members of the Department of Internal Medicine of Tokyo University, headed by Dr. Kiku Nakao.

Most of the victims learned of the clinic through newspapers and many of them received a diagnosis for the first time by progressive muscular dystrophy specialists.

A few of them found out for the first time that they did not have progressive muscular dystrophy but cerebral palsy, a crippling but not fatal disease.

The association paid the transportation expenses of not only the patients but for relatives who accompanied the patients. One mother came all the way from Ashikaga, Tochigi Prefecture, to have her 6-year-old son diagnosed by the doctors.

An association member said that some of the patients told them that they were encouraged to know that there were many others who were stricken with the same crippling disease and were bravely fighting it.

The association estimates there are about 30,000 people stricken with progressive muscular dystrophy across the nation and many of them are not getting necessary advice from doctors who know the disease well.

Futao Kawabata, president of the association, said he planned to continue the clinic for the next four months in Tokyo, Kanagawa and Saitama prefectures.

He said that many families who have obese dystrophy patients are hoping to acquire wheelchairs so that the victims could get some exercise outside of their homes by themselves.

A Tokyo University doctor who served at the clinic said: “Certainly a wheelchair will be a great psychological help to progressive muscular dystrophy patients.”


25 YEARS AGO
Wednesday, Dec. 2, 1992

Madonna book sold: ‘sex’ photos left intact

The Japanese-language edition of rock singer Madonna’s photo collection went on sale Tuesday with some of its controversial pictures left intact.

The publisher, Dohosha Publishing Co., said some of the photos showing pubic hair were not retouched at all. The Tokyo Customs House originally impounded imported copies of the book, only permitting them to enter the country on condition that some of the photos be retouched.

The publisher said some of the photos in Madonna’s book were not retouched in the Japanese-language edition because such photos are now socially accepted. However, before sending the plates to Japan, the American publisher retouched some pictures with the Japanese version in mind.

The Japanese-language edition, titled “Sex by Madonna,” is expected to rekindle the controversy over whether pubic hair should be allowed in publications.

The publisher printed a first run of 150,000 copies of the book, but is prepared to make more issues available by year end to fill the more than 150,000 orders that have been placed for the book.

Other recent photo collections of actresses Kanako Higuchi and Yoko Shimada also contain photos showing pubic hair and are selling well.

In this feature, we delve into The Japan Times’ 119-year archive to present a selection of stories from the past. This month’s edition was collated with the assistance of Erin Moran. The Japan Times’ entire archive is now available to purchase in digital format. For more details, see jtimes.jp/de.