100 YEARS AGO
Wednesday, FEB. 27 1918
Man held after taking photo of Imperial Villa
A dispatch from Yokosuka states that a certain British resident of Yamashitacho, Yokohama, was recently arrested by the Yokosuka gendarmerie authorities at Hayama on the charge of having photographed the garden of the Imperial Villa when the Crown Prince returned there from Tokyo. The negative was seized but the foreigner was afterwards released, it having been proved that he had no wrong intention.
As photographing the Imperial Villa, which is inside the fortified zone of the Yokosuka admiralty, is a violation of the military law, the foreigner was summoned by the Yokosuka gendarmerie station on the 25th and examined. Lt. Hamaguchi, chief of the gendarmerie station, is quoted as stating that after further examination the offender should be sent to the Yokohama district court for trial as his act constitutes an infringement of the military law though it is apparent he had no malicious intention whatever in doing so. The gendarmerie authorities refrain from making public his name having respect for his social station and respectable personality.
75 YEARS AGO
Friday, Feb. 19, 1943
Pupils vote to destroy U.S. ‘goodwill dolls’
The “blue-eyed” sleeping dolls that were presented to numerous primary schools in Japan by the United States approximately 15 years ago to promote international good will, now can only be thought of as devilish messengers masquerading as “saintly ambassadors of good will.”
The disposal of these dolls was brought up by the Education department of Nishi Tsugaru-gun, Aomori Prefecture, at the meeting of the Central Teachers’ Training Association which was held at the Ajikazawa Primary School, where the issue was seriously handled as “not only the problem of Nishi Tsugaru-gun, but that of the entire nation,” according to a report in the Mainichi.
The children of Ajikazawa Primary School who are in classes above the fifth grade were told of the origin of the dolls on Tuesday, and later, a poll was taken among them to seek means of disposing of the dolls. The results of the poll showed the sentiments in the minds of the school children under pressure of the war, as revealed in the results below:
• To break the dolls: 89 votes;
• To burn the dolls: 133 votes;
• To send it back to America: 44 votes; and
• To conspicuously display the dolls and torment it every day: 31 votes.
50 YEARS AGO
Saturday, Feb. 10, 1968
Spitball ban causes furor among pitchers
The Japan Professional Baseball Commission’s recent announcement that spitballs will be banned has caused a furor among quite a few saliva-happy hurlers.
According to the revised rule, a hurler is prohibited from taking his pitching hand to his mouth before he throws a ball. If the hurler repeats the act despite an umpire warning, the offender will be evicted.
The new ruling will cut deep into the pack of pitchers who have a deep-ingrained habit of spitting before pitching.
The pack includes Chikara Morinaka of the Taiyo Whales, Tsuneo Horiuchi of the Yomiuri Giants, Gene Bacque of the Hanshin Tigers and Eiji Bando of the Chunichi Dragons.
Morinaka who won 18 games last year, eight of which were from the Yomiuri Giants has come out openly against the new ruling. “I’d say the new rule has been made just against me. I’ve been licking my fingers over the last 10 years and I don’t think it easy for me to get out of the habit,” Morinaka said. “Just licking a finger doesn’t mean a spitball as such.”
Coach Noboru Akiyama chimed in to say that the rule that requires eviction in a second offense is too severe.
Motoji Fujita, pitching coach of the Giants said although Horiuchi has a habit of causing his right index finger to come into contact with his lips before pitching, he always wipes out whatever saliva is left on the finger before he pitches.
Batters, however, are welcoming the new rule with outstretched arms. “What a relief will it be for us if pitchers cease to use spitballs,” said Shigeo Nagashima of Yomiuri. “Batters are kept on the strain whenever pitchers uncork spitballs. We never know when we would be hit.”
His opinion is shared by Taiyo’s Kazuhiko Kondo and Chunichi’s Shinichi Eto who all consider it a great boon to batters who no longer may have to fear being hit by a pitched ball as much as they used to. The members of the rules committee under the Japan Professional Baseball Commision are now roving from one camp to another so that each club may have a thorough understanding of the revision in the rule.
25 YEARS AGO
Monday, Feb. 8, 1993
Female workers don’t like to drink with boss
Japanese women love to drink with friends — provided they are not office colleagues — and hate to drink with their bosses, according to a survey released Sunday.
The survey, sponsored by Daiichi Seiyaku Co., a pharmaceutical firm of Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo, as a public relations tactic, showed female employees don’t like to mix work with their social life.
Covering 300 men and 300 women — drinkers all — who worked in large corporations, the survey was titled “White Paper on Drunk Modern OL.” OL is Japanese-English for office ladies, or female office workers.
Asked to pick their first choice of companion at a bar, 64.7 percent of the women said female friends from outside the company.
The last choice was the boss. Half of the women said they would not want to drink with him, even though drinking with the boss is common among Japanese employees, with the boss often picking up the tab.
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 David Cortez. 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