100 YEARS AGO
Tuesday, Aug. 13 1918
Hunger riots becoming grave national matter
The food riots that began more than a week ago when 200 women of Mizubashi, a fishing village in Toyama Prefecture, met on the seashore to discuss their greivances, have assumed alarming proportions and events such as never occurred in the history of this country are reported from all the great cities of the south and west.
In every case, the disturbances have taken the form of raids on the stores of rice dealers, in nearly all of which women have taken part.
Great mass meetings of the people, such as Japan has never seen before, have taken place in Nagoya and Osaka. The whole amazing movement has spread like wildfire and the authorities are dumbfounded.
From all that can be gathered, it seems that the leaders in the disturbances are factory hands, a class unknown in Japan until recent years.
In Kyoto, the rioting was so violent that the police were forced to obtain assistance from the military.
In Osaka, the troops are also holding themselves to readiness.
75 YEARS AGO
Tuesday, Aug. 10, 1943
Respect for parents plays vital role in life
“Japanese are great respecters for their parents for ‘kōdō’ or the way of filial piety which is one of their basic national traits occupying a place only second in importance to the spirit of absolute patriotism,” declares Takeo Akiyama in describing the high esteem paid to mothers by the men of the Imperial armed services.
“How highly this trait is regarded among the people can be seen from the fact that a separate section is devoted to it in the Senjinkun, that noble code of behavior of the Japanese Fighting Forces. Among the various stern instructions on actual combat in the Senjinkun is to be found the following dictum:
“The oneness of patriotism on the one hand and respect for parents on the other constitutes the spiritual core of our country, and a patriotic subject is always a sincere and dutiful respecter of his parents. Far away at the battlefronts, one should always remember the instructions of one’s parents and, constantly patrioitc to the Imperial throne, should exert his utmost to manifest the noblest traditions of his forefathers.
“There can be no injustice or anything malicious among men who fight with the thoughts of their mothers and fathers constantly in their minds.
“The mothers, and parents, at home too are not shirking their share, you may be sure, as they instruct their beloved sons about to leave for the front.
“Among the belongings of a youthful Japanese airman who committed ‘jibaku’ or self-blasted together with his plane into an enemy warship recently to sink the sink by force of the ensuing explosion was found a letter from his mother instructing him to never to write home again until he was sure he had become a worthy warrior of Japan.
“Fanaticism? There may be some who will call it fanaticism when a mother volunteers to offer her finger-joint to her sole son so that the latter may be operated on to remedy a dwarfed finger that was hindering him from qualifying for the air force. But let us not lose our sense of evaluation of what is good and noble in mankind even in the midst of warfare, for it is only by the preservation of this sense that mankind has progressed and will progress in the future.”
50 YEARS AGO
Tuesday, Aug. 13, 1968
‘Authentic’ Japanese foods proving popular
American gourmands, once content with such delicacies and compliments as mandarin oranges and soy sauces, are developing a taste for a wider range of “authentic” Nipponese foods, a Japanese food industry representative says.
And, to keep their palates happy, said the official, Tohru Morikawa, Japan has increased her exports of specialty foods to the U.S. by about 53 percent in the last five years, from $17,800,000 worth in 1963 to about $27,300,000 in 1967.
In all, Morikawa said, the U.S. imports about $100 million worth of Japanese food each year, mostly staples, such as tuna, swordfish, and crabmeat. But things are changing, he says.
“A number of years ago, when Japanese foods first found popularity in the United States, Americans used them mostly to liven up American dishes. So our soy sauces, mandarin oranges, and flavor intensifiers were most in demand,” the agonomist said.
25 YEARS AGO
Friday, Aug. 6, 1993
Japanese-style baby food to go on sale
Pigeon Corp., a major child care goods maker headquartered in Tokyo, will enter the baby food marker in September for the first time, the company has announced.
While the other companies’ baby foods are usually made of Western-style cuisine, Pigeon will feature traditional Japanese fare, a spokesman said.
The product line will be the first of its kind, the company claimed. The new products are all made of natural foods such as fish and vegetables completely free from chemicals and additives, it added.
With the catchphrase, “Japanese food for babies,” the company will market 15 items — three kinds of rice, five types of entrees, six varieties of side dishes and one soup.
All the products are divided into three groups on the basis of “terms” for breastfeeding: First, the early stage, starting at about the fifth month after birth; then the middle stage, beginning at around the seventh; and the final stage from the ninth month.
Although in recent years the number of newborn babies in Japan has declined, the scale of the baby food market is expanding because more mothers are working today and demand more convenience to cope with their tight schedules, the company said.
Compiled by Elliott Samuels. 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 George Thomas. The Japan Times’ entire archive is now available to purchase in digital format. For more details, see jtimes.jp/de.