100 YEARS AGO
Friday, June 27 1919
Envoy to Korea escapes assassination attempt
Adm. Baron Saito, governor-general of Korea, and party arrived at the Great South Gate Station, Seoul, on the 2nd at 6 p.m.
When the governor-general got into his carriage after being welcomed by the crowd, a Korean of about 60 years of age threw a bomb at the carriage from a distance of about 12 feet. The splinters struck the carriage, ripping open the governor-general’s uniform in three places, but fortunately he escaped injury.
Maj.-Gen. Murata, Mr. Yozo Kubo, Mr. Komuda, chief of the Honcho Police Station, Mrs. Harrison, an American lady, and the correspondents of the Osaka Mainichi and the Seoul Press were injured, most of them seriously, besides a number of Koreans. Later reports state the number of wounded by the Korean outrage is 29.
The governor-general was not a bit excited and calmly drove to the official residence, where he quietly took dinner with his men at 7 p.m.
Experts believe that the bomb, because of the violence of its explosion despite its small size, must have been made scientifically and could not have been manufactured in Korea but must have been brought from Manchuria.
75 YEARS AGO
Friday, Sept. 1, 1944
Children start to be evacuated from Tokyo
The collective dispersion of Tokyo’s national school pupils from the third grade up to the sixth grade is being carried out most systematically with the close cooperation of parents, teachers and the authorities concerned. As if realizing the responsibility which rests on their shoulders as future men and women of Greater East Asia, the children set forth on their new lives with a cheerful farewell to their parents. No rush or confusion took place as could be expected of such undertaking.
With the first departure commencing around the first part of August, already 20,000 of the planned maximum of 240,000 children have left the metropolis. The dispersion of such a large number of children in such a short period speaks well for the efficiency of Japan’s transportation facilities in spite of the fact that we are in the middle of a great war.
The districts which have been chosen as dispersion centers for these children are for the most part places noted either for their scenic beauty, as health resorts or for their historic background. They include such well-known spots as Matsushima, one of the three noted scenic beauty spots of Japan, the foothills of Mount Fuji and of Mount Miyogi, as well as the hot-spring districts of Asama, Isobe, Atami and others.
Besides the advantages of fresh air and the equally fresh food, one of the good things resulting from this evacuation is the disciplinary life to which the children must adhere. Every day the children are thrilled by the new wonders and beauties of nature all about them and their intellect is stimulated by the historic significance of many of their surroundings.
Of course, being but small children after all, at times the uncontrollable yearning comes over them to see their fathers, mothers, big sisters and big brothers at home. But, under the loving care of their teachers, this feeling passes away until soon they are happy and contented again.
50 YEARS AGO
Saturday, Sept. 20, 1969
Cherry trees of Ueno losing to air pollution
The famed cherry trees of Ueno Park in Tokyo have already lost 80 percent of their leaves — an indication that they are faring badly in highly polluted air.
The premature loss of foliage is common to all deciduous trees at the park, and authorities fear the day is approaching when the traditional cherry blossom viewing at the park is a thing of the past.
According to the Meteorological Agency, leaves in the Kanto region usually start turning color in mid-September and falling in mid-October. Even in late October, 50-70 percent of the leaves are still retained.
At Ueno Park, however, the leaves started to fall in late August, skipping the autumn color period.
Park officials say other reasons besides air pollution contributed to the premature shedding, including a lack of underground water due to subway construction and the paving of roads. But air pollution is a definite cause, as is apparent from the fact that trees facing the highways — consequently more exposed to auto exhaust fumes — have lost their leaves more quickly.
Early shedding shows the sapped strength of the trees. Strong trees retain their leaves as long as possible, storing sugars to survive the winter.
25 YEARS AGO
Thursday, Sept. 1, 1994
Juliana’s closes after dress code crackdown
Thousands of young men and women turned out to dance Wednesday on the last night of a farewell festival at Juliana’s Tokyo, an early ’90s phenomenon characterized by skin-tight dresses, sensual moves on stages and “techno” music.
The short-lived disco will close early this month after three years in business, the victim of lost clientele amid police directives for it to tone down its racy image. Guests were allowed in free to bid farewell during Juliana’s eight-day festival, which started Aug. 24.
“It was close to ecstasy when dancing on the podium and looking down on men crowded beneath” said Tomomi Takahashi, 23, of Tokyo, who used to frequent Juliana’s two or three nights a week during its heyday.
In the months after it opened in May 1991, Juliana’s Tokyo became famous for its herds of women in so-called body-conscious styles, often waving fake-feather fans and dressed in skimpy wear known as T-backs, otherwise called G-strings, underneath their dresses, dancing on a 1-meter stage as men in suits packed the floor looking up at them.
Juliana’s Tokyo, converted from a warehouse in Minato Ward at a cost of ¥1.8 billion, has attracted about 2 million customers. At its peak, about 5,000 people came daily to the three-story hall, which has a capacity of 1,500, according to Juliana Japan Corp., a Japanese subsidiary of a British disco chain.
“I didn’t see much picking-up going on there,” said Yoshinori Kasano, a Juliana Japan Corp. executive. “It seems Juliana’s served more as a place for these women to release stress, dance to music in outfits of their own style and show off their gorgeous bodies in a shower of lights.”
In this feature, we delve into The Japan Times’ 121-year archive to present a selection of stories from the past. This month’s edition was compiled with the assistance of Christopher Kunody. The Japan Times’ archive is now available in a digital format. For more details, see jtimes.jp/de.
IN FIVE EASY PIECES WITH TAKE 5