100 YEARS AGO
Saturday, OCT. 11 1919
Tokyo Home Problem Club holds first meeting
The Home Problem Club held its first meeting at the home of Mrs. Bates, Kamitomizaka, Koishikawa, where the subject of “millinery” was discussed by Mrs. Hayes and a practical demonstration conducted by Mrs. Singley.
The object of this club is to meet the home problems of foreign women residing in Japan. It extends a helping hand to newcomers who are unacquainted with housekeeping in this country, and is a place for mutual exchange of helpful ideas and suggestions concerning local difficulties.
At each monthly meeting, 10 minutes are set aside for an open discussion on discoveries and problems which have arisen during the previous month.
A monthly bulletin containing the most helpful items of each meeting is issued and posted to all members. Membership is open to all foreign women living in Japan, and it is hoped the women residing in the country will avail themselves of this opportunity of keeping in touch with what is discussed at the meetings.
75 YEARS AGO
Monday, Oct. 23, 1944
20,197 war dead enshrined at Yasukuni
With all lights extinguished in the traditional manner, ceremonies of utmost solemnity for the deification of the nation’s fallen heroes were held last night at Yasukuni Shrine. Kneeling by the main path of the shrine as the Holy Ark bearing the spirits of those to be enshrined was drawn slowly toward the darkness toward the Inner Sanctuary were many kith and kin of the Japanese officers and men who paid the supreme sacrifice.
Long before the early autumn dusk fell over the sacred precincts atop Kudan Hill, those who had come from various parts of the metropolis to attend the deification rites for their fathers, sons, husbands and brothers began to stream into the shrine compounds. Dusk descended quickly and, as dusk turned to darkness, huge traditional watch-fires were lighted and an expected hush descended upon the scene.
Suddenly at 6:40 p.m., all other lights were extinguished, signifying the start of the ceremonies. There was a tense silence as the Holy Ark was drawn slowly, solemnly forward toward the Inner Sanctuary. As the Holy Ark passed before them, the fathers, mothers, wives, children and other kin of the departed kneeling on the path communed in spirit with their fallen dear ones. There were murmured prayers and slight sobbing.
The Holy Ark passing before them brought back to these people kneeling by the path memories of the days when their dear ones left for the front. It also brought to their minds a picture of how heroically they had fought and a feeling of intense pride, which only those whose own blood has been spilled for the defense of the nation can feel. To the people watching the Holy Ark passing before them, this was a moment they would remember forever, not only for the solemn impressiveness of it all but for the fact that from this moment, one of their own blood was a god, to guide and defend the nation’s destiny.
50 YEARS AGO
Friday, Oct. 24, 1969
JNR computer issues same reservations
A computer at the Central Ticket Office of the Japanese National Railways has been selling duplicate tickets for reserved train seats. It wasn’t its fault though — a human employee had been feeding it the wrong information.
The incident came to light Thursday morning when about 40 passengers who boarded the express “Nagasaki” at Tokyo Station with sleeping berth reservations discovered their seats already occupied.
The train had been chartered by a group of 735 athletes and sports officials bound for the autumn National Athletic Meet in Nagasaki. A JNR employee forgot to tell the central computer, and 450 reservations were also sold to general passengers, a railroad official said.
The error was discovered when the conductor of the reserved train , receiving some complaints from passengers with valid tickets, check with the ticket center.
Of the 450, 219 who were to board the train between Tokyo and Kyoto were given seats on a New Tokaido Line train to Shin-Osaka and booked for an express train at Osaka. The athletes were to proceed to Osaka on the express train and then switch to a special train there.
When the express train reached Osaka Station, however, the athletes refused to switch trains. After persuasion by JNR officials, the athletes finally entrained and the train left at 10:09 p.m., three and a half hours behind schedule.
25 YEARS AGO
Saturday, Oct. 1, 1994
1 in 6 pass weather forecasting exam
An affiliate of the Meteorological Agency announced Friday that only 1 in 6 applicants passed a national certification exam for professional weather forecasters.
Some TV weathermen, whose names were not officially released, failed the test, the Center for the Support of Meteorological Business said.
The first qualification tests administered by the center were given on Aug. 28 in six major cities across the nation.
The center said only 500 of the 2,777 applicants passed, including 11 women. The youngest to succeed was a 19-year-old male student at Meteorological College. The oldest was a 71-year-old former Meteorological Agency official.
Masaru Tomizawa, 45, a Japan Meteorological Society staffer, said, “I’ve been engaged in forecasting for 20 years but the tests were difficult — even for the experts. I am relieved to have succeeded. Some TV weathermen may have been too busy to be well-prepared.”
Those who took the test first answered questions on earth science, and then made weather forecasts on the basis of pictures from a weather satellite and other materials. The tests were given in accordance with the revised weather business law, which stipulates that companies involved in weather forecasting must employ only forecasters who have passed the test from May 18, 1995.
Compiled by Elliott Samuels. 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.