100 YEARS AGO
Thursday, Oct. 7, 1920
Shaving brushes of Japanese make cause six deaths
The country is alarmed at the sixth fatal case of anthrax that has occurred through the use of shaving brushes from Japan. In all, 22 cases of anthrax have occurred from the use of these brushes.
It transpired at the inquest that thousands of these brushes were distributed throughout the country — and at present some of them are being offered for sale — before the order went forth prohibiting their importation.
Medical officers testify that some of these brushes imported from Japan, which were accompanied by a certificate of freedom from anthrax, were found, on examination, to be heavily infected.
The Coroner urged that the Government order the withdrawal of all Japanese shaving brushes from the market and that compensation be paid to such shop-keepers as had them in stock.
75 YEARS AGO
Thursday, Oct. 4, 1945
Return of trans-Pacific amity spurred as U.S.-Japanese ‘hams’ meet in Tokyo
Friendly exchange of greetings among amateur wireless operators is another medium toward bringing back goodwill between Japan and the United States, the Asahi Shimbun reported on October 2.
Such an incident took place recently the Asahi continued as follows: One week after the advance airborne unit of the Allied occupation forces landed on Atsugi airfield a tall heavy-set American soldier approached the home of Taro Yagi in Ikegami, Omori Ward. Mr. Yagi is director of the sound instruments department of the Tokyo Shibaura Electric Company.
Yagi answered the doorbell. The stranger took off his hat, smiled and inquired, “Are you a ‘ham’?”
The Japanese at first scratched his head, then smiled and replied, “Yes, J2GX. ‘Ham’ Yagi.”
“WSOL. I am Julius Wingler,” the G.I. said, pulling out from his hip pocket a battered booklet. Thumbing the pages, Wingler pointed to his calling number then to Yagi’s calling number. The book was the international directory listing all amateur wireless operators.
The visitor said that he served with the American forces in Australia in 1942. Following action in the Philippines and Okinawa he entered Tokyo with the advance airborne unit. He revealed that he was a sergeant in the wireless communications unit of the U.S. air force. That’s why he treasured his international directory of all the “hams” in the world. Of course, to him the section on Japan was the most important.
50 YEARS AGO
Monday, Oct. 5, 1970
Brussels karate attack termed ‘all a mistake’
The Brussels battle in which a group of bare-handed Japanese battered their way into a suburban police station and had to be subdued by police reinforcements armed with machine guns, was all a mistake.
The seven Japanese who stormed the police station emitting high-pitched shouts and delivering karate chops at police officers early on Thursday morning, did not know the building was a police station, Japanese sources said here Saturday.
The battle began when the Japanese — cooks and hotel workers in Brussels — left a restaurant not far from King Baudouins night-time palace in a rather happy mood after celebrating the imminent departure for Japan of one of their number.
Police inside the nearby gendarmerie heard loud shouts in Japanese and went out to calm the “nocturnal din.”
Police said they arrested the ringleader of the group and took him inside the station for breaking the peace. But Japanese sources said Saturday the group of revelers did not know that the man who drew a gun on one of their companions and marched him away was in fact a policeman.
According to the Japanese sources the revelers decided to help their companion and stormed the police station. As the police reeled back before the onslaught of karate chops and war cries, one officer drew his revolver, fired, and hit his own inspector in the neck.
He fired a second shot and hit one of the Japanese in the buttocks, police reported.
At the height of the battle, two taxiloads of Japanese arrived to join the fray. Then police reinforcements arrived — armed with submachine guns.
The police, with their superior armament won the day and managed to subdue the invaders.
The affair was settled reasonably amicably when an official of the Japanese Embassy arrived to help police sort out the matter and the group was freed with a stiff reprimand.
25 YEARS AGO
Tuesday, Oct. 10, 1995
Kids now less athletic, flexible, survey finds
Japanese children and teenagers have much poorer flexibility and basic athletic abilities than their predecessors 10 years ago, a survey by the Education Ministry released Monday said.
The survey on the physical strength and athletic abilities shows that first, second, third and fourth graders of elementary school scored the worst results in the 50-meter sprint and in the standing long jump since the ministry started the survey in 1983.
The latest survey was conducted last year on about 76,000 Japanese aged 6 to 59.
The Education Ministry blamed the results on the lack of open space where children can play and on the increasing number of children who do not play outside in favor of indoor computer games.
Compiled by Leo Howard. In this feature, we delve into The Japan Times’ 124-year archive to present a selection of stories from the past. The Japan Times’ archive is now available in digital format. For more details, see jtimes.jp/de.