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The
Sept. 9 photo of the March 24, 1964, Japan Times headline “YOUTH STABS REISCHAUER” (attached to the article “U.S. ambassador a role most vital”) prompted me to write. When professor Edwin Reischauer, U.S. ambassador to Japan at the time, was stabbed by a Japanese young man who was mentally challenged, I was a college student and wrote a letter of apology in poor English to the U.S. Embassy. Maybe a month later I was very pleased to receive the embassy’s reply. I still remember that my name on the envelope was written in hiragana.

For a long time after that, I kept the letter as my treasure. But when our house burned, it was burned, too! I respected Reischauer as a historian. I especially admired his works such as “The Japanese,” “Beyond Vietnam,” “East Asia” and “The Story of Hogen-heiji’‘(translation). He knew the weaknesses of the Japanese, and regarded the Japanese as childish. As a diplomat, he adhered to U.S. policy. Like Japanese politicians, he was tricky. I cannot forget his beautiful prose.

masayuki aihara