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“I don’t think there is another nation of people in the world like the Japanese. In Britain there is coal in Wales, but Japan makes up for the lack of such a place with an abundance of national will and national sensitivity … a people’s most hard-to-come-by resources. (These are) the country’s biggest assets.”

Those words were written by one of the most remarkable foreign writers to visit prewar Japan. He published two articles in the Asahi Shimbun, on March 31 and April 1, 1926, that were to form one chapter, titled “The Sound of Geta,” in a subsequent book whose publication led to his murder 12 years later.

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