• Tokyo


Whatever the merits of what Philip Brasor has to say in his Nov. 18 Media Mix column, “New universities are big business, needed or not,” three howling errors in a row at the very beginning do not inspire one to read further.

Brasor writes, “There were plans to build a Toritsu Daigaku (Tokyo Metropolitan University), but they were never realized.”

Rubbish! Toritsu Daigaku was established in 1949, building on antecedents going back to 1929. It was located near Toritsu Daigaku station until most facilities were moved to Hachioji in 1991.

Brasor further writes: “Former Seibu president Yoshiaki Tsutsumi supposedly named one station on the Seibu Ikebukuro Line Oizumi Gakuen because he wanted to persuade universities to open campuses in the area. None did.”

The Japanese term “gakuen” does not necessarily refer to a university campus. At one time, the term “gakuen” in Japanese was used with a meaning similar to “garden city” in British English. And, in fact, Tokyo Gakugei Daigaku does have three related schools near this station — if you must misinterpret “gakuen” as indicating a “campus.”

For his third strike, Brasor writes that “The name remained, however, as did Hitotsubashi-Gakuen on the Seibu Tamako Line, even though the school never took the bait.” This station originally had the name Shoka Yoka Mae because (Tokyo) Shoka Daigaku Yoka was nearby. In 1949 (Tokyo) Shoka Daigaku was renamed Hitotsubashi Daigaku and the station name was changed.

The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.

earl kinmonth