Welcome to the Nippon Times.... the only independent English language daily newspaper in Japan.
First... a brief backgrounder that I saw on Wikipedia... I know, I know... but I did double-check the data.
Anyhow... as some of you may know... I was once a newspaper reporter for the Toronto Star (Canada's largest daily) as part of its prestigious summer internship program... but I quit in order to participate on the JET (Japan Exchange & Teaching) Programme as an assistant English teacher at seven junior high schools in Ohtawara-shi, Tochigi-ken, about 100 kilometers north of Tokyo. Which is why you are reading this blog.
Journalism and Japan. What a concept! I do my best to present news, features, op-ed, sports, entertainment, et al on a daily basis. Sometimes more than that. And I do it for the love of journalism and Japan. And maybe I'm afraid of being bored and not learning something new everyday.
Anyhow... for those of you who care, the Toronto Star newspaper (founded in 1892) once boasted one Ernest Hemingway as a reporter, and was the inspiration for a young Toronto-born artist - Joseph (Joe) Shuster - who when he needed a place for Clark Kent to work, modeled the newspaper office "The Daily Star" (later The Daily Planet) after the Toronto Daily Star... and even modeled Metropolis after Toronto, though he may have been overly optimistic in its portrayal back in the 1930s.
History is important.
Anyhow... here's that Wikipedia entry on the Nippon Times:
The Japan Times was launched by Motosada Zumoto on March 22, 1897 with the goal of giving Japanese an opportunity to read and discuss news and current events in English in order to help Japan to participate more fully in the international community. It was successively renamed The Japan Times and Mail (1918-1940) following its merger with The Japan Mail, The Japan Times and Advertiser (1940-1943) following its merger with The Japan Advertiser, and Nippon Times (1943-1956) before reverting to the Japan Times title in 1956.
Cool beans, eh?
Anyhow... just as history is important, so too are friends. My cousin Vinnie, who is not related to me, is like you, dear reader, a real person I have not yet met in person, but has become a true friend in the truest sense of the word "friend".
He sent me a few FULL copies of the Nippon Times newspaper dated 1955 - pieces of which I shall endeavor to share with you, including now.
Not only is the photograph up above a piece from 1955, it is a photo taken out of time. A young girl wanders up to the Royal Family?
Can that happen?
Maybe. Twenty years ago, I saw Japan's Crown Prince Naruhito and his wife Crown Princess Masako when they visited Nasu in Tochigi-ken. There was no major security then, either.
Ahhh... the good old days.
The current Crown Prince was not yet born when the above image was taken.... but his dad, Akihito was!
In case you can not read the photo cutline, allow me to lend a hand.
Asahi Shimbun Photo
STRAY GIRL AND THE IMPERIAL FAMILY-A missing girl who got lost at an athletic meet of the Imperial Household Board held at the Imperial Palace yesterday is seen surrounded by the members of the Imperial Family who were among the spectators. The athletic meet was originally planned for last Sunday but was postponed because of rainy weather. Imperial Household officials took part in various kinds of games at the Shume-ryo ground. From left to right (seated in front row): Prince Yoshi, Crown Prince Akihito, stray girl, the Emperor, the Empress and Princess Suga.
I just love how no one bothered to get the name of the lost girl - even though the cute story was front-page news. I would have been fired from the Toronto Star if I had that happen to me.
It's good to have friends. Thanks, Vince!
Somewhere reading the Nippon Times,
PS: There was even a short hockey write-up of a game between the New York Rangers and the Montreal Canadians! I love it!