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Sunday, July 18, 2010

JAPAN TIMES GONE BY

Pirates off Haneda, the advent of Japanese autos, striking miners' dispute, first American pro go player


100 YEARS AGO

Tuesday, July 5, 1910

Pirates off Haneda

A band of pirates has recently made frequent appearances off Haneda [15 km South of central Tokyo], and on Thursday, eight of them were seen distributing goods among themselves under the Haneda lighthouse.

Twenty-three policemen embarked on a vessel disguised as fishermen and approached the pirates to arrest them. A severe fight ensued but the pirates were finally arrested.

According to their confessions, from their base on a boat named the Wafu Maru, the pirates had stolen a large quantity of sugar owned by the Yokohama Sugar Manufacturing Company. The ringleader of the pirates is named Tsunekichi Isobe, a boatman of Ebaragori [central Tokyo].

75 YEARS AGO

Monday, July 1, 1935

Editorial: Car industry expands

We welcome the advent of Japanese-made motor cars. For years, large-scale production of vehicles in Japan has been impossible, making the cost per unit so great that it could only be conducted for the purposes of national defense.

An effort was made several years ago to make a low-price baby car, the so-called Otomo. It was perhaps a little before its time. Recently, another miniature motor car has appeared, the Datsun. Adequately backed financially, with technical skill in keeping with large-scale productions, the Datsun already has a reputation for reliability. Affordably priced, it is also matched in size to Japan's narrow streets.

Nevertheless, Japan will continue to depend on vehicles imported from the United States, Great Britain, France and Germany for the bulk of its motorized transportation needs. With larger markets, they are currently able to produce motor cars more cheaply than Japan.

As Japan's roads are improved it will be soon that the motor car will play a greater and greater role in this country's economic activity.

50 YEARS AGO

Tuesday, July 19, 1960

Editorial: Miike Colliery dispute

The long-drawn-out dispute at the Miike Colliery of the Mitsui Mining Co. at Omuta in Kyushu has taken a turn for the worse.

On Sunday, the management withdrew its offer to hold a conference with the striking miners regarding the enforcement of the recent court injunction. Added to this, however, there is the obvious intention of leftist elements to make the development in the Miike dispute a new opportunity for further conflict between subversive elements and the established order in this country. In fact, the leftist forces are already massing in order to fight against the implementation of the injunction, which was issued by the Fukuoka District Court on July 7, and which ordered the removal of union pickets around a coal hopper at Mitsui Mining Co.'s Mikawa pit in Miike.

The situation having thus developed into a veritable battle between the leftists and the law, the original matters in dispute have been largely forgotten. Owing to the lessening demand for coal in view of the increased use of oil, the Mitsui Mining Co. late last year announced its intention to lay off 2,200 men. Subsequently, the leftist miners' union went into strong opposition to the plan. Later on, a rival union with nearly 5,000 members was formed and received the recognition of the management. The members of the leftist union were locked out. Since then, there has been continual strife around the pits, resulting in one death and injuries to several hundred miners.

It is clear that the leftist elements in this country cannot be permitted to continue to defy the law by violent methods, and sooner or later a positive showdown on this point can hardly be avoided.

25 YEARS AGO

Monday, July 15, 1985

First American pro player of go

Although foreigners are having difficulties in doing business in Japan, they are active in many other fields. Some of them have even penetrated into certain traditional Japanese fields.

Michael Redmond is the first American professional player of the board game go in Japan. He holds 4th dan and is working his way up to 5th dan this year.

Redmond started getting interested in go when he was about 11 years old. He was a chess player before that, and won a chess tournament in elementary school.

As his father plays go, he learned it and, according to him, got hooked.

Richard Dolen, a family friend of the Remonds, was a 5th-dan amateur player who came to Japan very often. He offered to take Michael to Japan for training.

Redmond made his first visit here in 1976 when he was 13 years old. During his three months' stay, he spent most of the time playing go at the Nihon Ki-in [The Japan Go Association].

Redmond made another trip to Japan the following year and decided to become a professional. After three years as a Nihon Ki-in student, Redmond got his 1st dan. He got his 4th dan in 1984 with an impressive record of eight wins and one draw. He is looking forward to becoming 5th dan this year.

Redmond wants to become a meijin (grandmaster), or kisei (grand champion), in the future. "I have not won any big title yet . . . I have to work very hard to get there, and I have not lost my positive attitude," the American hopeful said. * Michael Redmond, who is now aged 47, became the first Westerner to attain the highest rank in go, that of 9th dan, in 2000.

In this feature, which appears in Timeout on the third Sunday of each month along with our regular Week 3 stories, we delve into The Japan Times' 113-year-old archive to present a selection of stories from the past. Stories may be edited for brevity.


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