Home > Life in Japan > Features
  print button email button

Sunday, July 15, 2012

JAPAN TIMES GONE BY

Emperor Mutsuhito dies, troops clash at Marco Polo Bridge, man sleeps through train fall, kids should know computers


100 YEARS AGO
Wednesday, July 31, 1912

Emperor Mutsuhito dies; Meiji Era ends

It is with the profoundest sorrow and a sense of loss, which we share with all His Majesty's loyal and loving subjects, that we announce that the Emperor Mutsuhito died at 12:43 yesterday morning, July 30.

His Majesty was the 122nd in the Imperial line. His Era is fittingly known as "Meiji," or "Enlightenment." Today, a new era begins with the ascension of the present Emperor.

Emperor Mutsuhito had occupied the Throne since Feb. 13, 1867. This is the 45th year of Meiji. His Majesty the Emperor had been suffering from diabetes since the winter of 1904, and with the development of chronic nephritis since the end of January 1906.

Article XV of the Ordinance as to mourning issued by the Imperial Household provides that when the Emperor dies, State mourning shall be observed by both the nobility and the common people. State mourning is to be for one year. The Emperor Yoshihito has ordered the suspension of Government business for five days commencing today.

The sad news of the death of the Emperor was received with a great shock through the length and breadth of the Empire. Especially Tokyo, the Imperial capital, was stricken with sadness; all citizens, high and low, showing in the faces their great sorrow. Over all doors throughout the metropolis, flags drooped at half-mast. Many houses closed their doors in mourning.

75 YEARS AGO
Friday, July 9, 1937

Troops clash at Marco Polo Bridge

July 8—Severe fighting is reported going on at Lukowkiao (the Marco Polo Bridge or Lugou Bridge) between Japanese and Chinese troops following an illegal attack by the Chinese upon Japanese forces engaged in military maneuvers last night.

The sound of bomb-guns, infantry pieces, machine-guns and rifles are shocking the districts, as reports pouring in indicate that the situation threatens to develop the worst contingencies. At 6:30 this morning, heavy gunfire was continuing to rent the air, apparently indicating the engagement was going on with increasing proportions.

At 6:40 a.m., official reports reached the Japanese military headquarters from the spot where Japanese forces opened hostilities at Lukowkiao early this morning following the illegal firing upon the Japanese last night. The Japanese forces involved in the action include a company of the forces stationed at Fengtai, which moved out to Lukowkiao last night for exercises.

Immediately upon receipt of reports from Lukowkiao, Japanese army leaders met in a hurriedly summoned conference at the headquarters of the Japanese Garrison here.

The trouble started shortly before midnight last night, it is revealed, when a company of Japanese forces stationed at Fengtai, south of Peiping [Beijing], and engaged in night practices were fired upon by Chinese troops near Lukowkiao at about 11:40 p.m. The Chinese are stated to have fired scores of shots without any premonition.

Japanese troops immediately stopped their exercises and, while watching strictly on developments, demanded the commander of the Chinese responsible for the lawless attack to apologize for their illegal action.

The Japanese authorities are understood, however, to be maintaining a very cautious attitude regarding the situation, unwilling to cause serious confusion. In the event, notwithstanding, the Chinese assume an irresponsible attitude in continuation of their provocative acts, the fear is expressed that the Japanese would be obliged to take resolute action.

[The Marco Polo Bridge Incident, as this event is known in English, is generally considered to mark the commencement of the Second Sino-Japanese War (1937- 45).]

50 YEARS AGO
Thursday, July 5, 1962

Man sleeps on train roof after bridge fall

An inebriated young man who fell from a railway bridge landed safely on the roof of a passing locomotive and was deposited in a hospital four stations away early yesterday.

Makoto Tanabe, 26, an office worker in Meguro, Tokyo, slept through the whole incident and rubbed his eyes when he found himself swathed in bandages at a hospital in Shinjuku.

The engineer of an Omiya-bound freight train from Shintsurumi said he thought he heard a crash on his driver's cab's roof when he passed by Ebisu Station. At Shinjuku Station, he checked and found the man up there snoring peacefully, whereupon he summoned help from station staff and had him taken to a hospital. Doctors said Tanabe would require two months' treatment for multiple bruises and a fractured leg. Tanabe says all he remembers is drinking at several bars and starting to walk home.

25 YEARS AGO
Wednesday, July 22, 1987

Children 'need to know ' computers

A Education Ministry committee has submitted a draft report to the Curriculum Council stressing the need to teach children how to use computers and the need to utilize computers in teaching children.

The committee also emphasized the usefulness of computers in teaching subjects at the primary, junior high and senior high school levels, in line with differences in children's aptitude, style and interest.

In its draft report to the Curriculum Council, an advisory body for the education minister, the committee said throughout primary and junior and senior high school levels, pupils should be taught the importance of information, the situations in society where computers and telecommunications are playing an increasing role, and the ability and techniques to sort and judge information.

As for the use of computers, children should at first be given chances to "become familiar with" them at the primary school level, the committee said. At junior high school, it said children who are interested in computers should be given chances to learn how to operate them more skillfully.

Specifically, computers techniques should be taught as part of home economics at the junior high school level.

In this feature on the third Sunday of each month, we delve into The Japan Times' 116-year-old archive to present a selection of stories from the past. Stories may be edited for brevity. This feature was compiled with the assistance of Christopher Robinson.


Back to Top

About us |  Work for us |  Contact us |  Privacy policy |  Link policy |  Registration FAQ
Advertise in japantimes.co.jp.
This site has been optimized for modern browsers. Please make sure that Javascript is enabled in your browser's preferences.
The Japan Times Ltd. All rights reserved.