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Press translations [Japan]. Editorial Series 0216, 1946-01-08.
Supreme Commander for The Allied Powers. Allied Translator and Interpreter Section.

translation-number: editorial-0672

call-number: DS801 .S82

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No. 672 Date: 8 Jan 46


ITEM 1 The limitations of KANJI - Tokyo Shimbun - 6 Jan 46. Translator: I. Imai.
Full Translation:
OZAKI, Gakudo, pointed out some shocking faults in the KANJI (Chinese characters) system in his article in our New Year's Day number. Usually, a language may be understood by speaking and listening. However, when we, for instance, say "KAMI", it makes no sense. There are about ten characters which are pronounced "KAMI.
There are 26 letters in the Latin alphabet, while the 48 letters of the Japanese alphabet would be sufficient it only the language and letters could be made to coincide. In English, 800 words are enough to manage everything. Even the Bible has been re-written by applying 1,000 words in common usage.
Such being the case, we feel a certain futility when confronted by KANJI. The creation of a new Japanese language and the limitations of KANJI have been repeatedly advocated.
The problem of the use of ROMAJI (Roman letters), advocated by Dr. TANAKADATE, is too well known to be mentioned here.
In order to meet these demands, the use of ESPERANTO was often suggested by enthusiasts. The Education Ministry also selected 2,000 KANJI in common use. The fact is, however, that not only 2,000, but 3,000, and even 5,000 characters are commonly used. Even with a knowledge of these characters the documents of Government offices and of the Imperial Household can hardly be understood.
We can easily remember that whenever we read the Imperial Rescripts, on the eight day of each month during the war, the leaders of various organizations were at a loss understanding them. In the Emperor's broadcast on 15 August, we could not immediately understand what was meant by "TAIHEI O HIRAKAN TOSU" (TN "To bring about peace." Very difficult to understand without rending the characters.)
The Imperial Rescript issued on New Year's Day was far easier to understand. Yet the impression was not as vivid for the people as the photograph of His Majesty in plain dress. It is said that the Education Ministry now intends to cut the number of KANJI down to some 1,300. We are, of course, in full accord with any plan for lessening the faults of KANJI. We hope the authorities are brave enough to carry it out with firm resolution.
At any rate, they should not stick to trivialities in the writing of KANJI, or the limitations of KANJI will not be removed.

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EDITORIAL SERIES: 216 (Continued)
ITEM 2 Truth and Goodness will Last - Yomiuri Hochi - 7 Jan 46. Translator: I. Hotta.
Full Translation:
We could feel a, happy atmosphere during New Year's week although there were no decorations. Some girls in kimono with long sleeves were seen in places which were safe from air-raids, and there were some gentlemen in full dress making rounds of New Year's calls. Cinema-halls, theatres and variety halls drew full houses and funny stories on love-affairs were popular among the common people. These facts prove that people wish to escape from the oppressive atmosphere which was caused by the war and which still continues.
On the other hand, flags were seldom seen at the gates of houses and the number of those who visited the MEIJI Shrine and other shrines and temples was less than that of an average year. Here we see the great difference between the past New Year's Days full of militaristic atmosphere and the present one. It may be said to indicate the blank period between past militarism and rising democracy.
People just have enjoyed nights spent playing cards safe from air-raids. In cards, the AIKOKU HYAKUNIN ISSHU (TN Cards of patriotic poem written by one hundred men.) selected by the Information Bureau are not popular. They are not suited to play on happy New Year's nights even during the war. Look at the OGURA HYAKUNIN ISSHU. You will see many love-affairs of the court and the deep sorrows of the noblemen in those poems. They show us that the Emperor was thought neither divine nor the incarnation of God when these poems were composed, and that he felt the same joys and sorrows as the people.
The HYAKUNIN ISSHU shows us that the power of the authorities cannot influence the people's feelings or attract their attention. Now that the history of JAPAN must be re-written, we must believe this again. Studies should be left to individuals. The authorities must not intervene in publishing. Truth and goodness will naturally influence people's feelings and last for a long time.
ITEM 3 The Dawn of Japan - Asahi Shimbun - 7 Jan 46. Translator: K. Hirata.
Full Translation:
Emperor OJIN has hitherto boon worshipped as the God of War. HACHIIMANGU is a shrine, sacred to the memory of the Emperor MITO. Giko says in an essay entitled SEIZANKO ZUIHITSU, "It is generally believed that OJIN marched against SHIRAGI (old KOREA). However, this is not based on historical facts. He is also called DAICHU Emperor. That is, he is said to have succeeded to the throne and gone on an expedition against SHIRAGI while in the womb. This is, however, unreasonable. Who can tell a male or a female in the embryo? Who can let an embryo succeed to the throne? It is all nonsense." From this, we can see the Emperor had nothing to do with military affairs. It was the GENJI, an old militaristic clique that led people to worship the Emperor as the God of War.
ITSUKUSHIMA Shrine is also sacred to BENTEN, Goddess of Peace. She never saw an implement of war in her life. Yet an old militaristic clique called HEI-KI made her its own tatelary god. There are many other examples similar to this. However, according to Mr. MASON, a famous American authority on State Shinto, Shinto is pure democracy. Shinto proper is quite different from, nay, almost contrary to what the Shogunate or old militaristic cliques turned it into.
In the same way, the peaceful teaching of HAKKO IU has hitherto been utilized for the benefit of militarism at the hands of a militaristic clique. However, in origin, HAKKO means the land of JAPAN proper created by the ancient Gods, IZANAGI and IZANAMI. It means to organize the nation in a peaceful group as if they belonged to the same big family. Indeed, it is just like the love of fellowmen which
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EDITORIAL SERIES: 216 (Continued)
ITEM 3 (Continued)
Christianity preaches. IU means to make brethren of all the nations of the world.
Our Emperor has never been tyrannical nor unjust in the manner of the King of ENGLAND. Since the establishment of the Imperial Diet the Emperor has never refused any bill which passed the Diet. He has never failed to respect popular will. This moderate attitude of our Emperor was, however, utilized by militarists or government officials for the benefit of their own policies. Our Emperer has so far not understood why he should be the incarnation of militarism. Shintoism has been misused as a spiritural weapon. The Japanese nation has been looked upon as a belligerent nation. These can all be attributed to the degenerate militaristic clique or officialdom. They are traitors to the Emperor, KAMI(God), as well as the Nation.
Where a land is blessed with a vast area with a small population and the people are highly disciplined in politics and with a strong sense of political responsibility, there will flourish democracy with individualistic learnings in a good sense. However, where a land is narrow and over-populated and the people are poorly disciplined in politics, liberty is liable to be confused with self indulgence and there will be anarchistic confusion, with a great struggle for supremacy. To our shame, we must fully realize that we have been so poorly disciplined in politics that we were unable by ourselves to do away with that which was oppressing us.
(MATSUNAGA, Zai, TOKYO. Professor of KOKUGAKU-IN College)
ITEM 4 (A) We expect a New Federation of Business man (B) Make every effort to mine coal - Tokyo Shimbun - 7 Jan 46. Translator: I. Kuniko.
Full Translation:
(A) We expect a New Federation of business men
In response to the opportunity presented by the formation of the labor unions, in order to promote harmony between capital and labor, the economic associations in the large Industry Conference, the JAPAN Economic Union, the JAPAN Commerce and Industry Economic Commission and other associations have decided to form a new federation of business men, which is now under consideration. According to the Labor Union Law that is shortly to be put in operation, the right of collective bargaining will be legalized. Hence, the business men, have decided to consider counter-measures.
However, their union should not be based on a sense, of opposition, but their aim should be to end the conflict between capital and labor. The labor union does not exist for economic struggle, but for social service through labor. Therefore, an object of the business man's, union, should be to unite on the objectives of the labor union. In the present state of defeated JAPAN, the reconstruction of national economy should first necessitate a union of capital and labor.
Needless to say, the democratization of new JAPAN is expected to be accomplished economically. For this realization, the aid and development of the labor union movement is the greatest factor. Therefore, the attitude of the business men will have great influence upon the movement. The character of the newly-born federation of the business men should of necessity be harmonious. Then, what counter-plans will there be? We declare that the capitalists should let the laborers participate in the management of their enterprises and should clarify their mutual responsibility.
This means the release of enterprise and necessitates in some measure, the separation of capital and management. It will not be easily executed under old capitalistic ideas, but after all keeping to old cus-
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EDITORIAL SERIES: 216 (Continued)
ITEM 4 (Continued)
toms is only digging one's grave. Boldly changing its ideas, business should voluntarily execute this change to democratize JAPAN's economy. A true union of capital and labor can be accomplished by such a sense of mutual responsibility. The road should first be cut by the capitalists.
Recently, the problem of the capitalists' sabotage has been discussed. Our economy has been greatly disordered by their sabotage. There are some among business men who while advocating insincerely harmony between capital and labor, are planning to oppose the labor union. Hence, we warn here that they may use for this effort the institution of a new federation.
(B) Make every effort to Mine coal
Coal is now as important a problem as food. Comparing the actual output of 770,000 tons to the estimated output of 665,000 tons in December, production seems to have turned for the better. In spite of this fact, the least amount necessary for our productive economy is estimated at two million tons monthly. Thus, the supply is still far below the actual demand. The coal problem is still acute. General Headquarters, as is very proper, has become discontented over the problem. The main defects pointed out by the Headquarters consist of the government's counter-measures. For example, such measures such as increases of food ration and wages for improving the life of coal miners have not yet been taken and the management of labor is very unscientific, says Headquarters.
Notwitnstanding that the price of coal has been raised fourfold and the subsidy threefold, it cannot be understood why the cost price per ton is below the production cost. In short, it cannot be denied that all the persons concerned, not to speak of the Government, have lacked will and endeavor. They may have their own pretexts, but what they should do first of all is to relieve the coal famine. For this objective, they should uncomplainingly do their best to increase coal production, or else our national economy, after all, will sollapse.
ITEM 5 Railway Porter Strikes Passenger - Mainishi Shimbun - 7 Jan 46. Translator: I. Hotta.
Full Translation:
A railway-porter was observed striking a young man in MANAZURU Station on the TOKAIDO Line recently, for it seemed that the young man was found to have boarded the train by unfair means. Nevertheless, the porter's actions were far too violent to be justified. Hearing the sounds of a cuffing, I recalled many miserable experiences I had in the army.
Porters surrounding the two were laughing at the passenger and sometimes urged on the cruel porter. He smacked the helpless man again and again and pushed the passenger like a cat teasing a mouse. The station-master looked upon this scene with indifference.
Such violence! Such ugliness! Is this the way railwaymen reform the dishonesty of passengers? Are they not a bit too militaristic measures to be adopted now that human rights should be respected?
(Letter from a Witness)
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HomePress translations [Japan]. Editorial Series 0216, 1946-01-08.
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