Wednesday, December 27, 2006

President Ford in Japan Specifically Memorized

President Ford in Japan Specifically Memorized

Former U.S. President Gerald R. Ford passed away.

He visited Japan on November 18, 1974, which was the first as the official visit of an incumbent U.S. President to Japan in the history.

Then Prime Minister of Japan Kakuei Tanaka welcomed President Ford in Tokyo.

But, a month later, Prime Minister Tanaka resigned for suspicion of money scandals.

A half year later, Saigon fell into the clutch of Vietcong and North Vietnam.

It is also known that President Ford signed an intelligence order to ban assassination of foreign leaders.
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Though it was 1968 that Japan became the second largest economy in the world in terms of GNP (Gross National Product), it is 1970's that the world really began to turn its eyes to Japan for its economic success and Japan itself started to feel its competitive edge in various fields.

The Cold War seemed to continue as far as we could overlook the ongoing history toward future.

Or did we miss something important in those days that could be a good lesson 30 years later.
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It is Americans that should judge if the late President Gerald R. Ford served his nation, then still suffering from aftermath of the Vietnam War, neither too much nor too little.

And, there will be surely a President in future just after the War on Terror. In this case, I suppose the whole world would judge similarly on the President.


Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Babe Ruth and Henry Louis Gehrig in Japan

Babe Ruth and Henry Louis Gehrig in Japan

As an example, if you are a baseball fan and check how many hits the keyword "Sadaharu Oh" would return from the Internet, it would be around 45,000 hits in a Japanese search site.

Similarly, if you use the keyword "Eiji Sawamura," it would be 3,700 hits.

Sadaharu Oh is the All -Time Home-Run King in Japan who produced 868 homers in his career as a professional baseball player. Mr. Oh is still engaged in this profession.

Eiji Sawamura was a pitcher of a professional base-ball team in Japan more than 60 years ago, but was killed in WWII.

Eiji Sawamura is regarded as the all-time super pitcher in Japan.

When his team ventured a tour to the U.S. in 1935, he took the plate in 30 games of all the 50 games and got the win in 24 games, though the opponent teams the Japanese went against were not major-league teams but minor ones.
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On November 20, 1934, the U.S. major-league picked-team met with the Japanese all-star team in a ball park in Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan, in one of 18 games they had planed to play.

Babe Ruth and Henry Louis Gehrig, however, could not overwhelm the pitcher Eiji Sawamura. They were going to lose the game with nine strike-outs by Eiji Sawamura. Nonetheless, the actual result of the game was 1-0 for the U.S. team.

And, eventually, the U.S. all-star selections left Japan without any lost games.
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But, how could they beat the Japanese team on November 20, 1934?

Babe Ruth and Henry Louis Gehrig could not come up with hits due to Sawamura's curb ball that fell so drastically over the home plate. The curb ball delivered by Sawamura, who was then just 17 years old, must have been twice more effective than Hideo Nomo's splitter.

So, they tried hard to read Sawamura's habit when he threw a curb. Their efforts finally paid off. Gehrig, following Babe's advice, blasted a home run. It decided the outcome of the game that had so embarrassed and upset the U.S. major-league picked-team in 1934 in Japan.
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Later, Eiji Sawamura served the Imperial Army and was sent to the front in China. He then returned home, but again he was drafted. He returned home again, but again he was drafted for his third mission in the Imperial Army. This time he never returned. A ship he went aboard was attacked and sunk by a US submarine in December, 1944.

However, even today, there are many baseball fans in Japan who believe that Eiji Sawamura is still better than Hideo Nomo as well as Daisuke Matsuzaka who is to play in the Boston Red Socks in 2007.
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A Japanese poet once wrote for the late Eiji Sawamura: "War is sinful just because it took your life."

(How many times will American poets write so after the War on Terror?)
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Now, you know one reason why Babe Ruth is famous in Japan.

Indeed, it is because he for real played baseball in Japan in whatever professional sense we have to accept.


Sunday, December 24, 2006

One Christmas Eve in Japan in 2006

One Christmas Eve in Japan in 2006

I saw tonight in the city a very poor, old man, a couple of innocent westerners, and unusually spotted policemen.

This Sunday night or a Christmas Eve has made most people hurry to their homes or drinking parties, while the night outside is getting colder and sterner.

People in Japan are really starting to get prepared for the New Year Day and the winter holidays for children and students.
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My recommendation for a Christmas present is the 2006 Global Hunger Index at

You had better download this document and print out its cover page.

Before any miracles are given to us as a Christmas gift, we have to probably love famine-ridden people as Jesus Christ does.

In this sense, Japan should be given another chance next year, too, deplorably.