Sunday, April 18, 2021

The traditional Asian manner of counting one's age called 'kazoedoshi'(数え年)

What’s kazoedoshi(数え年)?

Photo by Jisun Han on Unsplash

  • Age counting method
  • When you’re born, you are 1 year old
  • When the new year comes, you turn 2 years old
  • ex. You’re born on the 31st of December in 2020, you will be two years old on the 1st of January in 2021.

  • History

  • Old custom from China
  • In 1902, the Japanese government made a law that set the rule "a man gets one year older at the last moment of the previous day of his/her birthday" ("man-nenrei"(満年齢) system)
  • However, Japanese people continued to use kazoedoshi
  • In 1950, the new law, which said "obey the 1903 law system, not kazoedoshi" took effect

  • Why?

  • Kazoedoshi includes the period of development in the womb
  • Some people say "the first number is one, not zero". For instance, the 1st day, the 1st grade, the 1st century, and so on.
  • Getting one year older on new year’s day for the viewpoint "elderly is respectable" in Buddhism and Confucianism
  • Some people say the reason why is the lunar-solar calendar which Japanese society used till 1872. The calendar has a "leap month" due to a complex calculation method (7 times in 19 years). Therefore kazoedoshi system is easy to count age. Source: National Astronomical Observatory of Japan(in Japananese) 

  • Still used in modern Japanese society

  • "nenki"(年忌); the anniversary of the death of family in Japanese Buddhism. The third anniversary is held in two-year-after of the family member death, the seventh anniversary is held in six-year-after of the death. All Japanese people hold nenki under kazoedoshi count.
  • "Shichigosan"(七五三) (Seven, five, three); festival in November for 3-year-old boys and girls, 5-year-old boys and 7-year-old girls at a Shinto shrine or Buddhist temple. Some people count their child’s age in kazoedoshi, others in man-nenrei
  • Embed from Getty Images

    In the world

  • In the past it was popular in other east Asian countries; China, Korean peninsula, Vietnam
  • South Korea is the only country that usually uses kazoedoshi system now
  • Sunday, January 24, 2021

    Crime nation U.S.A. or earthquake nation Japan: which is safer?

    The U.S. sees around 15,000 victims of murder every year. 

    Japan sometimes sees vast number of victims from a single earthquake; 6,437 in 1995, 22,252 in 2011. 

    If you wanted to live a safe life, which would be the better choice: the U.S. or Japan? See the following slide.

     (In 2020, the following slide was presented at the Earthquakes and Disaster-Prevention Research Study Group, at Kanazawa University in Japan)


    Saturday, August 15, 2020

    How Japan started the war with the US

    This article is based on Kazutoshi Hanto's "Showashi (The History of Showa) " for organizing a part of Japanese history with a certain viewpoint. I don't think that this is the one and only truth.


    Kwantung army (Japanese troops in northeast China) assasinated Zhang Zuolin, the warlord of Manchuria.(Japan had supported him, however he began to get out of Japan's control, therefore the Kwantung army murdered him secretly without permission. After that, many people were suspicous about the Kwantung army imvolvement.)

    Zhang zuolin
    The Zhang Zuolin assasinated place (All pictures in this article are public domain from Wikipedia Commons, unless otherwise described)


    (1) The emperor ordered the prime minister Tanaka to survey the Zhang Zuolin incident. However, Tanaka couldn't complete his mission because of the army's interruption against Tanaka's survey, therefore the emperor reprimanded him. After that, Tanaka resigned as prime minister and died three months later. (At that time, Japanese people were taught that the emperor was God. Tanaka was heavily shocked from emperor's reprimand.)
    Giichi Tanaka posing
    PM Tanaka

    (2) The emperor blamed himself for Tanaka's death and he made up his mind to accept the cabinet's consensus on proposals or reports if he was against them. → The emperor became "speechless"
    Bundesarchiv Bild 102-12923, Kaiser Hirohito
    Emperor Hirohito(1932)(Bundesarchiv, Bild 102-12923 / CC BY-SA 3.0 DE


    (1) The delegation for the London Disarmament Conference got the agreement which Japan would be able to construct 69.75% of the support vessels compaerd to the US numbers, for the original target of 70%. Therefore they sent telegraph instructions for the navy's directions for the acceptance.

    (2) At first, the Navy agreed with the delegation's instructions.

    (3) The emperor approoved the delegation's instructions.

    (4) After the Emperor's approoval, the Navy went against the instructions.

    (5) The emperor was surprised at the Navy's change.

    (6) For the London Disarmament Conference, the nongovernmental parties declared the theory "Never interrupting the Emperor's right to control the armies" → the parliament accepted the rule "Even though the PM never be against the army about war affairs"

    (7) The government ratified the treaty of disarmament.

    (8) Their opinion was normal as mass media: "The nongovernmental parties theory was merely a campaign to topple the government."

    (9) The navy were separated to supporters and opponents of the Disarmament Conferece result. The supporters left the Navy and the opponents joined of key posts of the Navy.

    1931 to 1932

    (1) Yosuke Matsuoka (The vice president of Manchuria Railways) declared "Manchuria and Mongolia are the lifeline of Japan." → this was spread among the masses.
    Yohsuke matsuoka1932

    (2) The tone of mass media was "the problem about Manchuria and Mongolia shouldn't be solved by the military power."

    (3) The emperor ordered the minister of the Army, "The military discipline looks loose, therefore you should dicipline the Army to observe the military discipline."

    (4) The Plannning Director of the Army Takekawa, who was ordered by the Minister of the Army to dicipline the Kwantung army, went to the office of the Kwantung army by train, not by airplane, because he was worried about persuading the Kwantung army.
    The Kwauntung army got him drunk and he didn't persuade the army. After that, the Kwantung Army broke up the invasion to Manchuria (The Ryujoko Incident)
    Mukden 1931 blast spot
    The Ryujoko Incident place
    Tatekawa Yoshitsugu

    (5) Suddenly the newspapers began to support the Kwantung army. Asahi and Mainichi (Japanese big quality papers) released many ads of them with a large budget and increased their number of sales.

    (6) Prime Minister Wakatsuki said, "Did the Kwantung Army enter Manchuria? So we can't stop it anymore." (The approval of the Ryujoko Incident)
    Reijiro Wakatsuki posing
    PM Wakatsuki

    And the emperor ordered Prime Minister Wakatsuki, "As for the problem about Manchuria and Mongolia, you should maintain the strengthening of Japan-China relations."

    (7) The US noted that Japan's invasion of China is a violation of the non-belligerence pact. (Before that, it was relatively conciliatory to Japan.)

    (8) The emperor declared "The Kwauntung army did a good job" * *The author of this book said, "This is the biggest mistake of the Emperor.

    (9) Manchuria (virtually Japan's puppet state) was established.
    Inauguration Ceremony of Chief Executive of Manchukuo
    Inauguration Ceremony of Chief Executive of Manchukuo

    (10) Commander Honjo and Staff Officer Ishihara, the main manipulators of the Ryujoko Incident, who should have gotten the death penalty according to the militaly rules, got a promotion instead. *The author of this book said, "This is the moment of the Showa era collapses."

    Shigeru Honjo 01
    Honjo (1933)
    Kanji Ishiwara2
    Staff Officer Ishihara (1934)

    (11) China had difficulty confronting The Japanese Army because it was in the middle of the civil war (Chinese Nationalist Party vs Chinese Communist Party)


    Prime Minister Inukai was assasinated by young navy officers The Navy Genereral Saito became the PM (The end of party Government)
    May 15 Incident
    Osaka Asahi Shinbun


    (1) When the emperor heard the cabinet's plan to leave the League of Nations, he said "I think that Japan doesn't have to leave the LN and should stay in the LN."

    (2) Japan left the League of Nations → It became difficult for Japan to get overseas information for proper political judgements.
    Tokyo Asahi Shinbun on the following date of left the League of Nations

    (3) "Go-Stop Incident" (The Osaka Police confronted the Army for their ignoring of red lights during their training then they were compromized.) (It was the last confrontation among the Army and civilians. After that, all the people in Japan never went against the Army)


    From 1910s to this year, the citizens, the government and emperor Hirohito supported the "emperor-organ" theory, which means that the owner of the sovereignty of Japan is the citizens, not the emperor, and the emperor is one of the organs of the nation.
    That year, Prime Minister Okada declared that Japan is a nation whose ruler is the emperor. After that, the government began to strictly control theories which were against the declaration including the "emperor-organ" theory."

    Prime Minister Keisuke Okada cropped
    PM Okada(1936)


    (1) The February 26 Incident broke out. (The incident was the abortive coup d'etat by young officers of the Japanese Army. They thought that they killed the old ministers and the emperor ruled directly then that Japan's social problems such as political corruptions or poverty in rural area were solved. They killed some ministers and occupied some mass media buildings. After that, the emperor quickly commanded they eliminated. The leaders of the incident were then executed.)
    After this incident, the army began to controled the government and took advantage of fear of terrorism like this incident.
    2 26 Incident
    Officers at the February 26 Incident

    (2) From the beginning, he commanded the army and police to deal with the incident.

    (3) The cabinet (PM Hirota) implemented a rule which let only an active service military officer be assigned to minister of the army or of the navy. This rule gave the army strong power to control the cabinet.
    Kohki Hirota suit
    PM Hirota


    (1) The regimental commander of a area of China, Mutaaguchi, commanded his soldiers to resist The Chinese army, which fired two bullets at them during training at night. However, his boss, the brigade commander Kawabe, admitted it without speaking. Then, the second Sino-Japanese War began.

    Mutaguchi Renya
    Army 29 Fighting 1937
    Chinese army against Japanese army

    (2) The German Ambassador to China, Oskar Trautmann, attempted to make a peace between the Japanese Army and Chiang Kai-shek of the Chinese Kuomintang Government. (Trautmann Mediation) .


    The Japanese prime minister Konoe refused the Trautmann Mediation. He declared, "We have decided not to negotiate with the the Chinese Kuomintang government anymore."
    Fumimaro Konoe suit
    PM Konoe


    (1) The National Spiritual Mobilization Law takes effect. (The government began to control its citizens' lives and thoughts to save resources and to use them for the military. They refrained from a luxury lifestyle. For example, perms for hair were prohibited. Propaganda phrases like: "Luxury is our Enemy" "We never want anything till we win [wars]" "Kill our selfish minds and let our nation prosper")
    Luxury is our enemy
    "Luxury is our Enemy!"

    (2) German-Soviet Non-aggression Pact concluded.

    (3) The General staff office of the Japanese army was shocked at German-Soviet Non-aggression Pact (They were lacking the ability to research and analyze the movement of world affairs.)

    (4) The Emperor commanded the government to cooperate with the UK and the US.

    (5) World War II broke out (Germany invaded Poland.) "


    (1) Representative Takao Saito criticised the Army that it didn't end the Japan-China war, and was expelled from the diet by the Army. (This was the last critical comment from the Diet to the army.)
    SaitoTakao 2
    Rep. Saito(1929)

    (2) The US declared the abolition of the Treaty of Commerce and Navigation between Japan and the USA and prohibited the export of steel from the US to Japan.

    (3) The Japanese army entered the northern area of French Indochina (Vietnam)


    (1) Japan signed the Tripartite Pact between Japan, Germany and Italy.

    (2) The US proposed an improvement plan for US-Japan relations from two Americans, Bishop Walsh and Father Drought, to a Japanese banker, Ikawa.

    (3) Both the Cabinet and the Japanese Army accepted the improvement plan. However, Prime Minister Konoe decided to wait for the opinion of Matsuoka, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, who had been abroad. After his arrival in Japan, he ended up refusing the plan.

    (4) Hull, the Secretary of State told the US policies to Nomura, the ambassador to the US that Japan had to "withdraw from the Tripartite Pact, China and Northern area of French Indochina", and "give the US the opportunity for getting involved in Manchuria concessions."

    (5) On the 2nd of July, the second supreme conference in the presence of the emperor decided the direction of "We won’t hesitate to enter into a war against the US"

    (6) The Japanese army made an entered the southern area of French Indochina.
    Japanese troops entering Saigon in 1941
    Japanese army in Saigon

    (7) The US froze Japanese assets in the US and prohibited the export of oil to Japan.

    (8) Seeing the agenda of the supreme conference in the presence of the emperor, the emperor asked Sugiyama, the Army Chief of Staff.
    Emperor: You wrote "First: preparing for war. Second: diplomatic negotiation". Is it a reverse sequence, isn't it?
    Chief: We (army) are able to solve the problem in Southeast Asia within three months after the beginning of war against the US.
    Emperor: When the Japan-China incident (war) began, you said you would end the war in China within one month. However, now four years have passed, you didn’t end the war in China.
    Chief: China is vast therefore the plan hasn’t progressed as planned.
    Emperor: The pacific is larger than China, isn't it?
    Chief couldn't reply to the emperor.
    Sugiyama Hajime1

    (9) Prime Minister Konoe proposed a summit conference with President Roosevelt.

    (10) President Roosevelt refused a summit with Japan.

    (11) PM Konoe resigned as Prime Minister. Just two days after, Tojo (war plan supporter) constructed his cabinet.
    PM Tojo

    (12) Every newspaper supported the start of Tojo cabinet. For instance, Tokyo Nichinichi (daily) News wrote "The beginning of all one-hundred-million-Japanese people army progression"

    (13) The Japanese government asked the US to "Export oil to Japan, in exchange for withdrawal from French Indochina"

    (14) The US refused Japan's request and told them that "Japan must resume Asia as the condition in 1931"
    Hull, Nomura and Kurusu on 7 December 1941
    Hull, Nomura and Kurusu on 7 December 1941

    (15) On the 1st of December, Japan decided to declare war against the US at the fourth supreme conference in the presence of the emperor.
    Franklin Roosevelt signing declaration of war against Japan
    Franklin Roosevelt signing declaration of war against Japan

    The chart of "How Japan started the war with the US"

    "(1) " and (2) "… in the box mean the order of incidents in the same year. -Red ink means the reasons that began the war, green ink means the important incidents that changed Japanese society or conditions.

    How Japan started the war with the US

    Sunday, July 19, 2020

    How common are job transfers away from their family in Japan?

    It is not rare that Japanese businessmen (not including businesswomen) experience job transfers away from their family. They live alone away from their family for about three years in exchange for their new position in an office far from their home.

    How common are such transfers in Japan?

    A government survey said, "men who have a family but live alone and aren't divorced" in all Japanese family numbers is 2.5%*.

    However, I disagree somewhat. As a big company (means it has many offices all over Japan) worker, my feeling is about 10 to 20% ("tanshin funin" (Japanese word for job transfer away from their family) of men among my all headquarters offices) or 5% (among my all regional offices). I have never met any businesswomen who have experienced tanshin-funin in my company except only one case.

    Photo by Pawel Janiak on Unsplash

    Why do Japanese big companies mandate such transfer of their workers?

    Actually, companies never command their workers to live apart from their families for work. Companies prepare their new home and pay for the move. However, workers choose to live alone after discussing with their families. They value "not changing the children's school and friends" or "not changing the environment for raising kids. (frequently means their wife's mother living near their home) than "living family together" .

    Anyway, such hard choices in families never appear if big companies never mandate such transfers. Why? Many companies including my company say the reason why is "the result of thinking what is the best position for workers to suit their abilities". I have never heard a clear reason from companies. In my opinion, a part of company's reason is true but the cost (workers' and their family members' quality of life getting worse) is so high, therefore the tanshin-funin system is very unreasonable.

    How about me? In my company's custom (with no documented rules), if you become a manager, the first position will be far from your current area of residence. If you have family, you will experience tanshin-funin. Therefore I declined to receive the examination for a promotion.

    One of some good results

    This month (July of 2020), a famous Japanese confectionary maker has decided to abolish tanshin-funin because the telework environment has become popular. Fujitsu has also decided to switch from tanshin-funin to telework. The Coronavirus is causing huge problems all over the world but leaving some good results. Reduction of tanshin-funin must be one.

    *The numbers of tanshin-funin(in Japanese)

    Sunday, May 17, 2020

    World Coronavirus death rate per capita yields a discovery

    In communicating with friends overseas, all of them talked about Coronavirus. In Japan, people also talk about the virus daily.

    Therefore, when I compared the world’s Coronavirus death rates per capita, I found a correlation in the data. It is neither the race of citizens nor government action against the virus.

    (All data and comments accurate as of the 9th of May, 2020)

    Countries where friends of mine live

    The Coronavirus death rate per 1 million capita on a country-by-country basis (Data and graphs generated by the website of Department of Medical Genome Sciences, Research Institute for Frontier Medicine, Sapporo Medical University School of Medicine.)

    You can see the tendency on the graph - "Europe and the US are high, Asia is low and Poland is in the middle."

    Is this a result of government action? Italy, France and Spain are under strict lockdowns, Japan never entered into a lockdown because of not having the law to do so, however, the death rate in Italy, France and Spain is very high compared to Japan.

    Why? Next, let’s examine the ten worst-hit countries.

    The ten worst-hit countries

    Western European countries and the US. That’s all.
    The government action taken is very different. Sweden is famous for its lack of action in that the government never mandated a lockdown and still opened schools. Some other countries are under lockdowns. However, the death rates are similarly high.

    Of course, I think that government action is effective and important. Germany isn’t among the worst 10 countries, and I suppose that it is a result of its government action.

    However, the graph shows "the ten worst-hit countries are in western Europe and the US, including different actions against the virus."

    If it is true, does the clear result depend on race or location?

    Eastern European countries

    (for comparison, Belgium continues to have the worst rate per capita)

    Needless to say, Eastern and Western Europe are adjoining. Races and locations may be not quite different.

    However, the death rates are different.


    Eastern and Southeastern Asian Countries

    Clearly a lower rate than European countries.

    I think that the Japanese government’s actions against the virus are not enough. Some actions were appropriate (for example, checking the emerging virus clusters early on and treating people) but many other actions are not strict enough. No lockdown, late compensation for shops and restaurants (almost all shops and restaurants haven’t received compensation yet).

    What is the reason for these differences? Race?

    North America and Oceania

    All the countries are ex-British colonies. (Now these countries have racially diverse populations)

    However, the tendency is clear - "North America is high like western Europe, Oceania is low like Asia"

    I can’t understand the reason.

    South America


    These two regions also have tendencies - "South America is in the middle like eastern Europe, Africa is low like Asia."

    After comparing the rates of various regions

    I found the tendencies among the death rate of Coronavirus victims of per capita as follows;
    - Western Europe and North America are high
    - Eastern Europe and South America are in the middle
    - East and Southeast Asia, Oceania and Africa are low

    The government action against the virus is effective, however, the difference of the death rate seems to depend on what region of the world the country is in.

    Thus, not the race and government action, but the region has the most impact on the difference of the coronavirus death rates.

    Anyway, I cannot understand the reason why region is so related to the coronavirus death rate.

    I’m eagerly awaiting for the researchers to make it clear, sincerely hope the world can recover from this hard time.

    Saturday, July 30, 2016

    Which was the best era in Japan? An interview with my grandparents who were born in the early 20th century

    (Interviewing them and writing this article in May 2001, adding pictures in 2016)


    My grandparents on the day of their town's traditional festival

    My grandparents will be 90 years old soon, three times my age. I wanted to know how the world they have seen has changed, so I interviewed them. (cooperating in creating questions by a friend of mine Mr.Kinami)

    Profile of my grandparents

    Born in 1911. He worked for Japanese National Railways, and was in charge of the planning office of the Osaka Administrative Bureau of Railways, etc.
    He enjoys playing music. He plays the violin, trombone, and shamisen (Japanese guitar). He also likes collecting coins and stamps, and gardening. He is a heavy smoker, and a coffee-drinker. But amazingly, he is very healthy, he even smokes the strongest nicotine cigarettes.

    My grandfather practicing the violin in their junior high school days in the 1920s

    Born in 1912. After graduating elementary school, she was put to work. After getting married, she brought up one girl and four boys. She likes reading novels and gardening.

    Interview Part 1: About the public at large

    Q: In your opinion, which was the best era in Japan? : Before the war*, soon after the war, "high growth of the Japanese economy" era**, "bubble" era***, and the present.
    * World War II
    ** circa 1955-1970
    *** circa 1986-1990. Boom economy made stocks and real estimates incredibly high. This unsubstantial prosperity left some huge problems in the Japanese economic market, afterwards.

    A: (Grandfather) I like the present days because we have lived without restraint.
    (Grandmother) I like the present days because we live in an affluent society.
    And I also think "before the war" era was good. People didn’t covet material belongings.

    Q: Do you feel that there has been a moral degeneration in Japanese society? They say there is a marked decline in public morality, On the other hand, some other people say that we have embraced the process of reducing discrimination, etc.
    A:(Grandfather) I think it is getting better. I feel that we are in the process of reducing some discrimination.
    (Grandmother) On a superficial level, I think the present society is the best. There are many problems in society, but I don’t think that juvenile delinquency has increase as they say on the news.

    Q: What has changed the most in the world?
    A:(Grandfather) Cars have changed the world very much. But I think that motorization is the subject of discussion. First, it isn't effective that people use a car when they don’t really need to. People don’t realize problems (traffic jam, traffic accident, etc.) of using car. People should use public transportation. Second, They have caused a lot of environmental pollution. At least, diesel cars must be banned.
    (Grandmother) When water pipes were laid, I felt it was very convenient. And I will never forget the way I felt when we bought a TV set and a washing machine.

    Interview Part 2: About the war and Hirohito, the emperor

    Q: What did you think when the Pacific War started?
    A: (Grandfather) I thought that it was a very serious thing, but I wasn’t surprised, because the Manchuria Incident, etc. had already broken out and had escalated into the Pacific War. Therefore I didn’t feel that the Pacific War broke out suddenly.

    Q: How did you feel when the war was over?
    A: (Grandfather) I only felt that I had escaped death.
    (Grandmother) I gave a sigh of relief.

    Q: In your opinion, did you think Japan could win the war?
    A: (Grandfather) I thought Japan couldn’t win against the U.S. After many air raids, when I saw Kobe city from the second floor of a building in Osaka* I felt it was the end of the battle.
    * It is 30km (20miles) from Osaka to Kobe. Osaka has many tall buildings, so normally you cannot see Kobe even from the tenth floor of a building.
    Osaka after the 1945 air raid
    Osaka station after the 1945 air raid (quote from Wikipedia Commons)

    (Grandmother) I thought Japan couldn’t win, too. During the war, when I said to a neighbor “Can we trust news releases from the Imperial Headquarters*?" she reproved me for the carelessness in saying so because it was unsafe to criticize the Imperial Headquarters.

    *The top of Japanese Army. It released untrue news of Japan’s victories in the war despite their continual defeats during the second half of the war. Even now, Japanese use the word “the Imperial Headquarters’ releases" when companies, or the government releases untrue public announcements.

    Q: When people were called into the army, was it really an honor for them?
    A: (Both of grandfather and grandmother) In our opinion, nobody was happy to be called up, instead this usually meant their call to death yet it was honorable. However, men who couldn’t pass the standard and were not called up because of their physique were ashamed.
    *People in Japan had a wartime custom in which they celebrated the man who was called into the army.

    Q: Why did people accept the U.S. Occupation Army without rebelling soon after the war, even though the Japanese government had said, “The U.S. and the U.K. are the evil ogre and the beast" during the war?
    A: (Grandfather) My co-workers and I discussed how Japanese National Railways welcomed the Occupation Army at a conference when they landed at the port of Wakayama (next to Southern Osaka). One of the reception members said, “I will attempt to wreck the train the Army members ride!" Of course his proposal was rejected, but he remained a member of the reception. Surprisingly, he later said, “The U.S. Army is great. They are gentlemen." when he was back from the reception.
    I hadn’t heard what had happened in detail at the reception, but, in my opinion, the first members of the Occupation Army were picked based on their previous knowledge of Japanese people and culture. I didn’t hear any bad news about them during the occupation era. And I think that it was brilliant that the Army was very plentiful when the Japanese has no material things. It made it easy for the Japanese to open their hearts to the Army.
    But, on the other hand, I think that the Japanese people surely feared the Army. When I went to a station to welcome the Army, there were no Japanese people near the station. Maybe they stayed in their homes all day long. However, three days after the arrival of the Army, I saw almost all the GIs accompanied by Japanese women in a train.
    (Grandmother) They say, “When the Army comes, women never go out" very often.

    Q: Did you think the Showa Emperor (Hirohito) was a God*?
    A: (Grandfather and Grandmother) We didn’t think that the emperor was a transcendent human or the descendant of God. But we thought the Showa Emperor was an excellent man, so, we thought most Japanese people respected him at that time. Or else riot would break out.
    *The Japanese government stated and educated pupils that the emperor was the descendant of God. But soon after the war (in 1946), the Emperor himself declared that he was a mere human.

    Q: After the war, did you think that the Occupation Army would execute the Emperor?
    A: (Grandfather and Grandmother) We didn’t think so. We thought the American Government didn’t tend to go to extremes, so they would not be so severe.

    Q: Were you shocked by the picture of the small and neatly dressed Emperor posed next to the big and relaxed posture of General MacArthur?
    Macarthur hirohito
    MacArthur and Showa Emperor

    A: (Grandfather) I felt that the emperor had no choice but to take the picture posed this way. And I found that the picture showed the Emperor’s determination to save Japan.

    Interview Part 3: about life

    Q: What is the most important aspect of life?
    A: (Grandfather) First, it is health. Next, you must have a good partner. A woman is the power source of a man, I think. A man’s life is based on a woman. And it is key to be loved by people. Friends are very important.
    Enjoy your life. I think it is meaningless if you don’t enjoy your own life.
    (Grandmother) Health. I always take care of my husband’s health.

    Q: What was the happiest event in your life?
    A: (Grandfather) It was the time when I passed a promotion exam and became a proper government employee. And, it was when the war ended.
    (Grandmother) It was the time when a spinning mill that I worked for gave me “allowance for filial piety" when I was a teenager.
    My salary at the mill was one yen per day, so I earned 30yen per month. (I took only one day off per month) But I paid 18yen per month for medicine that my father needed.
    One day, an employer called me suddenly and asked me how much I paid for my father’s illness. "I receive enough salary", I said, but he raised my pay to 50yen per month as "allowance for filial piety" starting the next month.

    Q: What is the sad or sorry events of your life?
    A: (Grandfather) When I was transferred to a rural station because of my boss felt me as insolent at my newcomer age.
    (Grandmother) I cannot remember any sad events.

    Q: What are events that you were surprised especially?
    A: (Grandfather) I had no events that I can remember soon.
    (Grandmother) I was anxious about my husband’s surgical operation (It succeeded)

    Q: In your opinion, what is the key that you can maintain happy married life?
    A: (Grandfather) I think it is love, even it is a conventional comments. I believe that a secret key is generally conventional.
    (Grandmother) I think it is thankful mind. And, I thank that parents in law were very kind.

    Q: What do you think you should have done?
    A: (Grandfather) I am satisfied with my own life. Especially I feel lucky because I spend my business period that was substantial.
    (Grandmother) I should have taken practice to write sentences formally.

    My grandmother died in Dec 2003, my grandfather died in Dec 2011. Both of them passed away suddenly - without pain.

    Osaka station in 2016