published December 10, 1988
Cover Image by Kita Toshiyuki
Any traveller to Japan in Showa 15 (1940), when I first arrived there, was keenly aware of the Emperor. For one thing, it was the 2,600th anniversary of the crowning of Jimmu Tenno, a claim of longevity that no other monarchy in the world could boast. On the streetcar the lady ticket collector called out, Tadaima Kyujo mae de gozaimasu, (“We are now crossing in front of the Imperial Palace grounds”), and we passengers all stood up and bowed. At Hosei University where I taught English, there was a photograph of the Emperor in many classrooms, and some teachers had pasted a little flap of paper over the Imperial face. At the Kabuki-za, when any Emperor’s name was mentioned in the text of the drama, actors and debayashi musicians inclined their heads.
—Faubian Bowers, Recollections of Tenno Heika
For the past five years writer Hirose Takashi has been on the road almost constantly, warning Japanese of the dangers of nuclear power. His trademark four-hour lectures — sometimes delivered thrice in a day — hold audiences spellbound in packed auditoriums around the country. In recognition of his marathon efforts the nuclear industry has responded with a multimillion-dollar media budget and blistering salvos of public criticism. Although the storm of attention is fairly new, his commitment is not. At 45, Hirose, a retired metals research technician, is a veteran anti-nuclear researcher and campaigner.
—Wladislav Dee, Beyond Movements