The North American Post
Takami Page 9
[Editor’s Note]: All names are rendered in the English First, Middle, Last name order.
Good-bye North American Post
Takami Hibiya, editor-in-chief of The North American Post (Hokubei Hōchi), who had borne his poverty well, did what he had to do. In April of 1966 (Shōwa 41) he stepped down from his post and moved up to Alaska to work as an interpreter at the request of a Japanese fishing company that had expanded their business there. He wrote a farewell column in The North American Post dated April 15. I’ll include the original article in its entirety as his true feelings are sincerely expressed.
The disorderly mountain of reference materials that had been left to pile up in the editorial room have been cleaned up after a fashion, and I’ve finished handing over my editorial work. Finally, today it’s farewell to this editorial room at last.
I joined this company in 1956. Ten years after the war I closed the book on the chapter of my life in Chicago, and returned to my former post. It’s hard to believe how quickly these ten years have gone by. Some say, “ten years is like an eternity,” but “time flies like an arrow” is a more fitting description of my life as a reporter, chased by a deadline. It was an incredibly fast ten years.
It’s been one struggle after another, but thanks to the generosity of the readers and full cooperation of everyone at the company I was able to perform my journalistic responsibilities without any serious issues until today. For that, I am grateful from the bottom of my heart.
Before WWII, I joined The North American Times and for ten years enjoyed the support of publisher and editor-in-chief Sumiyoshi Arima and his successor, Sumio Arima. I spent another ten years at this newspaper after the war, so twenty in total. I’ve spent about a third of the long months and years of my life like a mouse in the wall. In other words, there’s not a thing that doesn’t hold some kind of memory for me here; even this ink-stained editorial desk that’s like a mouse’s nest, and the dust-smeared papers scattered all about the floor. In leaving, I’m struck that it’s a place so filled with emotion.
Although I’m retiring, I’m not sure what comes next. I hope to sometimes take up my pen and reach out to you all through the newspaper.
For the time being, the staff won’t hesitate to help out in a pinch—the well-known Toshitugu Kanatani, Mr. Nakamura, a new employee and graduate Tokyo University law school currently working on his Ph.D. at Washington University, and local writer Tokutarō Muramoto, who is known under the pen name “Hemu Roku”—this trio are a real team who have demonstrated their impressive writing skills. Similarly, I would like to ask for your encouragement and cooperation.
Well then everyone, I wish you every happiness…
If this article can be believed, as was previously mentioned, Mr. Hibiya found employment as an interpreter in Alaska after retiring and becoming unemployed. If that’s the case, it may be that as editor-in-chief he clashed with the paper’s owner. Because newspapers are a unique industry, they aren’t something just anyone has the ability to manage. He settled for the low salary, but it’s likely that as an editor-in-chief who dedicated his life to the newspaper it was quite difficult for him to leave. I felt as if I saw another side of a Japanese-language newspaper reporter who desperately chased after the facts, a non-fiction writer who can’t write plays or produce them. Even though he left the mouse’s nest behind, poverty still followed him.
a golden anniversary—
in the Japanese newspaper