Mainichi Daily News

In 1973 I was working for The Grape, the newspaper staffed by people who left the Georgia Straight after a dispute with the publisher. I had a relationship which went seriously sideways, so I decided to "get out of town" and take advantage of an invitation from my friend Andrew, who I had worked with on The Ubyssey, to come to Japan where he lived, so I did that.

I ended up working as a proofreader for The Mainichi Daily News, the English-language publication of The Mainichi Shimbun, which Andrew had some connection with. ("Mainichi" means "daily," so the English paper's name was actually "The Daily Daily News.") This English paper still used linotype machines with hot metal, not phototypesetting, which became more popular during the 1970s. The paper had articles from news agencies like AP, UPI, and other "foreign" sources, and also had English versions of articles which were in the Japanese paper, translated by Japanese people who wrote and spoke English and worked in a separate department of the Mainichi newspaper building which was located in downtown Tokyo, where I also worked at the proofreading table.

It didn't take long for the guy in charge of the "culture" department at the Daily News, Mr. Nakano, to find out what I had been writing about back home (because I told him), so I was assigned to cover concerts and write other articles of interest during the 10 months I stayed in Japan.

A couple of these below are of particular interest.

"Perils of Record Collecting" had artwork by Vernon Grant.

"Quadraphonics: SQ vs. CD-4" was about the new quad sound technologies. I went to Sony and Japan Victor's head offices and had demonstrations of the two different systems. Because I had a letter of introduction from Kazuyoshi Akiyama, conductor of the Vancouver Symphony, who I knew from Vancouver, I got to meet Norio Ohga, the big boss of CBS/Sony Records Inc. (later the President and CEO of Sony), for a few seconds. What was interesting at JVC was, the guys there had taken 4-channel tapes sold by Sony of material which was used to make SQ records to demonstrate that the separation on SQ discs was crappy compared to the original discrete tapes those SQ discs were based on!

With the exception of the Quad article, the dates below are the dates of the concerts; I no longer have access to the newspapers where the articles appeared. The word "kechimbo" on the Deep Purple review, by the way, is the Japanese word for "stingy."

Salzburg Mozarteum Orchestra, cond. Leopold Hager (Nov. 26, 1972)

Music Now 3 Concert, NHK Symphony Soloists (Feb. 4, 1973)

NHK Symphony Orchestra, cond. Horst Stein with Grigory Sokolov, piano (Feb. 11, 1973)

Tokyo Symphony Orchestra, cond. Kazuyoshi Akiyama (Mar. 12, 1973)

NHK Symphony Orchestra, cond. Hiroyuki Iwaki (Mar. 15, 1973)

Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra, cond. Kotaro Sato (Mar. 28, 1973)

Quadraphonics: SQ vs. CD-4 (Article, Mar. 30, 1973)

Marathon Contemporary Music Concert (May 26, 1973)

Stanley Drucker, Clarinet Recital (Aug. 11, 1973)

3 Reviews: Rudolf Kerer, piano (Aug. 1, 1973); Tokyo Symphony, cond. Keiko Kuyama (July 30, 1973); Oboe Recital (Aug. 2, 1973)

2 Reviews: Dimov String Quartet (Aug. 16, 1973); Acanthus Wind Quintet (Aug. 18, 1973)

Dimov String Quartet (Aug. 23, 1973)

101 Masterpieces of Music (Book review, date unknown)

A History of Japanese Music (Book review, date unknown)

Crown Princess Sees Little Angels (News story, date unknown)

Kechimbo, Deep Purple (Date unknown)

NHK Symphony Orchestra, cond. Tadashi Mori) (Date unknown)

Osaka Symphony Orchestra, cond. Takashi Asahina, cond. (Date unknown)

Perils of Record Collecting (Opinion piece, date unknown)

Tokyo 1914-1942: Historical Document (Record review, date unknown)

Return to Newspapers Main Page • My Home Page