Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Journalism In Japan


"Journalism In Japan" is the subject of an interesting article by a Japanese in The Revue des Revues. The writer, Mr. Saizau, for several years settled in France, has brought out on the stage Japanese plays turned into French.

The founder of journalism in the Land of the Rising Sun was a chemist — that is to say, of the pharmaceutical order — named Kishida-Chinkau, who issued, some 25 years ago, a periodical sheet to spread the praise of his medicines. It came out twice or three times a month. Politics he was forbidden by law from touching, but in order to make his circular more interesting he introduced into it society paragraphs and sensational police cases, and even serial stories from national legends.

Still journalism languished in Japan till the introduction of modern printing presses, when it fast became prosperous. Kishida-Chinkau was, however, ruined by competition. The Japanese have now upward of 400 dailies, costing a half penny or a penny, and something like 300 reviews or magazines.

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