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MRS. SANGER AS JAPAN SEES HER
*BBSi "rf" ?"?ZangttTn'" WMch Mettm "D^tructwe to Production" and ^| There Are Whnpered Rumors That Birlh Control and Mrs. W? ,-; So That the island Empire Mny Be Giabbed by Uncle Sam By CLARE OUSLEY r , _ a.? Cartoon by ALBERT LEVERINC, w TOKIO. ITH more than the usual amount of wit displayed by them the Japanese police? men are calling Mrs. "Sangai-san ganger .?Sangai_san.? ^ b, a Japanese word which may be in 3*ed to mcan "destructive to produc ff W. h** one evidence ofthe ex 4 . v-wh Mrs. Sanger ia being discussed in Japar. to:day. Perhaps the futiUty of attempts to repress I id hy government edict has nevcr been so Lchalveiy proved as in Japan during the last ferwcekl As 1 write Mrs. Sanger is still inTokio. While officially restrained from mak? ing public speeches conceming birth control, I guspect that there aro more people in Japan to-day talking and thinking and knowing about this subject than there have ever been before or than would ever have been, had Mrs. Sanger heen permitted to land in Yokohama without any foss. As it is, she is just now the big story of Japan. She is the most talked-of person. The day she and Admiral Baron Kato, returned conference delegate, arrived the baron's pictures were crowded into out-of-the way corners of the Japanese papers by large photographs of Mrs. Sanger and her son Grant. Xo group can come together, whether foreign or Japanese. in which she : nd her thcories are not the subject of the conversa? tion, which is often an argument. The attempt to repress Mrs. Sanger has acted as a boomerang. She is far more in? teresting than she ever would have been had jhe been allcwed to go about without protest making speeches on birth control. Young j Japan is in the mood just at present to ap prove anything the government condemns. Thc government thought Mrs. Sanger would Introduce "dangerous thoughts." "Dangerous thoughts" are the breath of life to Young Japan Consequently when it was announced tha, the consul at San Francisco had refused to vise Mrs. Sanger's passport, then that -he would not. be permitted to enter Japan and subsequently that if allowed to enter she would not be granted permission to speak Young Japan decided that Mrs. Sanger must be interesting. And from one end of the little empire to the (.(her, wherever there are newspapers, it's a pretty safe bet that Mrs . anger and her theories are being discussed. Police Prohibitions Help More Than Lectures Mrs. Sanger was invited by the "Kaizo" (Reconstruction) magazine to come to Japan AVh.le here she is tho guest of Baron and baroness Ishimoto, who are leading spirits in Japan's group of intelligent liberals. One of tho first things Baron Ishimoto said +o Mrs Sanger after she finally landed at. Yokohama was that so far as the birth control movement in Japan is concerned far more had been accomplished by the agitation growing out of pohce prohibitions than could ever have come through simple lectures on the subject. It is. true. The news and editorial columns of both Japanese and foreign newspapers have been full of Mrs. Sanger ever since it was an? nounced several weeks ago that she won 1,1 come. By no means has aa the comment beon fnvorable, however. There has been a Tvcnt deal of bitter criticism of Mrs. Sanger and much applause for t.he boid stand of the po? lice authorities. But the main fact, nnd the one which must please Baron Ishimoto and ha group i8 that Mrs. Sanger'a as well aa all other theories of birth control are being and w.U continue to be discussed in Japan " Japan watches America very cloaely now .uist as she does all nations since she has at tained national maturity. Perhaps, like almosl any other youngater lately grown past thc gawky stage and attending her lirst grown up party, she isn't just suro which fork to use or what to do with the finger bowl. So sho watches the other guests. It is easy to see what she would learn concerning birth control by obsorvation df American manners. Tho head of the police bureau of the Home Office is said to havo been in New York at tho time Mrs. Sanger's meeting was raided in the Town Hall. In order to prevent any such dis, turbance in .Japan he simply announced tha\ she could not make any speeehes. This samo cautious obsorvation of America's attitude ia shown in an editorial in "Chuo," a Japanese daily, which says, in part: "We ara confident that no government will allov. u*. * to carry on such propaganda for some time to come. Even in the United States, which takes pride in the freedom of the people in the expression of their views and oplnions, she is looked upon as a sort of 'undesirable' lerson. Perhaps our authorities are taking the same view." As it has developed in Tokio, Mrs. Sanger has really been permitted to address several groups, both Japanese and foreign. When a meeting has been designated "publie" she has spoken on the general subject of "War and Population," religiously avoiding reference to such "dangerous thoughts" as birth control. At a few private meetings she has spoken on the general aspects of her favorite sub? ject, with plenty of plainclothes men present to see that she did not become too definite. And she has had two meetings with Tokio physicians (and will have more in other parts of Japan) at which the definitely _ scientific aspects of practical methods of birth control were discussed. And this, after all, I imagine, was the chief thing Mrs. Sanger wanted. OfKcial Japan Did Not Know Its Own Mind To the observer of the trend of affaira in Japan perhaps the most significant phaae of the Sanger episode has been the number of times oflficial decisiona concerning her have been reversed. It is probable that if Mra. Sanger had essayed to make speeches on birth control ten years ago in Japan the an nouncement would siraply have been made that the lady would not be allowed to land, and there the matter would have ended. And when tho Taiyo Maru docked at Yokohama Mrs. Sanger would have remained peacefully in her cabin until the boat proceeded on its way to Hongkong or other ports of destina tion. In 1922, however, the proceeding is a little different. It is announced that Mrs. Sanger cannot land. All sorts of a hornets' nest comes down on the heads of the officials. The younger men in the Home and Foreign offices protest. Editorials regret the high-handed procedure. The foreign papers are frankly amused and critical. So it is announc.ed that she may land if she will conduct herself with proper dignity and promise not to talk while she is here. Still further protests. Oh, very well then, she may talk, but not publicly, and under no conditions concerning birth control. Continued amusement on the part of the press and voc.iferous objectiona from Young Japan. All right. She may speak publicly if she wishes, but not on birth control. No indeed! And it ends with her giving a few private talks on the subject and several entirely frank and scientiflc discussions with the physicians. Public Opinion, as Elsewhere, Is the Highest Court There are numerous stories as to where the responsibility for the many restrictions should be placed. Each person you meet takes you aside and explains confidentially that he is sure that "So-and-So in Such-and Such a bureau" is entirely responsible for the difficulties. It makes little difference who and where the Btumbling blocks were. The sig nificant thing is that the authorities were susceptible enough to public opinion to re verse their decisions several times. And Young Japan is jubilant over that. There is an interesting and amusing simi larity between the development of the move ments in Japan and America. Here in the papers and magazines are the same defenses and objections that have been agitating the American press for the last ten years or more. One maiden lady in a Japanese Sunday sup plement writes (and how familiar the lines must ring to those in America who have watched the movement there 1): "The birth control propaganda is liable to kill the continence which is necessary for spir itual advancement. In short, the theory of birth control treata mankind like animal*?. It disregards the fact that the value of human Leings is that the spirit can control the body. and it is an attempt to make man surrender to the. sexual desire. It is reported that there are a million to two million cases of abortion annually in America. Evexybody knows that abortion endangers the life of the mother and is a criminal act. If a method be allowed by which tho criminal lnstinct can be satislied without involving suffering or crime, to what extent would the abuse of sex be Indulged in'."* Another "Chuo" editorial says (and thi-; must also sound familiar to 100 per cent. American ears): "Our authorities may well demand Mrs. Sanger to be silent in her views, considerimt that what she propagates has a strong lean ing toward socialism, and birth control itself undermines the foundation of our society." The "Jiji," an enterprising and popular newspaper with liberal tendencies, said. i;* part, in one of its editorials: Tokio "Jijr*' Comes Out For Plain Speaking 4 "The present atate of things in this country is that, whenever somewhat novel or progres sive ideas and views are introduced into it. they are taken indiscriminately as dangerous and extreme ones, and are placed under strict oppression and even immediate suppression by force. The loss sustained by the nation through such irrational obstruction of tho riso of thoughts and advancement of eivilization is incalculably great. It is a case in point that the attitude taken by our authorities regarding the visit of Mrs. Sanger has exceeded the bounds of common sense in some measure. At first they forbade the landing of the lady in this country, and, although later they gavt? permission to her for a stay here, she has since been absolutely prohibited from delivering lec tures or making propaganda pertaining to birth control. Perhaps the authorities have good reasons for so doing, but their actions seem to us far from reasonable. We do not know how weighty the lady's views on birth control are. Still the question is one which should be studied and discussed serioiuly for the sako of the future welfare of society and mankind in general. Wherefore we, one of the civilized peoples of the world, rather ought to let Mrs. Sanger speak out what she considers on the question to her heart's con? tent and pass our fair judgmentJ thereoi-. . . , From these considerations we deem the attitude of our authorities anything but appropriate and rational." And as usual in such affairs there are nu merous amusing bits of misinformation circu lating. There seemed to be considerable sur prise at the physical appearance of Mrs. San? ger when she arrived. Her apparent harmless ness was something of a shock. Several papern commented upon the "quiet and ladylike tono of her voice." One story has it that Mrs. Sanger is being sent to Japan by the American government to decrease the population of Japan so that later America may more easily step in and grab the Island Empire. Which must certainly amuse Mrs. Sanger as well as. the American government. Another story has it authoritatively that Mrs. Sanger is really hand in glove with the Cathoiic Church, and that the recent outburut in New York ?ws.a staged by them jointly for advertislng p->' poses. And through it all Margaret Sanger, quiet and vivid, interested, alert, asking quick, in? telligent questions about industrial and eco? nomic conditions in Japan, smiles whimsicaliy and says: "Yes, it is rather funny, isn't it?"