Terrie's Take 906 - Something You Never Knew About Jean Pearce (1921-2017)

Terrie's Take terrie at mailman.japaninc.com
Sun Jul 23 23:09:57 JST 2017

* * * * * * * * TERRIE'S TAKE - BY TERRIE LLOYD * * * * * *
A weekly roundup of news & information from Terrie Lloyd, a long-term
technology and media entrepreneur living in Japan.

General Edition Sunday, July 23, 2017, Issue No. 906

- What's New -- Something You Never Knew About Jean Pearce (1921-2017)
- News -- Japan's new ramjet missiles serious threat to China
- Upcoming Events
- Corrections/Feedback
- Travel Picks -- Artist's home in Ueno, Niigata food bar in Ebisu
- News Credits

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I was surprised and saddened to see a tribute for Jean Pearce on the 
Japan Times website several weeks ago. Perhaps I shouldn't have been 
surprised. At 96 years old she'd had a very full and fulfilling life, 
venturing far from her birthplace of South Bend, Indiana. Married twice, 
she moved post-war to various exotic locations around the world before 
settling down in Tokyo, where she was to become a famous author and 
journalist. Jean was nothing if not dedicated to helping others and 
during her more than 40 years in Japan, 36 of them were spent writing 
regular, meaning weekly, reader advice columns (1964-2000) for the Japan 

A tribute by one of her two sons, Laer Pearce, can be found here:


Through sheer stamina and diligence, I believe that Jean Pearce probably 
helped more foreign residents in Japan to get things done in their lives 
than any other single person in the last 50 years. She understood very 
well the power of the media and used it wisely and consistently to share 
otherwise hard-to-find information on how to get things done here. Be it 
the courts, special schools, babysitters, home repairs, NPOs, you name 
it, she ferreted them out and wrote about them. Remember that much of 
her work was pre-Internet, and finding stuff out meant painstaking phone 
calls and personal visits to unravel fact from fiction.

Unlike some other community journalists who own a soapbox but who want 
to separate themselves from the "grubby" world of business, Jean was a 
pragmatist. If she saw someone doing something interesting that might 
help the community, even though it was commercial, she didn't hesitate 
to say so. It was because of this open attitude that I had a close and 
fruitful relationship with Jean in her third decade in Japan.

Although Jean's career started in 1964 at the Japan Times, she was no 
"old fogie" when it came to technology, and in the early 1980's was 
quick to buy a computer and eventually to use the Internet. Indeed, as I 
recall, her first computer was an IBM clone which she had shipped from 
the USA sometime around 1987. She had a standard word processing 
program, WordPerfect maybe, and was receiving and sending her writing 
assignments by 5.25-inch floppy disk through the postal service. Email 
on the Internet wouldn't arrive in Japan for another 4 years, in the 
form of Roger Boisvert's Intercon International KK in 1993.

I had entered the PC import and servicing business a couple of years 
earlier, and in 1987 became the first Japanese business to import PCs 
from China. Although we started out by only servicing the PCs we 
imported and sold, by 1988, there were enough people importing their own 
IBM-clone PCs, like Jean, that we decided to form a company called LINC 
Computer, and start a PC servicing business. In late 1988 I got a phone 
call from Jean, saying, "Hi, I know I didn't buy my PC from you, but I'm 
a journalist and I have a deadline tomorrow. The problem is that my PC 
isn't working..."

Well, actually, it was working, as we determined over the next 5 minutes 
over the phone, but it was behaving strangely, shutting down shortly 
after the Windows screen came up. I agreed to come over to her 
apartment, and jammed in my bag some tools and a couple of diagnostic 
programs (Norton Utilities and such) that I'd bought at a trade show in 
the U.S. a few weeks earlier.

As I recall, Jean lived around the back of Roppongi, and it didn't take 
long to get there from our Shibuya office. We were still a 3-4 person 
company back then, so I had to go by bus/foot and couldn't carry many 
spare parts with me, just screwdrivers, a video card, and a power 
supply. She greeted me at the door and seemed very nice, and led me in 
to her study where the offending PC was located.

I didn't realize it then but she was about to change my life.

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[...Article continues]

Sure enough, as she said over the phone, the PC would boot up, but right 
after the Windows screen showed up it would go blank and give me the 
blue screen of death. I rebooted the machine on a new boot disk we'd 
prepared in the office, and was able to get DOS. So this was strange: 
the machine was working, but not loading Windows. This was something I'd 
never seen before and after scratching my head I decided to try out a 
new program, put out by a brand new firm called McAfee, and let ViruScan 
version 1.0 grind away.

To my amazement a few minutes later, a message came up saying "You have 
a virus, would you like to remove it?" I asked Jean if she'd done a 
backup of her recent data, which she hadn't, and asked her for 
permission to run the cleaning tool, which may or may not kill her 
recent work. She said, "OK" and I pressed the ENTER key. Again, to our 
combined amazement, a few minutes later the program reported that the 
virus had been eliminated and I could do a normal re-boot. I did this 
and the machine came back to life.

So as far as I know, given that all Japanese PCs at that time were 
locally-made and thus software incompatible with foreign ones, Jean had 
caught the first PC virus infection in Japan. I can't remember which 
virus it was, but we thought at the time it had came from a diskette 
mailed from a friend overseas. Viruses were still so rare in Tokyo in 
those days that I saw no more infections in client machines until some 
years later, once people started using e-mail and could send/receive 
attachments. And so that copy of McAfee gathered dust in the top drawer 
of my desk - having paid for itself at Jean's place.

The whole episode took just 20 minutes, and although I had my 
screwdrivers out ready to crack the PC case open, I didn't need to take 
any further action. Jean of course thought I was a genius. I tried to 
explain that we had got lucky, thanks in part to my curiosity about 
viruses at the time. I bid my farewell and charged her an hour for time 
traveled and using the software. It was a busy day and after getting 
back to the office some other pressing problems stole my attention and I 
forgot about the encounter.

But Jean didn't forget. She was so grateful that a few weeks later she 
wrote about me in the Japan Times, a story about this Kiwi/Australian 
computer "wizard" running a small company in Shibuya. At first I was 
just flattered (and embarrassed), but she was about to teach me an 
important lesson about the power of the media. Over the following days I 
received a deluge of phone calls from people wanting their PCs fixed, 
and suddenly our little 3-person office became really busy. We'd been 
discovered. Then, to cap it all off, in early 1989 several months after 
Jean's article and some rapid growth, I received a call from the IT 
Manager at Morgan Stanley Securities (Japan), Carl Sundberg, who began 
his call with something like, "I heard you're a computer guy and we need 
some help..."

This was the springboard to my company LINC Computer becoming a LAN and 
services powerhouse in the early 1990's, and eventually leading to a 
buyout of the business by EDS in 1995.

So, while there have been many people who have helped me in my career in 
Japan over the years, Jean ranks right up there as one of the most 
pivotal. We stayed in frequent contact in the decade after that 
adventure, and whenever she had a problem my staff knew to route the 
call directly to me - they knew that she was one of our most important 

Jean, you're gone now, 96 years was a great innings (cricket talk), but 
if you're out there in the stars somewhere, from the bottom of my heart, 
a huge "thank you" for making that fateful call to me that day and for 
your follow up afterwards.

...The information janitors/


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For more details on the position, go to: http://bit.ly/2u5oQ91



+++ NEWS

- Japan's new ramjet missiles serious threat to China
- Tokyo recruiting 90,000 volunteers for 2020
- US Navy to blame for destroyer crash near Izu
- Hakuho sets record for wins
- Driver shortage so severe, sea freight becomes viable again

=> Japan's new ramjet missiles serious threat to China

Extremely interesting analysis of how Japan's Self Defence forces have 
commissioned a new "super missile" that travels up to Mach 3, much 
faster than the Harpoon and Exocet missiles from the US and France 
respectively, which travel at less than the speed of sound. The new 
missile comes in two variants, the XASM-3 and the XSSM, and is powered 
by a ramjet versus rocket motor or turbojet engine. Yet despite its 
speed it also has the "sudden-surprise" wave-skimming capabilities of 
the Harpoon and Exocet. The article writer reckons that this new missile 
neutralizes the need for Japan to build new ships in competition to 
China's naval build up, saying that with batteries located strategically 
on the nation's perimeter islands the SDF stands a good chance of 
sinking transgressing Chinese vessels in short order. ***Ed: China has 
to be thinking to build something similar as soon as possible." (Source: 
TT commentary from nationalinterest.org, Jul 22, 2017)


=> Tokyo recruiting 90,000 volunteers for 2020

In preparation for the upcoming 2020 Olympics, the Tokyo Metropolitan 
Government (TMG) is working with the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic 
committees to recruit up to 90,000 volunteers to help out foreign 
visitors during the Games. Currently the program has about 2,500 people 
signed up, with the average age being 50 and women accounting for 70% of 
the total. To improve the demographics and significantly increase 
take-up, the TMG is making a JPY200,000 subsidy available to companies 
that allow their staff to participate in the program, doing initial 
training and working for at least ten days during the Olympics. ***Ed: 
They are expecting about 500 companies to sign up. Personally we think 
they will get many more than 500...** (Source: TT commentary from 
japantimes.co.jp, Jul 20, 2017)


=> US Navy to blame for destroyer crash near Izu

In an embarrassing initial statement, a high-level military panel in the 
U.S. investigating the Izu-area collision between the U.S. destroyer the 
USS Fitzgerald and the Philippines-registered (but Japanese-owned) cargo 
ship the ACX Crystal, says that the Fitzgerald staff did nothing even as 
they saw the other ship approach, and furthermore that the Fitzgerald 
may have been traveling at a higher than usual speed. The ship's 
commander, Bryce Benson, was never notified by staff of the danger and 
was badly injured as the collision directly struck his cabin as he was 
sleeping. (Source: TT commentary from cnn.com, Jul 21, 2017)


=> Hakuho sets record for wins

Mongolian-born sumo champion Hakuho may have temporarily lost the 
limelight to a younger Japanese wrestler, but he showed that it's too 
soon to count the Yokozuna out, as he won the Nagoya Grand Sumo 
Tournament on July 21st, with two days to spare. This is his 1,048th 
win, a record for any wrestler. Hakuho is still 32 and the previous 
record holder, former Ozeki Kaio, said that he thought Hakuho was good 
for at least another 100-200 wins. Kaio's record came from a 17-year 
career, versus Hakuho's 16 years. Hakuho is also trying to become a 
stable owner, and in order to do that is taking up Japanese citizenship, 
one of the prerequisites to manage new fighters.** (Source: TT 
commentary from mainichi.jp, Jul 21, 2017)


=> Driver shortage so severe, sea freight becomes viable again

You know that Japan's truck driver shortage is pretty bad when big 
retailers start to come up with shipping strategies as an alternative to 
trucks. Aeon is apparently working with Sapporo (Beer) to move soft 
drinks from the point of manufacturing in Shizuoka to Oita, Kyushu for 
distribution there. The company expects to ship about 110K cases of 
drinks annually by this method, about 30% of their private-brand 
beverages in Kyushu. Cost savings are supposed to be around 15% for Aeon 
and 6% for Sapporo. ***Ed: What we don't get is why transferring from 
truck to ship to truck is cheaper than rail, for example.** (Source: TT 
commentary from asia.nikkei.com, Jul 21, 2017)


NOTE: Broken links
Some online news sources remove their articles after just a few days of 
posting them, thus breaking our links -- we apologize for the inconvenience.


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Discover the charm of Japanese spirits! On Sep 4 at Togo Kinenkan, a 
variety of Japanese craft liquors will be presented, with information, 
at a special event. Tasting opportunities available. Free attendance; 
registration required.



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Speaker: John Kirch - Regional Director North Asia of Darktrace
Title: "Leveraging Artificial Intelligence to detect New, Emerging Cyber 
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Details: Complete event details at http://www.icajapan.jp/
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RSVP: By 5pm on Monday 24th July 2017, Venue: Room F, 9F, Sumitomo 
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No corrections today.



=> Yokoyama Taikan Memorial Hall, Tokyo
A historical artist's residence by Ueno Park

Tokyo's Ueno Park is home to a number of the city's best art museums, 
among them Tokyo National Museum, the National Museum of Western Art, 
and Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum, which rightly draw crowds with 
quality exhibitions. However, on the western side of the park, there are 
a couple of other sights which are more intimate, less well known, but 
definitely worth visiting. Kyu-Iwasaki Tei Garden is the elegant former 
home of a founder of Japanese industry; Yokoyama Taikan Memorial Hall is 
a charming Japanese-style residence, the house and studio of the artist 
for whom it's named.

Step through the gate from the street, and immediately you're in a 
different age; this small garden at the front, with its stone path 
leading through another gate to the house, hasn't changed for scores of 
years, possibly centuries. Then, once you take off your shoes and enter 
the house itself, you get to leave the modern world behind completely. 
The house is preserved exactly as it was when Taikan's widow passed 
away. The tatami mats and worn carpets are soft and cool underfoot, the 
design very traditional, all paper screens, wooden paneling, carved 
ventilation grilles.


=> Tashinami, Ebisu (Tokyo)
Standing bar specializing in Niigata fare

This side street standing bar in Tokyo's Ebisu district serves up 
Niigata sake favorites alongside Japanese sake-friendly tapas plates, 
with the cooking here influenced by a 120 year authentic Niigata 
heritage. Tashinami collaborates with two Niigata food powerhouses in 
Tokyo, Joetsu Yasuda (Ebisu and Shimbashi) and Ginza-based Joetsu Megumi 

Both venues are evolved from a famed Niigata ryotei restaurant, Yasune, 
meaning visitors know they are in for a unique experience at Tashinami, 
which brings this quality food along with Yasune's 120 year heritage to 
a standing bar (tachinomi) setting in Tokyo for the first time. Guests 
can drop by this standing bar to try a few Niigata-inspired dishes with 
an authentic sake pairing to match.

The sake selection is rotates around 90 sake varieties over the course 
of the year to match with the season, including Musashino Shuzo, Niigata 
Daiichi Shuzo, Maruyama Shuzojo, Takeda Shuzo, Kiminoi Brewery, 
Yoshikawa Toji, Ikedaya Brewery, Myoko Brewery and Ayu Masamune Brewery




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Written by: Terrie Lloyd (terrie.lloyd at japaninc.com)

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