JAPAN: Hormones & Eels

More select than Japan's peerage is her caneage—those who are privileged to carry a cane in the presence of Divine Emperor Hirohito. Last week Tokyo had titillating intimations from the Imperial Household Ministry that Octogenarians Finance Minister Korekiyo Takahashi and Baron Tatsuo Yamamoto will this month be raised to the caneage.

Despite the august quality thus conferred upon these elders, Osaka's chatty Mainichi could not resist chattering that neither Mr. Takahashi, an old fox, now Finance Minister for the seventh time, nor Baron Yamamoto, an astute banker and Mitsubishi executive, has any real...