THE NATIONS: Year of the Mouse

So this was '48. In its first week, some of the world's people managed to face the new year gaily, many with dull resignation, most in doubt. But they all had one fervent, minimum hope: that this would be a better year than the one just gone.

"We Can Only Pray." Japan perhaps struck the keynote for the world. Throughout the islands, huge gongs sounded 108 times—each stroke to counter one human evil in the new year (which was a conservative estimate). The year thus heralded was called the year of Ne (the Mouse)—traditionally a year of activity, humility, but also...

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