JAPAN: Tempest in a Tub

Humanitarian is not the word that leaps to mind at the sight of slick, pomaded Ujitoshi Konomi. One of the sharpest characters in Tokyo's gaudy Ginza district, Konomi has been in his time a gangster and political terrorist in Shanghai, a smuggler, black-marketeer and saloonkeeper in Japan. Konomi is also a man with important political connections. To forestall trouble, he is constantly accompanied by a bodyguard, a onetime lieutenant colonel in the Imperial Army. Still and all, it was as a humanitarian that Konomi filed a request with the Welfare Ministry back in 1949 to build a bathhouse for...

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