JAPAN: Crown Prince & Commoner

Nothing like it had happened in 2,600 years of Japanese history.

Sitting in the rear seat of a small Toyopet car, the director of the Imperial Household Board rode last week across the moat surrounding the Imperial Palace and was whisked along Tokyo's streets to the Gotanda district. The car drew up before the high-gabled, ten-room house of Hidesaburo Shoda, president of the Nis-shin Flour Milling Co., the largest in Japan.

Takeshi Usami, the imperial emissary, stepped from the car and, at once, the Shoda door was opened by a low-bowing male secretary who ushered him into the drawing room. Hidesaburo...

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