More National Character and What Is News

It was striking to me that this article, which seems to be about the advancement of Kei Nishikori to the US Open (tennis) semnifinals, is most concerned with the suicide of a player 80 years ago. In a most positive light, I can imagine that a(nother) story about Japanese suicide is perhaps more interesting than the story of what I imagine to be Nishikori’s hard work and daily practices. But, still, the New York Times has given us another example of national character. Certainly suicide is always sad but this one (in 1933) is described in ways that fail to acknowledge the war that Japan was involved in at the time, let alone explain how that suicide is Nichikori’s success are linked.

Another way to say it: how much would it suck if you’d just advanced to the US Open semifinals and the article about you was actually about some guy committing suicide decades before you were born?

Hope for Japan, Decades After a Disturbing Loss

On Saturday afternoon at the United States Open, Kei Nishikori will become the first Japanese man to compete in a Grand Slam singles semifinal in 81 years.
The man who preceded him, Jiro Satoh, reached five major semifinals, the last one at Wimbledon in 1933, when he was 25. The next year, Satoh threw himself off the side of a ship in the darkness of night and drowned in the Strait of Malacca.
Satoh was traveling with his Davis Cup teammates to England for a competition against the Australian team, followed by Wimbledon. Feeling unwell, he asked to be allowed to stop his journey after visiting a doctor when the vessel stopped in Singapore. The doctor, however, cleared him to continue.
Hours after the ship left port, his teammate Jiro Yamagishi returned to their cabin and saw that Satoh was missing.

Full story is here.