Friday, April 19, 2013

Sam Jameson (1936 - 2013)

From the Foreign Correspondent's Club of Japan, sad news for the community of Japan observers:
..Sam Jameson, former correspondent and bureau chief for the Los Angeles Times in Tokyo, former president of the FCCJ and life member of the Club, died on April 19 at 2 a.m. at Kitasato Hospital in Tokyo of a hemorrhagic stroke. He was 76 and had been hospitalized since March 24.。.

Samuel W. Jameson first joined the Club in 1963 when he arrived here as the first Tokyo Bureau Chief of the Chicago Tribune and then moved to the Los Angeles Times as Tokyo bureau chief in 1971...

One of his proudest achievements was helping to arrange the first-ever formal press conference of the Showa Emperor with the foreign press, in 1971. Since leaving the L.A. Times in the early 1990s he worked as a freelancer...
Sam -- he never stood on ceremony, at least not when speaking in English -- was a raconteur and an antiquarian, carrying inside his head a vast library of knowledge about Japan's politics, from the time of Kishi and Ikeda to the present.

The light in that library has now gone out.

For as long as I knew him, Sam was reputed to be at work on an encyclopedic study of Japan's that will now perhaps never find a publisher.

I wonder about who, if anyone, is in charge of his affairs and effects.

さよなら, サム...

Later -The full message from the FCCJ, now up on the website. (Link)

A long obituary in The Los Angeles Times (Link) and a mention in The Japan Times (Link). One cannot blame the JT staff overmuch: Sam had been retired for a long time.

Over at the soon-to-be-shuttered NBR Japan Forum, a number of members have posted their feelings and reminiscences (here, here, here and here).


Diane Baerwald Phillips said...

Sam, an encyclopedia of Japanese politics to be sure, but most of all a warm, fun-loving, generous, stimulating, dear, heart-warming friend. Oh, Sam, how we will miss you!

Llewelyn said...

Oh that's such sad sad news.

Robert Dujarric said...

Sam will indeed be missed by all who knew him and in particular by us at Temple University Japan for his active participation and kind support for our programs.