The Last of the Last How Masabumi Hosono's Night was forgotten

Thanks for the great article, Margaret. Unfortunately, I don't think you'll find many white guys or women sympathetic to your perspective on Hosono, among this conservative, fundamentalist board membership. The Titanic disaster has traditionally been a white, Christian cataclysm . . . and is usually approached that way. The "Japanese" who was picked up in the water, was derided on by Officer Lowe, and joked about. Racism and religious intolerance was a problem then, and remains one, today. This is something that I'm focusing on with my forthcoming article on Edgar Meyer. Also, who are the heroes in this disaster? Traditionally, it's guys like Captain Smith, who have been the source material for fabrications such as his rescue of a baby, going down with the ship, etc. In his own way, guys like Hosono could be heroes. Edgar Meyer was a hero. This is something I'm trying to focus on with my forthcoming article.

Thanks again for your research, Margaret.

It is not insignificant that most of Jan Nielsen's posts are characterized by an undercurrent of anger. This conservative, fundamentalist board member is reminded of that little passage of Scripture that says "Anger resteth in the bosom of fools."
Nice article, Margaret.

I will state though, that there is evidence that #10 lifeboat *was* the last of the port aft boats to leave. Both seaman Buley & Evans claimed to have lowered #12 before they left themselves in #10. There is other evidence that #12 was after #14 and #16, though I don't have those details handy.

Of course, #10 was not the absolute last lifeboat to leave. All the collapsibles either were launched or floated off later in the sinking.

Please be assured that your work is welcomed and appreciated and that any insinuation to the contrary is a lot of hot air. Personally I am fascinated by your subject and applaud you for having the inspiration to shed light on a story little known. Your article on Hosono is first-rate. You have done him proud.

As to Jan's criticisms, it's a grossly unfair assessment that the ET board membership is conservative and fundamentalist but it's the intimation of racism that has me outraged. That's totally insupportable. I know a good many of the members here and I can say that, as a whole, they are a very diverse, accepting, fair-minded bunch.

There are several religious, cultural, sexual and political persuasions represented here. And there are some members who are not religious, political (or sexual!) at all.

The truth is there are a number of Republicans among the American membership but, knowing several of these, including that very proud conservative fundamentalist from South Carolina, I can say that they are far from being closed-minded or intolerant.

We here on ET are not all white, either; several in fact are inter-racial, have spouses who are, or (as in my case) have family members who are inter-racial. So the characterization of this forum as ethnically, politically or religiously biased is totally untrue.

May I say that it's also ridiculous to make the claim that all Titanic "heroes" have been Christian. The Strauses were among the most beloved and exalted of the lost and this was felt universally, not only by fellow Jews.

Jan further contends that most of the heroes are "guys like Captain Smith." Actually, although Smith was lionized by many, he was also bitterly criticized. So that's not quite a good example. The most famous "hero" wasn't even a "guy" at all - it was Molly Brown.

So, Margaret, please know your contribution has a good home among a group of folks who are more than glad to have you with us. I look forward to reading more of your work and hope you won't hesitate to share it here.

>>I don't think you'll find many white guys or women sympathetic to your perspective on Hosono, among this conservative, fundamentalist board membership.<<

Jan, could you possibly focus on the article and it's merits rather then essentially trying to make some sort of socio-political statement about the membership or second guessing what their attitudes and reactions will be? I haven't had a chance to read the article yet, but I intend to.

>>The "Japanese" who was picked up in the water, was derided on by Officer Lowe, and joked about.<<

Joked about? Where? I seem to recall that Lowe testified to the fact that he recanted what he did say about a "Jap" and would rescue the likes of him several times over if he had the chance, and he did it that night out on the North Atlantic.

Please, let's tell the whole of the story.
Actually, the story of Lowe and the Asian is pure horsefeathers. It was concocted by Charlotte Collyer and/or a reporter. Collyer was never in a position to witness what Lowe did or said while trying to rescue people. Along with all the other passengers, she was removed from Lowe's boat before he went to the rescue. Her story of how she and other women tried to revive the man is pure imagination.

Lowe had the usual distaste for 'dagoes' that was common in Britain at the time. Like others that night, Lowe had labelled "Italians" as cowardly trouble-makers. He recanted his remarks about them before the Italian Ambassador and gave the document to the Senate inquiry. Lowe wasn't perfect, but he was not guilty of the statements about the Japanese attributed to him by Collyer and her ghost writer.

Just a few comments from the liberal atheist member.
So in this case, were there any racist treatment of Titanic's passengers during the sinking which resulted in them unable to save themselves? If no one saw or heard it, the officer would most probably keep his mouth shut, unlike Lowe.
Jeremy, I'm not sure it would have occured to them to give it a lot of thought. Quite a few of the attitudes extant at the time would certainly be offensive by our standards, but back then, these attitudes were accepted as "The way things are." They knew nothing of future sensibilities, had no way of knowing and would have cared less.

I went through that article last night. Racism was a factor in the game, but I found it interesting that some of the censure that Mr. Hosono suffered was at the hands of his own people. Racism was not an issue there!
Oddly enough, statistics show that the percentage of foreign third class passengers surviving was greater than that of the third class English passengers. (The figures are on this site somewhere). Not much evidence of discrimination there.

As Michael said, a degree of racism was normal in those days, often under the influence of religion. A famous hymn included this little gem. (I won't swear to this being perfectly accurate)

What though the balmy breezes
Blow soft o'er Ceylon's isle,
Where every prospect pleases
And only man is vile.

Another famous example of assumed white superiority is Kipling's The White Man's Burden, which is about the duty of whites to civilise other races. It doesn't happen today!
You've pefectly summed up my thoughts in the matter about both the article and the people on this board. Thanks for your insightful comments, as usual.

Yes, we are a diverse bunch here, and nearly all of us get along together, nevertheless. We all bring something a little different to the group, which I suspect is one of the reasons why this board is such a great success.
I haven't read the article yet either, but intend to. I have the utmost respect for Mr. Hosono and the culture he felt he betrayed by surviving (according to one obit I saved - but consider the source - People Magazine).
But having met several of the members of this board and corresponding by private mail and phone conversations, I unequivocably second what Randy said! Shame on those who are judgmental of others with whom they have only a cursory acquaintance. Let he/she who is without sin cast the first stone, that's what I always say, quoting someone else's words. I'd say the regular members of this board have welcomed everyone - even those some would readily dismiss - with much courtesy, tolerance and hospitality. A wise man once told me that accusations of others are based on one's own weaknesses. I've rarely found that to be off-base. It sure keeps me on my toes to strive to live up to a life of integrity.

All the best,
Lol! "Cutie" strikes again, and once more demonstrates his ignorance of the diversity of the socio/cultural/political spectrum that makes up this board. Because folks don't march in step to his particular brand of bitter revisionism and polemical rhetoric, they are therefore all labelled as 'conservative' and 'fundamentalist.' Your own hidebound, pre-determined position on history, driven by narrow ideology, has determined your approach and tainted your interpretative abilities, and the result (as in your misrepresentation of the incident involving the rescue of a Japanese passenger) is a distortion of history based on heavy bias and a highly selective representation of facts.

I'm only sorry Jan's comments kicked off a thread where the emphasis should not be on his particular little hobby horse, but rather on the research piece by Margaret. Rather than an aberration, Margaret's work continues a tradition of looking analytically at the figures of the disaster in the context of their era and society - whatever that society might be. It's a valuable insight into how another culture viewed the sinking and its victims.
Oh dear, I don't know anything of Jan's posting history, so know nothing about undercurrents of anger etc. But I do know a bit about racism, and I think it is often misunderstood. For a start, this is an English-speaking Board, so it is only to be expected that it would be dominated by English speakers. We could probably hear much fascinating information if it were available in, say, Syrian. But that isn't very realistic, so we have to depend on people like Margaret to show an interest and do the translating. The other point I would like to make is that it is quite useless, as others have said, to judge 1912 by 2003 standards and get over-heated about it. Racism is never straightforward. It is often more a case of tribalism than racism - where people stick together, through fear or power-seeking, with those they feel most at home with. I know of colleges in the UK where whites are the minority and the blacks and Asians commit racist crimes against each other, much to the bewilderment of the Race Relations Board. It just isn't that easy to denigrate white fundmentalist Christians, or any other group. Everyone is potentially racist, given sufficiently grave circumstances - as existed on the Titanic, for example. The global-village perspective is the prerogative of the well-off, no matter what their ethnicity or religion. The deprived, unfortunately, will always have to stick together. On 15/04/12 everyone was potentially deprived (of life), so I expect they stuck together with those they felt most at ease with, and some groups lost out as a result.
Have you landed, Inger, or are you still travelling?
So now we know who "Cutie" is! LOL. I had thought it must be Nathan Casteel or some other naughty little child in need of a spanking but guess it was an older "Cutie." Tsk Tsk.
I've landed finally, Monica
But most of my clothes, books and papers are still enjoying their Pacific cruise down under.

You raise some excellent points about the nature of racism. Simplistic polemicism rarely covers the complexities of the issue, a view I've had reinforced by living in Asia, studying issues of race at University from an academic standpoint, working on them in politics from a policy standpoint, and again living in a very ethnically diverse area of London. Masabumi Hosono's story provides a good case study of how multi-layered issues of race and culture are - to hold him up simply as a victim of Anglo-Saxon bigotry would be to ignore the true dimensions of his tragedy and what happened to him upon his return to Japan.

As for suggestions that this forum is not interested in non-Anglo-Saxon perceptions and experiences, your point about the English speaking preponderance on this board is very apt indeed. It's one reason why the work of someone like Margaret is so much appreciated. There's fruitful work being done in non-English speaking nations - Belgium, France, etc., and those of us who don't have access to these sources are keen to see the results. Personally I'd like to see primary material from all those languages and cultures that I cannot access because of geographic and language barriers - the Middle-East, Eastern Europe and Asia in particular.

Phil G - Lol! ISPs are magical things...even when someone uses one they don't access often.