My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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NARA, Japan—In every city I have been in so far you look out of your window between 7 and 8 in the morning to see streams of schoolboys going by all dressed in their uniforms and gold buttons and caps that designate the school they belong to, either by their shape or insignia. The girls always dress in the black skirts with the white middy blouses so you can spot the students quite easily, and the student group is a sizable one in the community.

Saturday morning I had a visit from a woman pathologist in the Army hospital near Osaka. It is rather a new thing to have women in the Army medical corps and I was glad to have this chance to talk with Colonel Raven.

At ten o'clock I met with a considerable number of college presidents. It was a little awe inspiring and I think they were a little awed by each other for talk did not flow very freely. Perhaps my questions were rather difficult to answer but I wanted to know their opinion on whether the majority of students in the colleges were convinced Marxists and whether there were a considerable number of professors who went along in this ideology. I was told that in general both students and professors like to study these theories but they doubted that there were more than a few really convinced communists but these few made a good deal of noise and were quite prominent because they all knew what they really believed in, whereas the others were groping their way. This is no new situation but I am inclined to think there is more real acceptance of Marxism as a theory among the students in Japan than the college presidents were willing to acknowledge. They all agreed that democracy was not making headway and not being well taught.

We attended a lunch at the New Osaka Hotel, given by the Kansai branch of the U.N. and other associations. The governor of the Province attended the luncheon and also the mayor of Osaka.

Immediately afterwards we started on our drive to Nara which is one of the other ancient Japanese capitals.

When you drive into any of those cities it is hard to believe they are really big cities until you are right in the heart of them. The hotels are usually beautifully situated on a pleasant hillside or at least among trees. Nara Hotel has a beautiful view overlooking a delightful pond.


Names and Terms Mentioned or Referenced

  • Nara, Kinki, Japan [ index ]

About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, June 13, 1953

Roosevelt, Eleanor, 1884-1962
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Digital edition created by The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers Project The George Washington University 312 Academic Building 2100 Foxhall Road, NW Washington, DC 20007

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Transcription created from a photocopy of a UFS wire copy of a My Day column instance archived at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library.