OCHAZUKE: Tempus Fugit


(First published in
The Rafu Shimpo on Oct. 1, 2011.)


It was a very quiet Monday at home and I was reading an issue of The Rafu Shimpo. I was unemployed at that time, so I turned to the Classified Ad Section. Lo and  behold, there was an ad which stated there was a typist position open at The Rafu Shimpo. I immediately put the paper down and called the number indicated in the ad. I  was asked to come in for an interview on Friday.

I was interviewed by the English editor, John Saito Jr., and office manager, Susan Yokoyama. I had a good feeling about the interview. Since I did not hear anything for about 10 days, I called the Rafu office. I spoke to Mr. Saito, who informed me that I was chosen for the position, mainly because I spoke conversational Japanese, and to report for work on Monday, Sept. 2, 1999. It has been 12 wonderful years.

I am grateful to Mr. Michael Komai, the publisher of The Rafu Shimpo; the former editors, John Saito Jr. and Ellen Endo, who were my bosses, and were most encouraging and supportive of me. I know my co-workers, Michael Hirano-Culross, Ayame Kousaka, Mario Reyes, J.K. Yamamoto and Cari Yasuno, will agree with me that Gwen Muranaka, who is now the English editor and our boss, is such an intelligent, humble, and understanding person. I am thankful that I have the privilege of working with such a wonderful boss and coworkers who are always there for me.

I appreciate Yoko Otsuki, the executive assistant; Gail Miyasaki, the Rafu craft editor; Michelle Field, Akemi Hata and Seiko Matsuba, the three receptionists in the front office; Mr. Takashi Ishihara, the Japanese Section editor, and his staff. They have been most kind and assisted me whenever I requested it.

My first assignment was the retyping of the “Horse’s Mouth” column by George Yoshinaga, which continues to be my main assignment. Mr. Y. is such a good sport and we have a wonderful relationship. Whenever I “subtly” change a sentence or word here and there in his column, he always accepts the changes. He answers my questions, at all times, whether it is business or personal, and I appreciate this so very much. Mr. Y. has such a delightful sense of humor and is such a “tease” that I feel free to make the comments I do.

Yes, tempus fugit. I know because of my age and otherwise, I will not be employed at The Rafu for another 12 years. However, I thank God He has given me this job. Amen.


Maggie Ishino is a Rafu typist. She can be reached at [email protected] Ochazuke is a staff-written column. Opinions expressed in this column are not necessarily those of The Rafu Shimpo.



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