Rapid industrialization and commercial
expansion usually are achieved at great expense to the ordinary citizen. His
labor pays for much of the cost of capital accumulation, without a
comparable increase in his earnings. Expenditures on housing, roads,
schools, hospitals, parks and other social amenities to ease his life tend
to be deferred. Massive urbanization compounds the problems of his daily
Japan's post-World War II economic miracle of industrialization and global
trading growth is idealized by much of the less developed world.
Increasingly affluent Japanese, however, are alarmed that this has been
accomplished at the sacrifice of many of the traditional satisfactions and
refinements of their society. Often torn from his rural roots, the Japanese
worker is trapped in an environment of unfamiliar and disturbing change. As
living has become commercialized, he is at the mercy of impersonal and
remote manufacturing and marketing enterprises over which he has negligible
YASUJI HANAMORI conceived the format for a magazine that would serve such
workers and their families "because during and after the War, their lives
were so poor and difficult." He explained his creed: "I believe that if
people can be shown how to do things and to develop human relationships of
kindness and affection, living can be more precious and they will resist
anybody or any activity that threatens to take it away from them."
In 1948, with Miss Shizuko Ohashi as a partner, HANAMORI founded and became
editor-in-chief of the magazine, Kurashi-no-Techno. To avoid the risk of
compromising its integrity he declined from the start to accept advertising.
The first 10,000 copies of this consumer goods testing-and-evaluation
quarterly were carried in knapsacks by the staff to bookstores for sale.
Over the past 23 years, some 200 products have been tested in the laboratory
of the magazine; all such items are purchased on the market to insure they
are representative. Today, with a circulation of 800,000, the magazine has
become a "bible" for Japanese housewives and others searching for quality.
In the process, manufacturers frequently have been impelled to improve their
wares. Emphasis is upon products in common use, whether domestic or foreign.
Indicative of this approach is the refusal of the magazine to carry recipes
unless they can be followed successfully by amateur cooks on the staff
shopping in markets and using kitchen appliances available to an average
HANAMORI's involvement, shared by his associates, goes beyond the material.
As revealed in his numerous essays and other published works, he cares for
the totality of human experience. Bom in Kobe City in 1911, he majored in
aesthetics at the Faculty of Letters in Tokyo University. First drafted into
the army in 1937 and sent to Manchuria, he was again drafted during the
Pacific War. A sensitive and concerned individual, wartime experience helped
shape him into a writer whose continuing identification with the "forgotten
people" of Japan has made him their spokesman and guardian.
In electing YASUJI HANAMORI, editor-in-chief of the magazine, Kurashi-no-Techno,
to receive the 1972 Ramon Magsaysay Award for Journalism, Literature and
Creative Communication Arts, the Board of Trustees recognizes his cogent
advocacy of the interests, rights and well-being af the Japanese consumer,
especially the hard-pressed housewife.