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Number 1 Shimbun

In Memorium: Shigeo "Shig" Fujita

No1-2018-01 Fujita

 

In Memorium: Shigeo "Shig" Fujita

By Roger Schreffler

 

Longtime FCCJ member Shigeo "Shig" Fujita passed away on Dec. 29, 2015. Shig was 93.

The news was lost in the year-end shuffle two years ago, and the club failed to issue a timely notice of his passing.

It came as a shock to many of us who had known Shig, including my wife, who had inherited his job as "Tensei Jingo" translator at the old Asahi Evening News.

Fortunately, FCCJ Life Member Charles Pomeroy had written an excellent profile of Shig, which ran in the July 2015 issue of No. 1 Shimbun (see http://www.fccj.or.jp/number-1-shimbun/item/633-profile-shig-fujita/633-profile-shig-fujita.html).

Born in Kagoshima but raised in Seattle, Shig was repatriated to Japan in 1939 shortly after graduating from high school and failing to be granted U.S. citizenship due to exclusionary imigration laws which discriminated against Japanese and other Asians.

In 1952, he joined Asahi Evening News, where he worked for 52 years. In addition to translating Tensei Jingo, he wrote an entertainment column, "Hi Notes - Brite Lights," for 37 of those years.

We would often see him in the club hosting a visiting celebrity. Then on the weekends, he would go dancing with his wife Toshiko.

He was also correspondent for Billboard magazine from 1980 to 1990.

Shig would have turned 96 this January. He joined the FCCJ on Jan. 3, 1965. At the time of his passing, he was survived by a son and daughter and his wife.

A big loss. And thank you, Charles, for interviewing him.

 

Published in: January 2018

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