Monday, June 19, 2017

Another 50 year anniversary: You Only Live Twice

Every time I see a Space X rocket landing vertically, I'm reminded of You Only Live Twice - the first Bond film I saw as a child , at a drive in, and it remains a Bond favourite to this day.

The Japan Times points out that it's the 50th anniversary of the movie, and has a lengthy account of Fleming's interest in Japan, which centred around the exploits of an Australian reporter, Richard Hughes, who was (apparently) transmogrified in the novel into one "Dikko" Henderson.  The story goes like this:
After less than a year in Tokyo, Hughes, sensing the imminence of war with Japan and keen to alert Australia and America to the danger, packed his own notebooks full of sensitive information and headed back to Australia at the beginning of 1941.

When the war ended, Hughes returned to live in Japan, now under American Occupation, and became manager of No. 1 Shimbun Alley, a rowdy foreign correspondents’ club situated next to the residential wing of the Soviet Embassy. The club was the meeting ground of reporters, former soldiers and spies, many of whom conducted illicit liaisons in its bedrooms.

The Cold War deepened in 1948 over the Berlin Airlift. Hughes was dismissed as manager of the club and swore never to return to it. At the same time, he started working as a foreign correspondent for London’s Sunday Times, under its foreign manager Ian Fleming, who had played a distinguished role in British naval intelligence during World War II and presided over many crucial covert operations.
Hughes now created his own intelligence network by founding the Baritsu Chapter, supposedly the Asian section of the Baker Street Irregulars, a Sherlock Holmes appreciation society first founded in the U.S. in 1934. “Baritsu” is the name given to a fictional form of martial art that Holmes is described as using to defeat his arch-nemesis, Moriarty, while wrestling with him at the Reichenbach Falls.
Hughes went on to become a double agent, fooling the KGB, and (much later) took Fleming on a boozey research tour of  Japan for the novel.

Worth reading in full...  

1 comment:

not trampis said...

a BONDing session?