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Ship-Happy Captain So Excited
A party to celebrate the issue of the second book on ships by artist Ryohei Yanagihara, well known for his enthusiasm for ships, was held on the evening of November 26, 1969 at Palace Hotel in Tokyo.

Three years ago, MOL presented Yanagihara-san with a uniform of chief officer. Taking this more recent opportunity, our senior managing director Aoyama presented in the name of the president the title and cap of honorary captain in recognition of his distinguished contributions for many years to the dissemination of interest in maritime affairs.

The Captain tells tales of the sea and ships depicted in his illustrations. (June 2002)
The unexpected emergence of Honorary Captain Yanagihara, with his uniform and cap on, was greeted with a big applause by 100 plus people who were at the party. It was followed by humorous and witty speeches of congratulations by Director General Kawage of the Maritime Safety Agency, president Ariyoshi of NYK Line and novelist Hiroyuki Agawa, no less enthusiastic about ships and trains.

Especially Mr. Ariyoshi's speech called forth a big laugher and applause when he said, "This time, we are behind MOL, but next time let us have you as honorary president of NYK Line..."

It was in spring last year the "First Book on Ships" was published. The publisher's expectation that 5,000 copies would be a big enough success was pleasantly betrayed, and the result was the circulation of 20,000 copies in six prints. Already 10,000 copies of the "Second Book on Ships" have been issued. The reader can request by enclosed postcard a cartoon of his or her favorite ship. The most popular one is the Nippon Maru, followed by the Argentina Maru. Yanagihara-san works hard and draws about 30 pictures a day, but the Nippon Maru, which takes him the longest time to draw, is inevitably left behind others. He has asked the editor to convey his apology to the requesters of the Nippon Maru.

To the party, 10-year-old boy Homma-kun living in Meguro-ku was invited as representative of young fans. The readership is quite extensive in age, from an old gentleman of 77 to a boy of one year and eight months (whose mother wrote the postcard for him). Impressed by the readers' interested responses, Yanagihara-san says he will make himself even more ship-happy and continue serve as a mouthpiece for the sea and ships.

(From Unabara, MOL's in-house magazine, December 1969 issue.)
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