The Older I Get, the Older I Am

or… It’s Not Just Your Parents’ Rafu Shimpo Anymore

by Gail Sharp 

“Huh?” you ask.

I’m confused, too…but not in a senior moment way…yet.

Some time in the last couple of years, I became a Rafu Shimpo reader.  I KNEW that I would never become my jiichan with his magnifying glass, pouring over columns of kanji.  I can barely read, never mind understand, hiragana and katakana.  And, I SWORE that I would never scan the obituary column like my mother… just as she probably swore 30 years earlier against the same proclivity in her parents!

But, a month ago, upon arriving at Mom’s house and heading straight to her kitchen table for the latest edition of the Rafu, I discovered that I have become my mother and my jiichan.  A front page article titled, The State of The Rafu Shimpo, told me that the state isn’t so good.  That made me very sad.  Who knew?

The Rafu needs to increase its circulation by 10,000 online subscriptions before the end of the year or the last, almost-daily Japanese American/Japanese language publication may cease.  This past year, the Rafu ran an advertisement in the VJCC Newsletter to solicit print and online subscriptions but I was happily reading Mom’s newspaper, secondhand.  People like me are one of the Rafu’s biggest problems.

Well, nobody needs to hit me over the head with a frying pan twice to get my attention.  I went straight to and purchased a one-year online subscription.  Just like the VJCC e-news, Rafu’s online newspaper is in color and the print size can be increased so I will never need Jiichan’s magnifying glass.

There is hope!  A friend who already subscribes to the print newspaper decided to also subscribe to the online version.  At the April VJCC Executive Council meeting, the Young Adults Club announced that it is giving its support to help encourage subscriptions.  YES!  A group of young yonsei and gosei see the value of The Rafu Shimpo to our community.  Maybe I’m not getting older in my ways… I’m getting younger!

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