Japanese Morse code

With this burning heat wrapping in this area, it was impossible for me to go out for gardening. I was kept in the shack airconditioned. The conditions on the higher bands were pretty lousy for overseas. When calling CQ on 40m, I was called by an old friend of mine, Tsukida JA9FNC. He is a retired school teacher. On the photo in the internet, I knew, he has had his hair totally grayed for now.

I used to talk to him often when I operated from mobile in japanese Morse code. About 25 years ago, I went to see him with a friend of mine and our elder son. Having stayed at a small hotel in Shinshyu, we headed to his home. Without a GPS those days, he has lead us to there with 40m CW. Through Norikura heights, we drove on the highway to his area. Driving a manual shift car, I went on ragchewing on CW. What an adventure! In an hour or two, we safely arrived there.

He told me he and his group would hold a meeting for Japanese Morse code lovers at his city in fall of the next year. He kindly invited me there. Even though it has been some years since I quit operating in that code, I felt I would like to visit there to see him and a few old friends in fall next year.

There are less hams operating in Japanese Morse code nowadays. Most of them are getting older as well. That code was alive until 1990s in the commercial communication, espcecially for the fisher ships abroad. The radio operators aboard on such ships were the preservers of this mode.

When they quit their job replaced by satellite communications, some of them came into ham radio and activated communications by this code. I used to talk to such people from time to time. Some of them sent very unique code using bug keys, which were not very friendly to the beginners of ham. There were cranky hams who boast their skill in that code as well. It was one reason why the beginners hated to practise this code.

I believe, however, only this code enables us, Japanese, to express things in precise and delicate way, even though it could never be a lingua franca in CW world at all. The culture should be delivered to some young generation. Even though I haven't been very active on this mode, it might be the time for me to join in this precious culture of communication again.

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