Well I officially have received my money from Japan! The money I had, went from a number with five zeros behind it to a number with just three, but that's what happens when yens turn to dollars! I'm really relieved. This thing has been hanging over me for some time now. What finally happened was I went to Mount Union College (the institute of higher learning in my home town - and djstomp's alma matter) and talked to the Japanese language professor. She called my bank in Japan (I had tried earlier but my Japanese and their English were not good matches) and she got them to send me the wire transfer form. In typical Japanese service fashion someone had taken the time to translate the form marking where/what information I needed to supply. There was also a letter written in not perfect, but very understandable English. It is so typical of my experience there. Everyone really tries to be as helpful as possible.
So that's that. I've got some money in my pocket again!