2018 Volume 68 Issue 2 Pages 54-73
‘A History of “Women Broadcasters”’—a subseries of “Oral History of Broadcasting”—focuses on female professionals with skills unique to the world of broadcasting as well as women broadcasters who have been out of the spotlight in this industry to review the history of broadcasting from new perspectives based on their evidences. Part IV turns the spotlight on Yasuko Harada who was involved in the television industry for nearly 40 years as timekeeper (TK), whose duty is to manage time in a most cool and calm manner among the staff. Ms. Harada started working for Fuji TV as TK for a live broadcast program in 1970. Later she turned freelance and engaged in the production of more than 60 dramas as “drama TK” or “recorder.” Starting with TBS’s popular drama Jikan Desuyo [It’s time], in which she developed her skills under the guidance of stage director Teruhiko Kuze, Ms. Harada contributed to the production of a number of dramas as a freelancer, working with many different types of directors; she walked together with commercial stations in the age of popular dramas until 2007.Ms. Harada’s basic work philosophy was to “put on the air as planned” and “fit within a time frame.” However, in case of dramas, what she managed was not only time. Her story tells us that recording in detail various kinds of information regarding the drama and sharing them with director and other staff and casts are also important tasks of a recorder. She also learnt that, along with fighting with time, her responsibility also included acting as a go-between for the production members, a young director and a big-name actor or a new face actor and a legendary director, for example, to establish chemistry at the production site. Ms. Harada coolly regards the television as “just a transient thing that consumes people’s energy and reflects the times.” However, at the same time, she confesses that she loves TV production sites, where everyone stands on an equal footing. Her evidence also tells us her contribution to fostering young promising directors by passing on her experience to the next generation and giving a hand to them.