The NHK Monthly Report on Broadcast Research
Online ISSN : 2433-5622
Print ISSN : 0288-0008
ISSN-L : 0288-0008
Series: War and Radio [Part V] Recreation and Guidance
Struggle of a Broadcaster—Kumao Okuya (vol.2)
Junro Omori
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2019 Volume 69 Issue 12 Pages 44-63


The first half of the paper explored Okuya’s starting point. He aspired to raise the level of popular culture by making full use of radio’s “guidance” ability. However, its “guidance” gradually became overlapped with the “guidance” that led the Japanese citizens to war as the axis of Japanese society found itself leaning towards the right like a landslide since the Manchurian incident. Both Kokumin Kayo [songs for the public], and Shi-no Rodoku [poetry recitation] were turned into the means of military and government propaganda. It was about six months before the break of the Pacific War when Okuya changed. Fed up with the tyranny of military personnel, Okuya “realized that we must not engage in any types of enlightenment activities at a time when such an irrational authority was repressing the people.” At the same time, for Okuya giving up “guidance” equaled to giving up radio. Thus, Kumao Okuya left the Japan Broadcasting Corporation in 1943. The second half of the paper reviews how “guidance” sought by Okuya changed its way. What is the “guidance” ability of broadcasting? The question Okuya had to confront is yet to answer even today.

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© 2019 NHK Broadcasting Culture Research Institute
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