NHK’s Tokyo Educational Television was launched in January 1959 as the first Japanese TV broadcasting service dedicated to educational content. It has developed into NHK Educational TV (ETV) and will celebrate its 60th anniversary in 2019. The service’s initial focus was telecourses such as school broadcast programs and language programs, but as the 1980s saw a growing aspiration for lifelong learning in Japanese society at large, programs for children as well as programs for adults and elderly people increased during this period. Then “block programming” was introduced in the 1990s.In the 2000s, while more diversified programs were produced, ETV, especially school broadcast programs and hobby and lifestyle programs, actively expanded its sphere onto the internet. In 2009, many special programs and events were organized for the 50th anniversary of the educational television under the theme of “ETV50 Adventures in Learning.” In 2011, ETV adopted “E-tele” as its nickname and reformed the programming to become a “future-oriented channel.” In 2017, various campaigns and events were unfolded with a catch phrase of “Discover with E-tele.”This paper traces the 60-year history of the educational television based on each fiscal year’s “Basic Programming Plan for Domestic Broadcasting” and with reference to studies and discussions conducted by the NHK Broadcasting Culture Research Institute as well as special programs produced for ETV’s anniversaries in the past.
Part IV of this series focuses on cultural programs—one of the three pillars of wartime radio broadcasts along with news and recreation for soldiers—especially “lecture broadcasting” and “school broadcasting.”According to Fuji Tada who led the wartime “lecture broadcasts” at NHK, the mission of the lecture broadcasting was to “build up spiritual solidarity of the 100 million people to pursue long, all-out war.” Mitoji Nishimoto who laid the foundation for school broadcasting underlined that the important thing was “to make the public have a sense of unity as they feel that people become bonded together by listening to a same program, which at the same time attach them to the government.”It is not surprising to read those statements now because what the wartime lecture broadcasts and school broadcasts was calling on the home-front men and women as well as children was part of the common sense of that time. Rather, what is unexpected is that both Tada and Nishimoto had been known as intellectuals advocating an antiwar or non-combat stance. Tada had criticized Japan as a colonial empire. Nishimoto who had studied progressive education in the United States had criticized militarism and called for the construction of international peace.When and how did they change? What message did they want to convey to the public? This paper attempts to decipher the struggles of organization men at the mercy of the time based on historical sources while portraying the reality of wartime cultural programs by analyzing broadcast scripts.
Television and Tokyo—the capital of Japan—have been closely related since the end of World War II. In particular, when the 1964 Tokyo Olympic Games (the Games of the XVIII Olympiad) was held, Tokyo became a city with diverse meanings that were given by the television.This paper attempts to elucidate the relations between Tokyo and television during Japan’s high economic growth period from three perspectives: first, public views of Tokyo that were created by “television during the Olympic Games,” second, relocation of television businesses prompted by the Olympics, and third, Tokyo depicted as a near-futuristic city in TV programs.The author examines the relations between television and Tokyo in the high growth period in the early 1960s in the context of these three aspects: (1) Tokyo created by television, (2) television in Tokyo, and (3) Tokyo in television.
With a series of major natural disasters occurring around the world, enhancing disaster preparedness has become an international agenda. Japan is notably a disaster-prone country and has technologies and knowledge accumulated through a number of disaster experiences in the past. An international cooperation is underway to make use of such Japan’s know-how in “BOSAI” (disaster preparedness) in overseas countries, too. In September 2018, the Japan Foundation held workshops on disaster education in a public elementary school in Brooklyn and Parsons School of Design in New York. Hirokazu Nagata, Japanese expert on disaster-preparedness education, was invited to hold workshops to give his lessons incorporating hands-on learning. As a teaching material, Mr. Nagata effectively used NHK’s content Tsukutte Mamoro (How to Craft Safety). The BOSAI-themed content introduces video clips of how to make useful items at times of disaster from daily goods, such as turning garbage bags to ponchos. Although there are different disaster-preparedness needs depending on countries and regions, Tsukutte Mamoro has a good reputation for visualizing the BOSAI know-how with videos in an easy-to-understand manner. Unlike visible cooperation activities such as emergency assistance right after a disaster or restoration and reconstruction assistance, it is not easy to share the idea of BOSAI—being well-prepared before a disaster occurs—with overseas people. This is because attitudes towards disasters and cultural or social backgrounds are different. This paper reports the effort to spread the idea of Japan’s BOSAI in New York that utilized NHK’s BOSAI content.
This paper reports the IBC2018—the Europe’s largest exhibition of broadcasting equipment—held in the Netherland in September 2018, presenting its current status, which may suggest the future of broadcasting in Japan. At the IBC, broadcasters and manufactures from all over the world showcased cutting-edge devices and technologies. NHK also exhibited the developmental process of the total system of 8K broadcasts from program production to reception by the end users. The 50-year history of the IBC can be said to be the history of development of broadcasting technology, and recent years see exhibitions halls not only for TV broadcasters but also for companies developing services that enable users enjoy content no matter where they are, which indicates the changes in the meaning of “exhibition of broadcasting equipment” and the presence of broadcasters. In Europe, watching TV programs using an IP network by connecting television to the internet is already spreading, and more and more broadcasters analyze audience data obtained from IP TV viewing to utilize them in programming. In the meantime, as to live streaming services, which has been seeking new opportunities, an issue of IP network delays was highlighted, and the solutions for it were discussed at the IBC. Traditional broadcasters continue to search how to respond to the changing surroundings of the broadcasting industry such as the competition over OTT services distributing content online and the expansion of the media industry and how to take advantage of their strength such as their long-standing content production skills and development capacity.
The Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union (ABU) annually holds the General Assembly and Associate Meetings in autumn, where heads of member broadcasters and persons responsible for each division gather together to discuss and report on the theme of the year. The 2018 Assembly was held in Ashgabat, a capital city of Turkmenistan in Central Asia. Nearly 500 people from about 50 countries and regions participated, and debated under the theme of “Thriving in the New Media Era: Broadcasting for Diverse Audiences” to seek how to address not only the generation and value gaps among audiences but also the diversity of ever-emerging new digital media. While there were reports on innovative approaches utilizing digital technology, there also was a heightened interest in co-productions that would enable member broadcasters share programs produced in Asian and Pacific area as well as know-how of the production by taking advantage of ABU’s network. NHK President Ryoichi Ueda, who was chosen as a new President of ABU at the General Assembly, stated, “We are seeing the emergence of new media brought about by the digitalization of broadcasting and widespread use of the internet. While they can be perceived as new rivals, they are also new partners that can connect us to ever-larger audiences. We in the broadcast media will not be able to survive unless we adapt to this change in the environment and evolve.” NHK will host the General Assembly next year, which will be held in November in Tokyo. The author strongly felt that it would be indispensable to further discuss the roles and missions of public service broadcaster more deeply.