Sunday, August 09, 2009

NHK Saga

NHK is the national public broadcasting organization in Japan. I host, with Ms. Miki Sumiyoshi, "The Professionals" program broadcast weekly since January 2006 by NHK.

One of the characters of NHK which is distinguishing compared to the commercial broadcasters is that it has branches in local cities all over Japan. Since broadcasting by NHK has a designated public role, it is expected to cover local issues and news as well as national and global trends.

I have been visiting the city of Saga for the last couple of days, and sure enough, there was a NHK branch in Saga, too.
Interestingly, a NHK branch is usually situated near the Old Castle site. After the Meiji restoration in 1867, the new government buildings were built in or the near the old castle sites, which were considered to be symbols of the "ancien regime". The fact that the NHK branches are usually at the Edo-era castle sites indicates the public nature of NHK. It is part of the institutions of modernized Japan.

I sometimes feel that it is those idiosyncratic and scattered facts about a nation that constitute the implicit experience of living in that country. The location of NHK branches, for example.

NHK Saga building, near the old Saga Castle site.


Anonymous said...

so, you met dragon, your mother in distant childhood, and a tiger beetle, except kind local peoples in Saga.

The term "saga" reminds me of Scandinavian old story, MacIntyre's book mentioned about it. Sometimes a play on words is interesting.

Utako said...

Thoughtful article.
There is a word "Kenchosyozaichi" (the seat of the prefectual government) in Japan. It is interesting that NHK branches are not exceptional.

This summer, our manifesto is declaring decentralization loudly, but I feel somewhat out of place with it. It seems to be still changeover from a poin to points.

I know a young family in Kagoshima City. The pillar is a cameraman of NHK Kagoshima. At first he and his wife born in Tokyo were unwilling to transfer. I promoted my home Kagoshima, especially the islands to them, but they were more and more depressed.

Now, they and their children who speak with a Kagoshima accent are reluctant to leave. And the cameraman is giving us nice reports from the islands. I feel they begin to take root there.

Anonymous said...


Saga is like a next-door neighbor, since my hometown is Fukuoka city.

and yes, "NHK Fukuoka" is also situated near the Old Castle site.