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January 2012

Testimony on the History of Broadcasting:
Akiko Takeyama (Broadcasting Historian)

Experimental Broadcasting History by Reflecting through on Pre-War, War-time, and Post-War Periods

Part II: From Early Mass-Communication Research to the Front Line of a Commercial Broadcaster

Motonori Kato

The December and January issues feature the interview with Ms. Akiko Takeyama who has been actively engaged in research activities as a leading broadcasting historian. A constellation of stories heard from her are introduced in two parts.

Ms. Takeyama is widely known as a broadcasting historian with her books including “Rajio-no-jidai,” which analyzed the reality of radio broadcasts in the earliest days of broadcasting and at the time of the Pacific War, as well as “Gyokuon-hoso,” regarding the imperial announcement of the termination of WWII. She also played an active role in the broadcasting frontline as female announcer for a commercial broadcaster, TBS, in its pioneering days.

Thus, she herself was part of historic moments for the broadcasting industry and gained valuable experience of meeting in person a number of key figures who contributed to the broadcasts of the time. Interviewing with Ms. Takeyama itself is a valuable experience that should be recorded in the broadcasting history.

In this second part of the interview, Ms. Takeyama recalls her student days when she devoted herself to the early research on mass communication in Japan under the guidance of Prof. Hiroshi Minami, a prominent social psychologist as well as her experience as female announcer for a commercial broadcaster in the early days of broadcasting in Japan, which includes an encounter with Japan’s legendary announcer Nobukata Wada, the special program on the Imperial Wedding of the present Emperor,which was made under strict confidentiality, a story behind an interview with Frank Capra, a leading American film director during the 1930s.

The NHK Monthly Report on Broadcast Research


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