NHK Reminiscence Library - Recipient of Most Innovative Use of Archives (FIAT/IFTA Archive Achievement Awards 2016)

Reminiscence therapy is a treatment often used in rehabilitation for dementia patients in which elderly patients are shown and asked to discuss objects or videos that they remember from their past. Doing so stimulates the brain and creates emotional stability that helps to slow the progression of dementia and relieve symptoms of depression. The NHK Reminiscence Library assembles old television programs and news footage from the vast amount of footage and other materials stored in the NHK Archives in broadcast, web, and DVD formats. Families and care workers can use the Library to provide easy access to reminiscence therapy. It also uses material from the archives to create immersive virtual reality reproductions of everyday life in old-time Japan.

Japan’s “Super-Aging” Society

In 2010, with over 21% of its population aged 65 or older, Japan became one of the world's first "super-aged" societies. This proportion is expected to reach roughly 30% in 2025, and 40% in 2060. The increase in Japan's population of people living with dementia is equally severe, with an expected total of 7,000,000 people in 2025, or one in five seniors.
Japan’s “Super-Aging” Society

Reminiscence Therapy

Reminiscence Therapy is a type of psychological treatment proposed in the '60s by American psychiatrist Dr. Robert Butler that has gained attention as an effective approach to treating dementia patients. According to research by the National Center for Geriatrics and Gerontology, when patients reminisce about the past, the flow of blood to their prefrontal cortex increases in comparison to when they are having everyday conversations, which could potentially stimulate an increase in brain function that has the potential to ease symptoms of depression and slow the progression of dementia.
Reminiscence Therapy

Distribution of the NHK Reminiscence Therapy Library

The NHK Reminiscence Library provides materials through a variety of channels, including a website, DVDs, broadcasts, events, and more. DVDs are in particularly high demand in elderly care facilities, where reliable internet connections may not always be available. In fact, in the six months since the program began the Reminiscence Library DVD has been distributed to approximately 10,000 facilities, an estimated 10% of all of the elderly care facilities in Japan. NHK is also partnering with universities and NPOs in the hopes of helping the Library to extend its reach even further! Elderly users of the NHK Reminiscence Library enjoy the chance to talk in detail about the age that they grew up in, and their caretakers say that having knowledge of that background allows them to communicate better with and ultimately provide better care to their charges.
Distribution of the NHK Reminiscence Therapy Library

The Library includes the following programs:

Homes of the Past 360 (VR): A VR program that allows the viewer to look around the inside of houses from the 1930s and the 1950s.

Programs of the Past: A selection of NHK programming and news stretching from the 1940s to the 1990s.

Tools of the Past: Video of tools commonly used in households of the time.

Local Japan of the Past: Classic travel programs, re-edited to allow the viewer to see what each of Japan's prefectures looked like in the past.

Lifestyles of the Past: News footage containing details of everyday life in the '40s and '50s, as well as the '60s and '70s, re-edited and divided up into categories such as "School," "Children and Play," "Households," "Work," "Transport," and "Cityscapes."

Memories of the Imperial Family: Videos of the Imperial family dating back to the Taisho period.​

Sounds and Music of the Past: Recordings of traditional folk songs, children's songs and sing-alongs, and field recordings of regional dialects and cities.​

Today in the NHK Vaults: Classic news clips centered around a daily theme.​

Day-to-Day Calendar: Look back on past events that happened on the current date.

CONTENT

T he Reminiscence Library, containing footage archived from NHK's 1,000,000 television programs and 8,000,000 news segments, is distributed for free as a means to help prevent dementia. It also includes accurate recreations of life in early and mid-20th century Japan, such as the interior of homes and commonly used household implements.

Homes of the Past 360 (VR)

Homes of the Past 360 (VR)
A 360-degree recreation of a Japanese home in the 1930s as well as in the 1970s, showing a living room, a kitchen, and the city outside. You can change the season and time of day, and clicking on the magnifying glass icon next to an object will show you how it was used in everyday life.

Lifestyles of the Past

Lifestyles of the Past
Archive videos that show life as it was during two distinct periods: one lasting from the 1940s into the 1950s, and the other stretching from the 1960s into the 1970s, re-edited and organized into categories such as "School," "Children and Play," "Households," "Work," "Transport," and "Cityscapes."

Programs of the Past

むかしの番組
Contains news and television programs, organized by decade, from the 1940s to the 1990s.

Local Japan of the Past

Local Japan of the Past
Featuring classic travel programs re-edited to allow the viewer to look back on their hometowns as they once were.

Tools of the Past

Tools of the Past
Two hundred commonly-used household items, accompanied by explanatory voiceovers.

Memories of the Imperial Family

Memories of the Imperial Family
Videos of the Imperial family dating back to the Taisho period.​​

Sounds and Music of the Past

Sounds and Music of the Past
Recordings of traditional folk songs, children's songs and sing-alongs, and field recordings of regional dialects and cities.​​

Today in the NHK Vaults

Today in the NHK Vaults
Classic news clips centered around a daily theme.​​​

Day-to-Day Calendar

Day-to-Day Calendar
Look back on past events that happened on the current date.​​​

My Timeline

My Timeline
When the viewer enters their age, they are shown a timeline of notable events happening from the time that they were born, accompanied by news clips, allowing them to think back on what they were doing at the time of these events.

Questions

Questions
At the end of each video, the viewer is shown a screen with questions on it that they can answer to assist them with their reminiscence.
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