50 Years of NHK Television

60's global events and Dramas

Within 10 years of going on the air, television's popularity was confirmed, and the color TV set became one of the three consumer items—known as the "three sacred treasures"—that everyone wanted to own. During the 1960's, Japanese TV provided exciting entertainment programs of a type rarely seen elsewhere in the world, rooted in the rhythms and tastes of Japanese life.

Television drama and the satellite effect

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Korea-Japan Treaty of 1965
Cultural Revolution in China
The Beatles in Japan
Color TV, Car, and Cooler (air-conditioner) dubbed "The Three Cs"
Student movement
Pollution Countermeasures Basic Law
Mexico Olympics
Japan second largest GNP
Kim Hee Roh Incident
Apollo 11 lands on moon
Blockade of Tokyo University's Yasuda Hall lifted
1965 1966 1967 1968 1969
Japan Prize
NHK Broadcasting Center opens
Nationwide Educational TV
General and Educational TV broadcasting starts at 6 am
NHK TV reception contracts reach 20 million Celebrities in 8th Upper House Election NHK FM broadcasts on network of 170 stations

Morning Drama serials blossom
Serialized TV dramas began in April 1961, and steadily established themselves in the daily morning time slot. Their popularity really took hold with the 6th serial, Ohanahan.

Annual Historical Drama on Sunday evenings
In 1963, NHK began airing epic Annual Historical Drama productions on Sunday evenings. Each drama extended over one full year with an episode shown each week.
The morning serials and historical dramas generated high viewer ratings and soon became established as regular programs. By reflecting Japanese lifestyles and sensibilities, they themselves became an integral part of people's daily lives.


A Flamboyant Life
Annual Historical Drama:
A Flamboyant Life

  Variety shows for TV
Made-for-TV programs appeared in the 1960's, including foreign TV movies, sports telecasts, quiz shows, and much more. Kansai-style stand-up comedies made their first appearance, as did musical variety shows.
"This Month's Song" in Dreamtime Rendez-vous
"This Month's Song"
in Dreamtime Rendez-vous
NHK's Dreamtime Rendez-vous was launched in 1961, and featured songs, dances, and skits. One of its segments was "This Month's Song," which produced great hits like "Walk with Your Head Held High" (known internationally as "The Sukiyaki Song"), and "Hello Baby" by Ei Rokusuke and Nakamura Hachidai. TV became a hit-maker in the world of music.

The whole world viewed from home
By the late 1960's, people could even follow the latest developments in the Vietnam War on a daily basis. Of course, there was an equivalent focus on domestic events and incidents as well. In 1969, a revision of the Public Offices Election Law allowed candidates to broadcast their political views, and TV came to play an increasingly important role in politics and social affairs. When hostage-taker Kim Hee Roh demanded to explain his views on TV, or live broadcasts showed the police ending a student siege at Tokyo University, unfolding events revealed a new era in which real life dramas were to be premised and played out on TV. The televised landing of the first men on the moon in 1969 also reinforced the sensation of a single world sharing a common experience.
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