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Japan Top Court Finds NHK Fee System Constitutional (News)

Tokyo, Dec. 6 (Jiji Press)—Japan's Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that a provision of the Broadcast Act requiring television set owners to sign subscription contracts with Japan Broadcasting Corp., or NHK, is constitutional. It is the first time that the top court has made a judgment on the constitutionality of the law provision. The court's Grand Bench, led by Chief Justice Terada Itsurō, al…

Between Consenting Adults: Japan’s Incongruous Celebrity Sex ScandalsSechiyama Kaku

In the first few months of 2016, Japan’s weekly scandal sheets blew the lid off the sexual affairs of several well-known figures, forcing them to withdraw from public life. Comparative sociologist Sechiyama Kaku questions this ritual of public shaming for behavior that the law regards as a matter of private discretion.

Japan’s Radio Calisthenics

Japan’s custom of radio calisthenics, short exercise routines set to music, first emerged around 90 years ago. It was once common for groups to practice different varieties of rajio taisō in parks and open spaces. While the custom has declined, many are now looking to the exercise routines as a way to help Japan’s graying society stay fit.

The Birth of Culinary Experts and the Evolving Needs of Japanese HousewivesAko Mari

The early twentieth century saw the rise of the fulltime housewife in Japan, which was paralleled by the emergence of culinary experts offering them advice. Social changes in the ensuing years have seen the roles of women and culinary experts change. This article takes a look at those changes leading up to the present day.

A Revisionist History of Postwar PopWajima Yūsuke

In the public imagination, the pop hits of the Occupation years epitomize a brand-new culture of freedom and democracy. But a closer look at the roots of Japan’s early postwar pop scene reveals a far more complex interaction of influences and ideologies.

When Will the “Postwar” End? Japanese Youth in Search of a FutureFuruichi Noritoshi

Japanese teenagers and young adults are remarkably content with their lives, in spite—or perhaps because—of the uncertain future they face. Sociologist Furuichi Noritoshi makes the case that the nation has betrayed its young people by artificially extending the “postwar” economy instead of adapting to the realities of a post-postwar world.

Will TV Be Dethroned as Japan’s Entertainment King?

Television in Japan is at a crossroads as the rapid spread of smartphones and tablets has forced a move away from traditional broadcasting. With advertising revenue stagnant, television companies are seeking a new business model for the Internet age.

How NHK Lost Its WayHayashi Kaori

The political independence of NHK, Japan’s public broadcasting behemoth, has come under sharp scrutiny in the wake of controversial comments by its newly appointed president, an Abe appointee. Media scholar Hayashi Kaori explores the ideals that long guided public broadcasting in Japan and the forces that seem to have driven it off course.

The Best-Loved Canadian Tale in JapanPeter Durfee

It’s IJET weekend. More than 500 translators and interpreters working mainly between Japanese and English are gathered at Big Sight, Tokyo’s international conference center, for the twenty-fifth International Japanese-English Translation Conference. Since its launch in Hakone a quarter-century ago, the annual conference organized by the Japan Association of Translators has given wordsmiths a foru…

Timeless Appeal: Oshin, Ama-chan, and the History of NHK Morning DramasIzumi Asato

NHK’s latest “TV novel” has become a phenomenal success. These dramas and their heroines have been familiar faces in Japanese living rooms for more than half a century. A TV journalist looks back at a few of the best-remembered examples, examining how they have changed and why they are so popular.

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