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By Jayson Makoto Chun

This publication deals a background of eastern tv audiences and the preferred media tradition that tv helped to spawn. In a relatively brief interval, the tv helped to reconstruct not just postwar jap pop culture, but in addition the japanese social and political panorama. throughout the early years of tv, eastern of all backgrounds, from politicians to moms, debated the consequences on society. the general public discourse surrounding the expansion of tv published its position in forming the id of postwar Japan throughout the period of high-speed progress (1955-1973) that observed Japan reworked into an fiscal strength and one of many world's best exporters of tv programming.

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Extra resources for 'A Nation of a Hundred Million Idiots': A Social History of Japanese Television, 1953-1973

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Ella Wiswell recalls a mid-1930’s conversation with a Kyushu farmer, Mrs. Tanimoto. Wiswell saw a scroll portraying the imperial couple hanging in Tanimoto’s home, and asked why the Empress always wore a dress rather than a kimono. Wiswell recalls Mrs. Tanimoto’s reply:“ ‘Indeed, she does wear dresses. I wonder why? Her chest sticks out and her neck stretches up. ’ We both laughed. I suggested that foreign clothes had become a kind of uniform after the Meiji Restoration [in 1868]. Only Meiji-tenno and his Empress are wearing Shinto-style garments in the picture.

This could have been a thinly veiled appeal for more government funding, because, the wartime government could not afford to pour money into the development of an expensive and unproven television system during a time of national sacrifice. Japan, a resource-poor nation, could not afford television research during a time of total war, and research efforts came to a standstill as the war effort took up much of the government budget. Television research would continue after the war, but this time under an American-dominated occupation.

Takayanagi also noticed that, according to a report in a British magazine, other nations had spent a huge sum of 300 million yen on television research. He asked why they were putting in this kind of effort: The British and Americans, besides increasing the welfare and convenience of the people through television, are putting much emphasis on the rapid formation of a new industry that can rival radio. The Germans are using TV as an important weapon of propaganda equal to radio in its’ power to cultivate the people’s spirits.

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'A Nation of a Hundred Million Idiots': A Social History of Japanese Television, 1953-1973 by Jayson Makoto Chun


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