• Wakayama


I feel confident that I speak for many readers when I say that the quality of Japanese television programming is, to put it mildly, abominable. I cannot find words to describe the tawdriness and vulgarity of the commercial channels, and NHK is increasingly aping them.

Even the news is littered with clumsy models and cartoons seemingly aimed at 5-year-old children. If we are lucky, a decent film is shown perhaps once or twice a year. Apart from international news snippets, the only thing sometimes worth watching is the documentary shown around midnight on NHK’s BS1 channel. Unfortunately, The Japan Times TV listings page merely notes the time and the word “Documentary.”

While the Today’s Picks section has space to advertise any number of banal “variety” programs, plus a large photo of some or other inane “talent,” it cannot find room for even the title of what is probably the most interesting program of the day. One can only wonder whether the choice of Today’s Picks is a reflection of the editor’s taste in viewing, or simply his or her assessment of the average Japan Times reader’s intelligence.

ivor paul

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