JIN-407 -- Happy Broadcast Day!

J@pan Inc Magazine Presents:
Commentary on Japan's culture, economy and society
Issue No. 407
Thursday March 22, 2007 TOKYO

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-- Entrepreneur Association of Tokyo - Tuesday, April 3rd --

Speaker: Chuck Wilson, Managing Director and founder of
Chuck Wilson Enterprises Inc.
Presentation Title:
'Pitfalls of the Western Entrepreneur in Japan'

This coming April, local fitness professional and media
talent, Chuck Wilson will be talking about the ups and
downs of being a western entrepreneur in Japan.
Please sign-up early to reserve your seat.

Date/Time: Tuesday, April 3rd 7:00 pm
Location: City Club of Tokyo - Maple Room
(Canadian Embassy Complex)
Language: English
Website: http://www.ea-tokyo.com
Email: info@ea-tokyo.com


@@ VIEWPOINT: Happy Broadcast Day!

Happy Broadcast Day!

Yes, today is Broadcast Day. It marks the day in 1925 when
the Tokyo Central Broadcasting Corporation (NHK's
predecessor) began broadcasting from a temporary radio
studio in Shibaura, Tokyo. Broadcast Day was established
by NHK in 1943. On March 22 NHK awards the 'Broadcast Culture
Prize' at NHK Hall.

Can't make it to NHK Hall? Well, tomorrow visit a department
store and contemplate a mannequin. The 24th is Mannequin
Day, marking the mannequin's Japanese debut at an
industrial promotion fair in Ueno Park in 1928.

Too busy to go out? Then gaze at the light above your head
on the 25th. On this day in 1878 fifty arc lamps flared on
at a celebration marking the opening of the Central
Telegraph Station at Ginza Kobikcho. These were Japan's
first electrical lights. In 1927 the Japan Electric
Association declared March 25 Electricity Day.

The Japanese calendar is dyed in red-letter days. Not all
have roots in historical events. Some days are selected from
word play.

Take, for example, Jazz Day. It is January 22 because that
month and the word jazz share two initial letters and 'zz'
looks like '22.'

Then there are those days resulting from neither a pun nor
historical event.

This past Tuesday was LP Record Day and also Electric
Calculator Day. The LP and calculator were both products
for daily life made with the latest technology and later
superseded by devices bundling their functions. The first
LP pressed in Japan reached stores on March 20, 1951, and
the long-playing record was eventually replaced by the
compact disc, which debuted in Japan in October 1982.

Calculator Day was declared by a trade group in 1974 to
mark Japan's ascension to the summit of the product's
manufacturer. Today, because all electric devices with
keys and a display have computation ability, there is no
way to come up with a total figure for calculators.

The hellacious war of the calculators, in which companies
continually released new products and slashed prices in a
last ditch effort, is now a favorite tale of economic profs
and others hoping to instill the dark moral of a price war.
When the CD debuted, there were as many as 70,000 different
kinds of LPs in Japan. These were swept aside at lightning
speed, and now distribution over the Internet is poised as
the LP's avenging agent.

The 'Nikkei Shimbun,' Japan's largest financial daily,
contacted relevant companies and trade groups to confirm the
origins of LDP Record Day and Calculator Day. 'According to our
company history, our first LPs when on sale on March 21,'
said one spokesperson. As for Calculator Day, 'people in
the industry created the memorial day after deciding among
themselves Japan was the global leader in calculator
production.' There is no way they could know the day Japan
became global leader. Dubious assertions acquired the
cachet of historical fact.

Anyone for creating Truth Day?

March 27th is Cherry Blossom Day, established by the Japan
Sakura Association in 1992. The 27th is a nice conjunction
of pun and cultural association. 'Sa' of 'sakura' suggests
'sa' of 'san' (three) and likewise ku 'ku' (nine). Their
multiple is 27, when the cherry blossoms look their best,
leastways in the Kanto Region. On this day the Japan Sakura
Association plants cherry trees in school grounds.

You can skip Silk Road Day (the 28th) and forget Spherical
Moss Day (the 29th). But do get out on the 27th. The bloom
will ravage you.

-- Burritt Sabin

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