JOAK (NHK) Broadcast Center, Tokyo, c. 1948. Completed in 1939, to replace the original studios atop nearby Atagoyama, the building housed studios for JOAK (Metropolis Tokyo’s local radio station), NHK (the national radio network) and Radio Japan (its overseas shortwave broadcasting service). It was from these studios that the several people using the non de plume “Tokyo Rose” broadcast propaganda to enemy troops on Pacific island garrisons. After Japan’s defeat, during the Occupation (1945-1952), the JOAK Radio building was requisitioned for use by the US Armed Forces Radio Service (AFRS) using the call-letters WVTR (predecessor of today’s Far East Network).
JOAK (NHK) Radio Studios, Atago Hill, Tokyo, c. 1930.
Gojira (“Godzilla”) origin, WVTR Radio, Tokyo, 1947.
“Radio broadcasting began in Japan in 1925 with the establishment of stations in the three major cities of Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya. In August of the following year, the present Broadcasting Corporation of Japan was organized as a corporate juridical person with the above-mentioned stations as its nuclei and was placed under the supervision of the Ministry of Communications.
“… The new home of the Tokyo studios, completed in May 1939, occupies and entire six-story granite building. Erected in the heart of the national capital at a cost of over Y4,000,000, it is one of the finest earthquake—proof, fire-proof and air-conditioned buildings in the city. It has sixteen studios, a floating floor system and other up-to-date equipment and facilities.”
– “Japan Calling”, Travel in Japan, Vol. 5 No. 3, 1939
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