Prewar Roots of Japanese Television Culture: Imperial Culture, Media Culture, and Radio
Radio played the same role in prewar Japan as TV did in postwar Japan, serving as one of the nation’s major sources of values and information, and it eventually paved the way for TV broadcasting to become an important means to impose some sort of national cultural order. The prewar roots of Japanese television culture lie in the tensions between two cultures: the government-sponsored emperor-centered imperial empire in the late 19th century, and the urban mass consumer culture of the 1920s. Radio served to mediate these two cultures. When television took off in the 1950s, it did so on the foundations built by radio.