As modern technology becomes omnipresent
in daily life, increasingly vital is the question whether it serves the best
in man. In education this is especially critical. For the values and
capabilities of today's young often are molded as much by television and
radio as by traditional influence of the home environment.
Man thus risks becoming the victim of the revolution in mass communications
that he has created. His only alternative is to master the media for
positive pursuit of civilizing goals. To an exceptional degree, postwar
Japan offers encouraging evidence that through educational broadcasting this
can be accomplished.
When Professor MITOJI NISHIMOTO in 1925 gave his first radio lectures on
education, very few realized the immense implications of this new mass
medium. The British Broadcasting Corporation, then only three years old, had
begun producing special programs for schools the previous year, and Germany
was to follow in 1926. Commercial broadcasting began in the United States
five years carlier, but only in the 1930s did several Mid-western state
universities begin using radio for education. After, Japan's three first
stations were joined in the official Japan Broadcasting Corporation, Nippon
Hoso Kyokai, in 1926, educational programing awaited NISHIMOTO's initiative.
Trained at Tennoji Normal School in Osaka and Columbia University Teachers
College in New York, NISHIMOTO's interest in new tools for instruction led
him while a professor at Nara Women's Higher Normal School, in the late
1920s, to give numerous talks from the Osaka Station. In 1933, as Education
Director of this station, he organized Japan's first school broadcasting.
NHK started nationwide school broadcasts in 1935 with NISHIMOTO's help.
Within three years, he was transferred to NHK headquarters in Tokyo, serving
first as Program Comptroller and later as Education Director. In 1943, after
he became the youngest member of NHK's Board of Directors and was given
charge of the Sapporo Station, he continued to write and lecture on the
purposes and methods of school broadcasting.
Following Japan's surrender in 1945 NISHIMOTO's participation in wartime
broadcasting forced him to resign from NHK. It was a time of drastic change
in Japan as the Allied Occupation dismantled authoritative institutions and
sought to further democratic goals. In 1950 other networks were licensed and
NHK, by law, became a public corporation whose directors are responsible to
the Diet and funds are provided by annual receivers' fees paid by owners of
radio and television sets.
Since 1948 NISHIMOTO's has been the most influential voice in shaping a
fuller use of broadcasting in Japanese education. In that year, anticipating
the opportunity and need for materials that followed inauguration of
television five years later, he formed the Japan Radio-TV Education
Association. Since 1952 he has been a member of the NHK Advisory Committee
for School Broadcasting. As founder of the magazine Radio-TV Education,
organizer of the first National Education Broadcasting Research Conference,
through many other professional broadcasting groups and meetings, numerous
books and articles, and scholars he has trained, his ideas have guided NHK
to provide one of the world's outstanding educational broadcasting services.
Available to receivers are materials for students in schools at all levels
and for teachers correspondence courses and social and cultural education
for all citizens.
Over the past 17 years NISHIMOTO has continued to teach, as at International
Christian University, where he organized a model audio-visual education
center, and Tezukayama Gakuin University, where he is president. In these
institutions, his abiding concern is seen in pace-setting classroom use of
In electing MITOJI NISHIMOTO to receive the 1969 Ramon Magsaysay Award for
Journalism, Literature and Creative Communication Arts, the Board of
Trustees recognizes 44 years of discerning design of Japan's superior
educational radio and television broadcasting system.