Table Speech

Television Viewer Ratings of the Times

May 8, 2013

Mr. Hiroshi Hayakawa
President, TV Asahi Corporation

 This year marks the 60th anniversary of TV broadcasting in Japan. Let me share with you the top 50 ranked TV programs that have enjoyed high viewer ratings.

 The highest-rated program was the “14th NHK Kohaku Utagassen“ that marked 81.4%, broadcasted on the New Year’s Eve in 1963. I am sure many of you recall the good old days when the whole family gathered in front of the TV to enjoy this annual year-end song contest, after making all preparations for the New Year to come.

 The second highest program was the NHK “Tokyo Olympics Women’s Volleyball Final Game between Japan and the Soviet Union” on October 23rd, 1964 that marked 66.8%. The Japanese team known as the “Oriental Witches,” coached by Hirofumi Daimatsu, won the first-ever Olympic Gold Medal in volleyball with skillful plays and strategy. Three other Olympic Games are among the top 50 programs, including the Munich Olympics ranked 10th (58.7%), the Sapporo Winter Olympics ranked 28th (53.1%) and the Mexico Olympics ranked 32nd (51.8%).

 “FIFA World Cup Korea/Japan Tournament match between Japan and Russia” ranked the third (66.1%), broadcasted by Fuji TV on June 9th, 2002. The professional wrestling “World Heavyweight Championship between The Destroyer and Rikidozan” that ended in a draw on May 24th, 1963, ranked the 4th with 64% rating.

 Fuji TV broadcasted the “World Boxing Bantamweight Title Match between Masahiko Harada and Eder Jofre” on May 31st, 1966, that ranked the 5th with 63.7% rating. Harada’s skillful tactics made him both the flyweight and bantamweight champions.

 The NHK serial drama “Oshin” marked 62.9% rating on November 12th, 1983, to become the 6th ranked program. This drama depicted a life story of a woman named Oshin, who lived through her lifetime of hardship during the Meiji, Taisho and Showa eras. This all-time record is unbeaten by any other TV dramas.

 The NHK news coverage on a kidnapped little boy ranked 9th (59%) and it remains the highest rating for a news program today. The news on July 5th, 1965, attracted nation-wide attention as the ransom request calls from the kidnapper were aired on TV and radio to seek information from the public.

 The TV programs that I have enumerated reflect preferences of the general public during the high-growth period. They also bring back the scenes and atmosphere of the Showa era. The ranking shows that the golden age of TV was during the 1960s and the 1970s, as majority of the programs ranked within the top 50 date back to these two decades.

 TV once played an absolutely vital role in the media. Today, the rapid expansion of other image devices, including the Internet and mobiles, has reduced television’s dominance in the media, well-proved by the top 50 ranked programs.

Architecture and Lighting

May 8, 2013

Mr. Takeshi Konishi
President, EPK Corporation

 I majored in architecture and have been fascinated by various aspects of architectural lighting over 30 years. I will speak on the history and concepts of this relatively new field.

 Architectural lighting first appeared in the US during the late 1950s, when people got emancipated from the daunting memories of World War II. Brighter prospects for the future improved architectural quality and splendid architectural structures were constructed at such times. Growing demand in the US for “aesthetic spatial presentation” gave birth to this new field.

 Light space in architecture has given a great impact on the culture as a whole. It can be classified into the following two:
1. Stone construction culture of the West, focused on how to create aperture (spot light)

2. Wooden construction culture of Japan, focused on how to close aperture (diffused light)

 Interestingly enough, cultural differences are reflected in different roles lights are expected to play in architectural space. Let me introduce some lighting equipments with epoch-making technique of controlling projected light, created by artists who have given tremendous influence on the development of architectural lighting:
1) Equipments that control glare by architect Poul Henningsen (1920s) / Scandinavian

2) “Akari” that reproduced diffused light by sculptor Isamu Noguchi (1960s) / Japanese American

3) Equipments that predicted light and pursued high-efficiency by the genius of lighting Edison Price (1970s) / American

 Edison Price (died in 1997) was a pioneer in modern architectural lighting. He worked on lighting of two buildings on Park Avenue in New York, the Seagram Building (1957) by architect Mies van der Rohe and the Lever House Building (1952) by SOM. He was innovative in designing equipments with reflectors that controlled the direction, diffusion and glare of light and further developed highly efficient equipments. This new progress accelerated advancement of architectural lighting in the US from the 1960s that met the taste and demand of architects and clients. Other artists followed in his footsteps that fostered lighting industry in countries around the world. Thanks to Price, lighting designers can control light and provide equipments that respond to various needs.

 Growing popularity of LED (light-emitting diode) over the past decade is redrawing the concept of architectural lighting. LED bulbs last for 50,000 hours, which is 27 times longer than incandescent bulbs, while its energy consumption is merely one-sixth of the latter. Its low heat dissipation contributes to power saving. LED is making an annual increase of 300%, while incandescent lights mark a year-on-year decline of 70%. LED will completely replace incandescent lights in a few years.

 Light source technologies advance constantly, yet the innovative ideas of Edison Price are timeless and remain to be a model even today. I am sure inventions by the two other designers are still widely used in many of our homes. I am always impressed to see how good designs transcend the change of times.