Kyoto Prefecture Office Introduces 5 Customer Dummies To Foster “A Tense Feeling”

A new lifehack appeared from Japan’s old capital city Kyoto, NHK reported


Kyoto prefecture office PR section set 5 upper-body mannequins on their desk to face to staff last month. The idea of these bodies comes from “Persona” method, by which local government workers can imagine their customers to serve.

Each dummy is named, given age, gender and occupations. For example, a dummy named Yoshiko Naniwano, 66-year old lady from Osaka to visit Kyoto for sightseeing, complains to them.

One worker answered to NHK on the video, “I feel like being watched. Tense feeling in a good sense makes me work more efficiently.”

They are planning to increase the dummies.

[UPDATE] NHK World TV iPhone app: English TV programs on Japan in your pocket

Over 3G, make sure to wait 30-60 seconds for the stream data to get cached. After that, you’ll notice a significant jump in picture and audio quality.

Japan has a plethora of TV channels, but the biggest battleship is NHK [JP], the country’s national public broadcasting organization. NHK itself operates a number of different channels, and one of them, NHK World TV, has just released an English app for the iPhone/iPod touch [App Store link].

NHK World is the international broadcasting service of NHK, offers programs in English and is primarily aimed at the overseas market. Their free app enables you to watch NHK World live, meaning you can access the channel’s entire program from anywhere in the world on your iPhone or iPod touch. (There are some exceptions for reasons of copyright.)

Just fire the app up and you can instantly start watching the program. This works even over 3G, even though you (obviously) get better video and sound quality via Wi-Fi (the app’s official description says that up to about 9.5MB of data can be received every 10 minutes via 3G). The app itself is just 2MB and includes a program schedule.

Japan’s large industry is notoriously anti-web, but NHK has been cautiously opening up to the web in recent months. It was the nation’s first major TV network that started putting contents online on an own channel on Youtube (NHKOnline). More recently, the broadcaster also announced it will live-stream events from the upcoming Winter Olympics NHK doesn’t show on TV on a dedicated website.

Susan Boyle To Sing On Japan’s Most Popular Year End Program

According to Asahi Shimbun [J], NHK, nation’s public broadcasting organization, announced that this year’s most Internet-buzzed singer Susan Boyle will appear in Kohaku Utagassen [J], Japan’s most popular TV program which once 80% of Japanese, still 40% watches on new year’s eve [J].

photo by Deborah Wilbanks from Wikipedia

[Update 2010-01-01] NHK put the recorded program on their paid web site “NHK On-Demand”, but only Susan Boyle part is excluded as they could not get permission from her.

But as the program is “the nation’s favourite”, it should be viewed couple of million people and not possible to stop it spread. You can just search and find it on several online video services.

See Also:

Comparing Susan Boyle, Exile (Japanese pop unit) and Jero (the first African American enka singer in Japan, who made Kohaku appearance last year) on Google Trends

NHK Launches Reproduction-Free Internet Video Library

Logo of NHK Creative Library

Japanese public TV broadcaster NHK launched an online video library[J] on Saturday.

It consists of several thousands of video and sound clips collected from the broadcaster’s program archives, and any clips can be reproduced for amateur video shooters in creating their works. Wildlife pictures, sound effect items and computer graphics are available in .mp4 or .m4a format for free of charge for non-commercial use. No user registration required to download, but you’re not allowed to remove NHK’s logo superimposed in the clips for your reproduction. (Kindly note that all clips are reproduction-free but not copyright-free.)

NHK Creative Library Screenshot

The service is intended for teenagers, and the broadcaster expects it put creativity, visual literacy and copyright awareness in their minds before being adults. All videos reproduced from the service are completely allowed to be put on your blog and video sharing sites, and the library site also has a feature allowing you to share reproduced videos with your friends online.

“Any video and sound clips were developed since our viewers kindly have paid for, that’s why we should set our assets free for the public benefits.”, NHK says. The broadcaster is often accused of scandal probe by Japanese nationals/viewers because every household is obliged to pay TV license fee as defined in a law, as though it were tax payment.


Nov. 4th Update:

Due to the system heavy load that a higher-than-expected number of user browsing requests has caused, NHK Creative Library is currently down for system upgrade.   Re-opening date is not announced so far.

NHK Creative Library - Site Down Screen Shot

Japan Public TV NHK Intensely Promotes Twitter

Following to Biz Stone’s first Tokyo visit for media interviews and Tweetup event, media is reporting a lot about Twitter in Japan now.

Public, and the biggest TV station NHK broadcasts about Twitters three time in two days, each of them are totally made differently.

As a public TV, NHK usually does not show specific company/brand names, for example, on their music program singers even have to change their lyric if it has some brand name (like “coke”), which is the “fairness” they think.

However, on those programs, Twitter is introduced as “Twitter”, the brand name of US private company are repeated a lot, which is very rare on NHK. The word “microblog” may not be understandable to main NHK watchers, elders so they did not have another way to take the trend, though.

Ohayou Nippon (= Good morning Japan)

On 16th morning (about 10 hours later the Tweetup Tokyo Fall 09)


What is Twitter?, Tweetup Tokyo, Cellphone site, Cereblities, Obama, train delay tweets, Tweetup Tokyo (again), Biz Stone interview, plan for pseudo cereblity and filtering problematic tweets

News Watch

On 16th evening.


A student user life, his users meetup, What is Twitter?, university class using Twitter, Iran, charity promotion, Tweetup Tokyo, studio comments (Obama, corporate account, crimes and risks. rather negative)

Keizai Wide Vision (keizai = business)

On 17th.


What is Twitter?, Tweetup Tokyo & Biz Stone, Similar to blog but 140 letters limit, Obama, a Twitter-holic’s day, a camera shop’s Twitter marketing and commentators’ discussion (rather critic)

NHK effect

I am seeing more followers, who likely saw those NHK and other media news and interested in joining Twitter.