HIGHLIGHTS

  • In 1933, as Education Director of Nippon Hoso Kyokai (NHK), he organized Japan’s first school broadcasting.
  • With Nishimoto’s help, NHK started nationwide school broadcasts in 1935 and within three years, he was transferred to NHK headquarters in Tokyo, serving first as Program Comptroller and later as Education Director.
  • In the 50s and 60s, Nishimoto continued to teach at International Christian University, where he organized a model audio-visual education center, and in Tezukayama Gakuin University, where he is president. In these institutions, his abiding concern is seen in pace-setting classroom use of instructive broadcasts.
  • The RMAF Board of Trustees recognizes “his 44 years of discerning design of Japan’s superior educational radio and television broadcasting system.”

 CITATION

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 instructive broadcasts.

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.

 RESPONSE

It is with utmost pleasure that I accept this outstanding and singular honor, the Ramon Magsaysay Award. Established in honor of your late President’s spirit of humbleness and selfless service to mankind, I only hope that I can accept it with the same spirit.

My receiving this Award symbolizes not just what I have done, but is equally symbolic of what radio and television have done and are doing for education.

The late President Magsaysay believed in the dignity and importance of people as individuals. He strived to insure that the individual does not suffer in ignorance. Education is one method of insuring such.

Unfortunately, it has been shown in many countries throughout the world that traditional educational methods are not capable of raising a nation out of ignorance quickly. And time is even more limited in today’s world of technology and rising expectations.

Since their invention, many educators have dreamed of the value of radio and television in education. But the realization of their dreams has involved traveling a long and tortuous path. It has been only during the past decade that the true value of radio and television in education has come to be recognized. We are now in the Space Age. Apollo 11 was an excellent example of the effective use of television during the moon landing. Without television this wonderful feat might not have been possible at all. So effective a media as this muse be used in education.

I accept this Award, not only for myself, but for all the others who have also striven to develop the use of radio and television in education. Please accept my humble thanks for allowing me to represent them.

 BIOGRAPHY

MITOJI NISHIMOTO was born in Matsubara Village (now Matsubara City) just south of Osaka on January 2, 1899. He was the third son of Sutejiro Nishimoto, a well-to-do farmer with substantial land holdings, and Hisa Nishimoto. Under Japanese law at that time only the eldest son could inherit the family property, so his father planned that MITOJI would become a teacher, a highly honored profession frequently chosen for younger sons.

Following completion of elementary school, which he entered in 1905, MITOJI went on to middle school and then to Tennoji Normal School (now Osaka University of Education) where he was recognized as an outstanding student. He graduated in 1918 at the age of 19.

For the next three years young NISHIMOTO taught at Tezukayama Gakuin Elementary School where he instructed the same students all three years through fourth, fifth and sixth grades (one of them is now president of a university, several others are company presidents or high officials). This teaching experience heightened NISHIMOTO’s interest in education, and he dreamed of going to the United States where new philosophies and methods were being developed. In preparation he studied English with American and British missionaries. Although it had been planned that he would be only an elementary school teacher, his diligence persuaded his father of the sincerity of his desire to do advanced study abroad. He did not have a scholarship, but felt he could meet his expenses with money he had saved, by working part-time and with some support from his family.

(For the complete biography, please email biographies@rmaf.org.ph)