In Praise of NHK World

I don’t know exactly  when NHK World came to the UK. I suspect it was in 2011 shortly after the tsunami hit Fukushima. I first noticed it on the Freesat service around August 2011 and I’ve been tuning in more and more frequently for the quirky delivery, refreshing bluntness of its reports, strict almost religious devotion to educating the world about Japanese ways and the surprising lack of ads . . . This goes out to NHK World (with apologies to John Cooper Clarke):


I’ve seen all sorts of gadgets, tiny new-fangled

I’ve seen Swiss banks reported — from a Japanese angle


Earthquakes, tsunamis, a vision of nuclear hell

The news somehow sweetened when your R is an L


I’ve been regaled with great tales by the great Konishiki

The Sumo leviathan formerly fat now just freaky


The news as it should be — delivered straight; matter of fact

No bells, no whistles, an occasional lack of tact


Verbally vivacious syllables they struggle to supply

You’ll never hear the world loquacious but I’d like to see ’em try


When it’s daytime in London, it’s half three in Yokohama

The presenters don’t mind, it’s good for the karma


Battling on bravely, eyelids drooping

They look like drugged up clubbers queuing in Tooting


There’s even a cookery show called Itadakimasu

That U is redundant but the food it’s top class


Bickering presenters having a blast

But where the hell in London do you get Okinawan sea grass?


In the cess-pit of state-sponsored TV, propaganda and lies

Hail to one of the good guys — they don’t even advertise!






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