Woodblock print by Katsushika Hokusai (1746-1849)


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There are five categories of Japanese-language daily newspapers:
  • general circulation national
  • specialized national
  • tabloid national
  • regional
  • local
  • General circulation national newspapers, based in Tokyo or Osaka, are dailies whose circulation is counted in the millions. The specialized daily newspapers mostly focus on business, a particular industry, or sports(6).

The tabloid national newspapers usually have evening editions only. The regional newspapers based in important regional cities have a circulation in the surrounding prefectures, while the local newspapers, usually based in prefectural capitals, have a circulation that is limited to that prefecture. Here are some nationally-circulated general newspapers(4):

In addition, there are five national-circulation industrial newspapers (Nihon Kogyo, Nikkan Kogyo, Nikkei Sangyo, Nikkei Ryutsu, and Nikkei Kinyu), two tabloid national dailies (Nikkan Gendai, Yukan Fuji), nine national sports newspapers, several other specialized newspapers, and about sixty regional and local newspapers(6,4).

In addition to the Japanese-language press, four national daily English language newspapers (The Japan Times, The Asahi Evening News, Mainichi Daily News, and The Daily Yomiuri) and one English weekly (The Nikkei Weekly) compete in Japan. These have extremely small circulations. Advertising costs differ depending on the agency and terms, and can be very negotiable(6).

Approximately 2,400 monthly or weekly nationwide magazines are published in Japan in 1993. Generally, the readerships of magazines are more segmented into age and interest groups in comparison to newspapers(6). Magazine advertisements, that utilize graphics and visually-appealing designs, are more likely to attract and retain the attention of the readers more than newspaper advertisements. Also, people tend to keep magazines for a longer period of time than they do newspapers. Generally, the bigger the magazine circulation, the more expensive the ad. A magazine's back cover is the most expensive ad space, followed, in order, by the inside front cover, a full color "gravure" (a photographic engraving), the inside back cover, and inside pages(6). Some monthly magazines include: Bungei Shunju, Chuo Koron, Hoseki, and Gendai. Most major magazines, especially general magazines and women's magazines, usually do not accept advertisements directly from advertisers. The advertising space in these magazines is pre-sold to major advertising agencies, who sell space to advertisers and to secondary agencies(6). Specialty magazines follow the same rule as newspapers, with the publishing company's sales department dealing directly with clients. They negotatiate date of issue, page, layorur of space, color of print, and price.

In the Tokyo area, some broadcasting/television networks include

  • Asahi National Broadcasting
  • Fuji Television Network
  • Nippon Television Network
  • Tokyo Broadcasting
  • Japan Broadcasting Corporation

In the Osaka/Kinki area, television stations include Asahi Broadcasting, Kansai Telecasting, Mainichi Broadcasting, and Yomiuri Telecasting and TV Osaka(4). Actual costs of advertising on these and other stations varies greatly depending on the relationships among the broadcaster, the ad agency and the advertiser, and are affected by such factors as the popularity of the program, the time segment, the size and influence of the agency, and the advertiser's budget. For instance, broadcasters and ad agencies tend to give priority to large scale advertisers for the most popular time segments, perhaps with a discounted rate, on the expectation that the same advertiser will purchase spots during a less popular time segment(6).

Commuter rail is the primary way that workers commute in major cities in Japan. The major cities are served by lines of the Japan Railways Groups, semi-public and/or public subway systems, and private commuter railway companies. The private commuter lines operate both railways and buses between train stations, and have built shopping centers and department stores around their large terminal stations(1). These companies are at the core of large conglomerates, which can include not only department stores, but concert halls, amusement parks, real and related services such as real estate developing and financial services. Prices for ads displayed at stations vary with the style, size, duration and how much commuter traffic transits through the station, and vary from "a small poster hung for a few days at a local station to a huge permanent electrical sign at a terminal station in a large city." (6)

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