The DX Recordings of Tetsuya Hirahara
My grandfather was a ship’s doctor. His favorite pastime on board was listening to shortwave radio. He purchased a new portable radio every time he went to sea. Thus there were always several radios in his house. At my request, he gave me a New Nippon Electric Company (NEC) NT-910S and I listened to local radio programs from time to time.
In the meantime, my brother became interested in amateur radio. He tuned to 7 MHz with the NEC and caught local ham conversations. When I was reading a radio magazine that he bought, I found an article on shortwave listening. And so I began shortwave listening in 1970 with the NEC.
My DX world was broadened when my father bought me a Trio 9R-59DS, which was popular among Japanese DXers. One night, when I was tuning the 60 meter band, I caught a strange signal on 5025 kHz. Yes, it was really strange for me. They played seemingly Andean music, but it was quite different from the melodies I used to hear on Japanese radio programs as typical Inca sounds; and the language was not Spanish, but sounded like a language of South East Asia. The station might have identified as Radio Quillabamba, Peru, but I was not sure; no one had reported reception of that one in Japan. So I asked for help from a DXer experienced in hunting Latin American stations. He kindly told me that the station identified as Radio Quillabamba, most of the music played was Huayno, and the language used was Quechua. At that time I was a newcomer to listening to Latin American stations, and quite ignorant about basic knowledge of the region. Radio Quillabamba was a good verifier, and soon I received a reply from the station. I was quite impressed with their beautiful pennant, which led me to the fascinating world of Latin American DXing.
In the latter half of the seventies, shortwave listening became popular in Japan. I began to contribute to Japanese radio magazines, writing articles on Latin American reception. By this time I had obtained a Yaesu FR-101S. The weak point of this receiver is that it covers only the SWBC bands. Later I purchased a Kenwood R-1000 and ICOM IC-R70 in order to monitor out of band stations.
In the past, when there was no internet, the main source of DX information was the news bulletins published by DX clubs. In order to obtain up to date news, I joined the Japan Short Wave Club (JSWC), Japanese Association of DXers (JADX), NASWA, and Numero Uno (NU), among others. In addition, in 1978, with colleagues, I formed a DX club, Radio Nuevo Mundo (RNM), specializing in Latin American stations. The club was named after Radio Mundial, another Latin American club, in Germany. We tried our best to send DX news from Japan for the benefit of DXers around the world. And we were very proud of the series of booklets, "LA DXing," that we published and that were full of Latin American station data. Their unique feature was the information gathered during station visits by members.
My work as a contract management officer in the overseas consulting service division of a utility company involved traveling overseas, especially in Latin America. As a DXer, I always brought a portable radio--Sony ICF 2001D, ICF100SW or ICF-SW7600GR--with me in order to monitor local radio activities.
Lately I have devoted myself to studying the history of Japanese radio programs destined for Japanese immigrants and/or Japanese living in the Americas, as inspired by a lecture in 2000 sponsored by the Asian Broadcasting Institute of Japan. There are Japanese communities in Brazil, Peru, Paraguay, Bolivia, Argentina, Canada and the United States. I have published a series of books titled "Japan Hour," focusing on Brazil, Latin America, Peru, and North America. Japanese programs over Brazilian radio stations became very popular after 1952. It was said that once a new radio station was established in São Paulo State or Parana State, there should be a Japanese program. From São Paulo, shortwave outlets were used to reach vast audiences in the interior part of the State. Stations which were able to send independent programs on shortwave showed interest in leasing time for Japanese programs. Such were Radio Panamericana, Radio Cultura, Emissora Piratininga, Radio Difusora and Radio 9 de Julho. For example, Radio Cultura had a daily 8-hour Japanese program on shortwave in 1962, making much use of the transcription service from Japanese local radio in Osaka. It is quite interesting to discover such history, along with the publicity for the programs that appeared in local Japanese papers.
Note: You can find the various volumes of "LA DXing" here.
|Note: LT = local time|
|Costa Rica - TIQ, Radio Casino, Puerto Limon, 5954 kHz, October 1990, 2300 UTC, English ID at 02:15 (hrd in San Jose) | Photos October 1990
Costa Rica - TIFC, San Jose, 1080 kHz, June 1997, 0300 UTC s/on (English at 02:18) & 0359 s/off (English at 03:50) (hrd on MW in San Jose) | Photos circa 1996
|Guatemala - La Voz de Nahuala, Nahuala, 3360 kHz, June 2001 (hrd in San Salvador)
Guatemala - Radio Buenas Nuevas, San Sebastian Huehuetenango, 4800 kHz, June 1999 (hrd in San Salvador)
Guatemala - Radio Buenas Nuevas, San Sebastian Huehuetenango, 4800 kHz, March 1988 (hrd in Guatemala City)
Guatemala - Radio Chortis, Jocotan, 3380 kHz, June 1999 (hrd in San Salvador)
Guatemala - Radio Cultural Coatan, San Sebastian Coatan, 4780 kHz, March 1999 (hrd in San Salvador)
Guatemala - Radio Cultural, Guatemala City, 3300 kHz, March 1990 (hrd in San Salvador)
Guatemala - Radio Kekchi (LV Evangelica de Las Casas), Fray Bartolome de Las Casas, 4845 kHz, March 1988 (hrd in Guatemala City)
Guatemala - Radio Kekchi (LVEDLC), Fray Bartolome de Las Casas, 4845 kHz, June 1999 (local lang.) (hrd in San Salvador)
Guatemala - Radio Kekchi (LVEDLC), Fray Bartolome de Las Casas, 4845 kHz, March 1999 (hrd in San Salvador)
Guatemala - Radio Mam, Cabrican, 4825 kHz, June 1999 (hrd in San Salvador)
Guatemala - Radio Maya, Barillas, 3325 kHz, June 1999 (hrd in San Salvador)
Guatemala - Radio Tezulutlan, Coban, 4835 kHz, June 1999 (hrd in San Salvador)
Guatemala - Radio Verdad, Chiquimula, 4050 kHz, June 2001, English ID at 00:28 (hrd in San Salvador)
Honduras - Ebenezer 1220, San Pedro Sula, 4930 kHz, March 1999 (hrd in San Salvador)
Nicaragua - R. Miskut, Puerto Cabezas, 5970 kHz, July 10, 1991, c. 2330 UTC (hrd in San Jose) | Photos September 1993 | Photos March 1990 (clandestine operation, courtesy Director Evaristo Mercado Perez)
For the full story on several of the Honduran stations and Radio Miskut, see LA DXing No. 6 at http://radiophj.web.fc2.com/rnm/ladx.html
|Argentina - Radio Continental, B.A., 6060 kHz, May 9, 1982, 1100 UTC (hrd in Japan) | Photo December 1991
Argentina - Radio Del Plata, B.A., 11710 kHz, May 4, 1982, c. 0900 UTC (hrd in Japan) | Photos December 1991
Argentina - Radio Nacional 'News Service,' B.A., 9690 kHz, April 26, 1982, 1000 UTC (hrd in Japan) | Photo December 1991
Argentina - Radio Rivadavia, 9690 kHz, April 25, 1982, 0846 UTC (hrd in Japan) | Photos December 1991
Bolivia - Radio 16 de Marzo, Canadon Antequera, 4865 kHz, December 28, 1997, 0002 UTC [ID at 1:02 & 2:14] (hrd in Asuncion)
Brazil - Radio Anhanguera, Goiania (Goias), 4915 kHz, December 1992, 0930 UTC (hrd on 1230 AM in Goiania)
Colombia - Emisora Kennedy, Bogota, 4775 kHz, 2100 UTC (hrd on 1430 MW in Bogota)
Ecuador - CRE (Radio Difusora del Ecuador), Guayaquil, 4765 kHz, February 1980, 1302 UTC (hrd on 1050 MW in Guayaquil) | Photo February 1980
Paraguay - Emisoras Paraguay, Asuncion, 6014 kHz, March 25, 1986, 0829 UTC (hrd on 1300 MW in Asuncion) | Photo March 198)
Peru - Estacion Yurimaguas, Yurimaguas, 6238 kHz, June 11, 1994, around 2300 UTC [ID 2:35] (hrd in Quito)
|Bhutan - BBS, Thimphu, 5030 kHz, December 1998, 1315 UTC, English program (hrd on 96 FM in Thimphu) | Photos of building, studio, Sangaygang 50 kw SW xmtr site
Bhutan - BBS, Thimphu, 6035 kHz, December 6, 1998, 0400 UTC, Dzongkha program [national language] (hrd on 96 FM in Thimphu)
Bhutan - BBS, Thimphu, 6035 kHz, December 6, 1998, 0830 UTC, Lhotsam [Nepali] program (hrd on 96 FM in Thimphu)
Bhutan - BBS, Thimphu, 6035 kHz, December 6, 1998, 0800 UTC, Sharchhop program (hrd on 96 FM in Thimphu)
|India - AIR, Aizawl, 5050 or 7295 kHz, December 1998 (hrd in Thimpu, Bhutan)
India - AIR, Culcutta, 7210 kHz, December 1998, 0940 UTC s/off [mostly English] (hrd in Thimpu, Bhutan)
India - AIR, Guwahati, 4940 kHz, December 1998 (hrd in Thimpu, Bhutan)
India - AIR, Imphal, 4775 kHz, December 1998, 0025 UTC s/on (hrd in Thimpu, Bhutan)
India - AIR, Itanagar, 4990 kHz, December 1998 (hrd in Thimpu, Bhutan)
India - AIR, Kohima, 6065 kHz, December 1998, 0657 s/on [English at start] (hrd in Thimpu, Bhutan)
India - AIR, Kurseong, 4895 kHz, December 1998, 0058 UTC s/on, 1129 UTC s/on (hrd in Thimpu, Bhutan)
India - AIR, Shillong, 4970 kHz, December 1998, 1055 UTC s/on [English at 00:52], 1530 English news and ad at 02:19] (hrd in Thimpu, Bhutan) | Photos November 2016
India (Sikkim) - AIR, Gangtok, 3390 kHz, December 1998 [mostly English] (hrd in Thimpu, Bhutan)
New! Japan – NHK’s Low Power Shortwave Outlets. Tetsuya has prepared this interesting paper about the low-power NHK shortwave stations that operated from the war years until 2005. The links in Table 5 of the paper will take you to recordings of the nine stations listed there, or click below. Table 5 also contains the texts of the IDs in both Japanese and English, so you can follow along. These recordings were made in September 1978.
|Japan - Far East Network | Index|
|Myanmar - Myanmar Radio, Yangon, 7185 kHz, October 1999, 0030 UTC s/on in Burmese, ID at 01:17 (hrd on 104 FM in Yangon)
Myanmar - Myanmar Radio, Yangon, 5986 kHz, October 1999, 1430 s/on in English (hrd on 104 FM in Yangon)
Myanmar - Myanmar Radio, Yangon, 5986 kHz, October 1999, news, 1600 s/off in English (hrd on 104 FM in Yangon)
|Nepal - Radio Nepal, 729 kHz (parallel 5005 also hrd), December 5, 1993, 0015 UTC s/on, English 04:36 (hrd in Kathmandu)|
|Pakistan - Radio Pakistan, 585 kHz, August 28, 1988, early morning s/on (hrd in Islamabad)|
|Taiwan - Voice of Asia, Kaohsiung, Taiwan, 5980 kHz, July 16, 1979, English at 01:50, 03:45 (hrd in Japan)|
|Turkey - Ankara Polis Radyosu, 94.5 FM, May 1985, 1757 local time s/on (hrd in Ankara)
Turkey - Turkish State Meteorological Service, Ankara, 6900 kHz, May 1985, 0657 local time s/on (hrd in Ankara)
Turkey - Turkiye Polis Radyosu, Ankara, 6340 kHz, May 1985, 0855 local time s/on (hrd on 95.5 FM in Ankara)
|Tanzania - Radio Tanzania, External Service, 1035 kHz MW (announced parallel 9685 not hrd), January 1991, open & close of Voice of Pan Africanist Congress of Azania program, English (hrd in Dar es Salaam)|
Tanzania - Radio Tanzania, External Service, 1035 kHz MW (announced parallel 9685 not hrd), January 1991, Radio Freedom program (hrd in Dar es Salaam)
Tanzania - Radio Tanzania, External Service, 1035 kHz MW (announced parallel 9685 not hrd), January 1991. 0630 LT s/on, English (hrd in Dar es Salaam)
Tanzania - Radio Tanzania, National Service, 837 kHz MW (parallel 4785), January 1991, 0500 LT s/on (hrd in Dar es Salaam)
|Zanzibar - Radio Tanzania Zanzibar, 585 kHz MW (parallel 6015), January 1991, 1400 LT s/on (hrd in Dar es Salaam)|