“BCL Day” (December 17th)

In my home country Japan, December 17th is “BCL Day,” which is unofficially, but widely recognized among shortwave fans in Japan.

BCL” stands for Broadcasting Listening/Listener, and this word is typically used in Japan rather instead of SWL.   I have no idea who created this word.

December 17th was set as BCL Day since this is the birthday of late Mr. Koji Yamada, who significantly contributed to the shortwave listening boom in Japan during mid 1970’s through early 80’s.  Huge numbers of young people (mostly junior high school students, including myself) in Japan at that time were listening to shortwave everyday, wrote reception reports to get “Veri-Cards.”  Uniquely, the word “Veri-Card” (“Veri” comes from “Verification”) is used in Japan, still now, which means QSL card.   Again, I have no idea who created this word.

Mr. Yamada published so many books on BCL, monthly contributed radio magazines for young people, and spoke at many events and broadcasting.  He is called like “Maestro of BCL” (actually, in Japanese language we use a word meaning “BCL God” for him, but it may not be a proper word when coming into English) .  Sadly, he passed away by liver cancer in August 2008.  Radio stations such as KBS World Radio, Radio Taiwan International, and Voice of Russia broadcast his special tribute program.  Even now, some stations have memorial program around this date, such as HCJB Japanese program (Reach Beyond Australia) issuing the following QSL card:


(Cortesy of Mr. Ozaki, Reach Beyond Australia)


This QSL card (Veri-Card) shows Mr. Yamada’s photos when he was at a radio event show in 1977.

Last week on December 9th, HCJB-Japanese broadcast a memorial program of him and played a recorded sound clip of “SONY BCL JOCKEY,” a daily program for shortwave listeners at that time, when Mr. Yamada was interviewed.  The host of this program was a famous anime voice-actor Kei Tomiyama (he also passed away in 1995).   Here is its opening of the program, including a commercial of Sony Skysensor Radio:

(Cortesy of Mr. Ozaki, Reach Beyond Australia)


The following sound clip is a commercial of National (currently Panasonic) COUGAR 2200 Radio in a different radio program.  It is in Japanese, but you know this interval signal!

(Cortesy of Mr. Ozaki, Reach Beyond Australia)


In November, I visited Mr. Kazuo Ozaki, the host of HCJB-Japanese program (the middle gentleman in the above QSL card) in his home studio in Arizona.  I used to listen to his broadcasting from Quito Ecuador over 40 years ago, and this time face-to-face.  He is still active in creating his program at his home studio, which is transmitted from Australia to Japan on shortwave every weekend.   The BCL boom in Japan at that time significantly affected personal lives of many people, including myself who lives in USA now.


3 responses to ““BCL Day” (December 17th)

  1. Obara-san,

    I’ve heard your interview program on HCJB today.
    It was nice and impressive to me.
    I thought we are allmost same age by high school girl’s eyes. ^^
    I was born in 1960.
    Again it was nice to hear your interview program.


    • Nagano-san,
      Thank you for listening the program and your message. Yes, we are in the same age as I was born 1961. I also hear your names many times in the HCJB program. Wish you all the best in 2018!


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