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Hosted by Peter Barakan, this program explores many aspects of Japan, both traditional and contemporary: arts, sports, entertainment, food, technology, nature, etc.

Peter Barakan, Broadcaster

Born in London in 1951, Peter earned a degree in Japanese from the University of London's School of Oriental and African Studies. An expert on diverse forms of popular music, Peter is also a well-known TV and radio presenter. He has lived in Japan for 40 years and has a deep understanding of the language and culture.



Sun.23:30 - 0:00
Mon.5:30 - 6:00
11:30 - 12:00
17:30 - 18:00


Dec. 25, Thu.


*0:30/ 6:30/ 12:30/ 18:30 (UTC)

Japan has the world's biggest appetite for squid. Squid is eaten many different ways - sautéed, fried, as sashimi - and it features in countless local dishes across the country. However, to the Japanese, squid means more than just good eating: it's also used in rituals as a symbol of good luck. Recently, scientists have been discovering more about the fascinating lives of squid. On this edition of BEGIN Japanology, we look at the profound importance of squid to Japan's history and culture.

*This program was first broadcast on Mar. 20

Dec. 28, Sun.*This program was first broadcast on Dec. 19, 2013


Half of all the homes in Japan have a pet. The Japanese pet industry generates sales of over 1 trillion yen per year, and it just keeps growing. The most popular pets of all are dogs, which have long been a part of life in Japan as hunting companions and guard dogs. Today dogs are often seen as full-fledged members of the family. Some pet dogs in Japan work for the police, and in search and rescue operations. On this edition of BEGIN Japanology, we'll look at the status of pets in Japan.

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