The Power of the Yen
The Japanese Yen was in the news today because the US Dollar is at a 15 year low exchange rate to the Japanese Yen. The strength of their monetary unit isn’t the only way they’re completely kicking our butts here in the US!
I receive Japan TV through our Brighthouse Cable service. We mainly subscribe to watch the Grand Sumo matches which are held every other month beginning each January. Japan TV is a feed from Japan’s main public channel, called NHK.
NHK is broadcast over the entirety of Japan. Essentially every single person in Japan can watch NHK. The programing is somewhat conservative in nature, but then so are the Japanese in general.
How does any of this have anything to do with wargaming?
I’m watching NHK the other night and there is a show that comes on, which is clearly a group of four people, two men and two women in a studio environment talking over a large miniature battlefield which has been constructed on set. My Japanese isn’t up to par to fully understand their discussion, but it’s clear with the decor of the show and the miniature battlefield that they are talking about some great battle and the commanders who participated.
Any wargamer would instantly recognize the set up, even if broadcast in a foreign language. So needless to say, I was fascinated to see this show on their national broadcast with such high production values. The miniature armies were more rounded wooden type pieces, not detailed like we play with in DBA, but the various unit types were represented with different geometric shapes like chess pieces.
I call my wife, Yukiko, in to explain exactly what they are talking about. It turns out that what I thought was happening was exactly what they were doing. Japan television has a national broadcast with a show that focuses on great generals from history and has guests analyze the decision-making process and what they might have done differently, during a certain battle.
Translated the show would be called, “The Strategy of the Warlords.” I mean is that cool or what?
Unfortunately, you have to subscribe to a pay service to see the videos of the show if you don’t catch it when it airs, so I don’t have any clips here to post. Just take my word for it, wargamers in the country would be pretty gassed if we had something like this. They are hardcore serious about not allowing any video clips or even images from the show to be copied in any way, so I just made that banner with the name myself in Photoshop to have something…anything graphical.
So you see why I say the Yen isn’t the only thing the Japanese have over us! The show isn’t translated so currently it’s all that useful for me. I guess it will be more motivation for me to continue my Japanese language education!