Radio Japan has issued attractive QSL cards over the years. The earliest QSL shown here is from 1969. At that time, Radio Japan broadcast from only one site, Yamata, Japan. Since then, they have broadcast from over 20 different sites, mostly on lease agreements. In 1979 and the early 1980’s, I served as an official monitor for Radio Japan.
Sometime in the 1990’s, NHK changed the name of its overseas service from Radio Japan to NHK World Radio Japan. It is still the same station but with a slightly different name.
As of this writing, there are 52 different QSL issues for 17 different transmitter sites in my collection. I am sure more will be added in the future.
I read in a Popular Electronics Magazine that even AM stations sent QSL cards so I decided to stay up all night on 21/22 December 1969 to see what I could receive and maybe if things work out, send off reception reports. I had heard WCCO a few times before, and WWL a couple of times. But there had to be other stations out further east there. Sure enough, I heard WHAS for the first time ever. The next day, I spent some time writing the reception reports, and sent them off. A few weeks later, these cards arrived in my mail box!
I think I will pull an all nighter on 21/22 December 2019 to celebrate 50 years since I did it the first time, and try for QSLs from these same three stations. They are all still around in 2014, they should still be around in five more years.
This is my first QSL card. It bears a lot of battle scars from being tacked and taped to the wall. However, I still have fond memories about this card. As a kid, I always had an interest in listening to the radio. Besides the local stations, I began to notice that there were stations in between. Little did I know that that other people did this also as a hobby called DXing.
Well, my parents had this radio called a Grundig Satellite 2000 and I used to play around with it trying to figure out what all those strange stations were saying on the bands labeled SW. One day, I tuned to the 19 Meter Band and heard this exotic sounding music box tune being played over and over again with announcements in between. I heard an announcement in Japanese and then a man in English say “This is Radio Japan, the international broadcasting service of NHK in Tokyo.” Wow, what did I have here. Imagine a radio signal coming across the Pacific Ocean from Japan. I listened further to the whole program and at the end , the announcer asked for reception reports for which they would send a QSL card for correct ones. So, I did!
Well, after a few weeks, my mom told me I got a package from Japan. Wow, it came! I opened it up and found a program schedule, a Radio Japan Newspaper and the prized QSL card that you see above. I was hooked and the rest is history.