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Information / Radiohistory for Japan

Texts for Japan

Beginning of Radio Broadcasting in Japan

Before the Broadcasting
Japan has a long history of researching wireless communication as well as its home production. Three years after the experiment on yield of current by Herz (1886), Hantaro Nagaoka made public experiment in spark discharge at The University of Tokyo(1889). Just after Marconi's wireless communication in 1887, research started for practical use by Electrotechnical Laboratory in Japan.

In 1899 began home products of wireless equipments. Thus wireless equipments realized excellent results at the Battle of the Japan Sea in 1914. After the WW I, wireless were used very often, not only for military use but also for marine use.

In 1914, with regard to this situation, the Wireless Law and the Reguration for Private Wireless Telegraph were enacted.

In 1920, KDKA Station in U.S.A. started world first broadcasting. Also in Japan research on broadcasting became much popular, and various experiments were extensively carried on. Consequentry many technical books, eriodicals and magazines were published. By confusion of the Kanto Earthquake Disaster in 1923, information routes were cut off. But ships anchored in Tokyo Bay gave the most effective results communicating by wireless. Consequently public opinion were aroused for realization of broadcasting.

Beginning of Broadcasting
In the next year after the Earthquake, applications for establishing broadcasting station were estimated to reach 64 throughout the land. But Japanese government set limits and sanctioned the establishment of broadcasting stations running by public utilities corporations in three great cities, Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya. In 1924, Tokyo Broadcasting Station (JOAK), in 1925 Osaka Broadcasting Station (JOBK) and Nagoya Broadcasting Station (JOCK) were established. All of them were corporation aggregates. On 22 March, 1925, radio broadcasting started provisionally from Shibaura Broadcasting Station in Tokyo, which was the beginning of Japanese history of radio broadcasting. Only 5 years behind the world first broadcast in U.S.A. Although the number of listeners of was no more than 5,455 at that time, it jumped to 390,000 by 1926.

Radios at the beginning of broadcasting
Under the ordinance the Regulation for Private Wireless Telephone promulgated in 1923 just before the beginning of broadcasting, radios were admitted as obtained sanction from the Communication Ministry. Technical standard was set on the basis of the ordinance "The Regulation for Electrical Appliance", Article 4 of the Communication Ministry issued in 1916, and it is decided that the wave length must be confined within 200-250m or 250-400m, besides radio waves must be without generation from antenna. Whoever passed examination acquired "The Type Approval" and could indicate passing number as well as type approval stamp (created in 1924). As for approved receivers, wave-length selector was required, and besides generation of radio wave was permitted. Thus, regenerative detector could not be used, the sensitivity was low, therefore expensive. But in reality, lots of imported and hand-made radios not always following such ruled ware used.

On 18 April, 1925 just after the beginning of broadcasting, Ordinance No.23 of the Communication Ministry was issued, which abolished selector of wave length and limited wave length less than 400m. In addition to it, permission for listening was given to non approved radios. Accordingly, type approval system became nominal. After Ordinance No.71 of October 1925 now on, no more than examination was carried on. Through 1924 into 1925 type approval was given to 64 varieties of radios and parts, of which from No.2 to No.71 (No. 1,6,1,12,13,35,36 missing) are in existence. Makers of communicating equipment such as Annaka and Shibaura which had produced lots of approved receivers withdrew from radio industry several years after the beginning of broadcasting. 70% of Japanese radios at that time were crystal type listening worth receivers. Battery operated tube radios using loud speaker system were not only expensive but also had to equip three types (A, B, C) of battery, especially by using Lead-acid battery for "A" lighting filament, the work required much time to charging.

Consequently not of public use. Japan introduced technique and appliances of radios from U.S.A. At first triode tube UV-201 ware used. Later, 201-A type with filament current reduced by half or power economized type 199 were used. As the result of that, A type battery could be changed from Lead-acid battery to dry battery. Therefore, since about 1924 much of radio sets have contained batteries inside.

Pictures for Japan


Forum contributions about this country Japan

Threads: 1 | Posts: 13
Hits: 16565     Replies: 12
Mario Coelho

Dear Friends

Some days ago a friend gave me a portable transistor radio set.  Muxima, Model 412N

I guess that it was bought in Angola, several years  ago.

MUXIMA  means  heart  in "Kimbundu" , the old Angola's dialect..

This  radio was made in Japan, or in Angola by license of  a Japanese maker. That's what I've  infered from the reference graved in its plastic box.

 But that reference is unusual.  JAPAN 757. Also the manufacturer's name is missed.

Do you know what  757 means? Have you seen any Japanese reference look like this one? 

757 may be the manufacturer's code?

Thank you in advance for any information.


Mario Coelho

Ernst Erb

Dear Mario
I received two answers from Japan - but not yet a solution.
I thank here for the two very kind answers and give you the text of one:
Can you check if you find any Japanese markings and if yes, can you take a photo and present it here?

"Dear Ernest,
Thank you for a letter regarding a name of Japan 757.
Unfortunately, my seaches in Japanese language with Google show nothing at all.
Furthermore, there are no informations in many Japanese old radio sights.

I would like to ask you to open the back lid of the radio and if you can find some
printed letters atached on it. Any Japanes letters (Kanji) on a label would make it
possible to break through when I can read it.

I never know a manufacture's list to show which number is which maker.
Anyway, I 'll keep to try seaching the brand name.
Thank you.

Yutaka Matsuzaka"

Thank you very much, Yutaka, that you try to help finding out.
I keep this post as an open question. It should "come up" again.

Yutaka Matsuzaka

Dear OMs,

  Sorry,I can not identify the radio manufacture from the pictures

though all parts installed on the board are clealy made in Japan.

The words TAKADA MUSEN on the IFT shows manufacture's name'

of this IFT in that period and Japanese MUSEN means 'wireless' like

Yaesu Musen.

I'll send the URL to some Japanese who have the webs for the antique radios

to be identified the radio manufacture.The results will be sent to this page soon.

So, it would need more times to get additional infomations on this matter.

Thank you.



José Manuel Silvestre

Dears Friends

As information, I present two transistor radios sets recently gotten in Portuguese flea markets.

The references engraved in the plastic box of the follow one, in my opinion, show indubitably that "Tokiwa Electrical Industries Co. Ltd" is the 725 Japanese maker.

The other follow one, similary to the "Muxima" radio set, show that the 517 Japanese maker manufactured the 655 model radio set to the "Royal" Germany brand.

With this information, I hoope to help on to a good decision about upload the models of Japanese Manufacturer's 757, 725, 517.

Best Regards


Mario Coelho


Thank you very much Silvestre for your help. Now we have alredy three numbers from a list. That list ought to exist.


Unfortunately, after all these days we haven't yet that  list from Japan. Nevertheless we have three identification numbers which correspond to three Japanese makers.

For one of them we know a name : Tokiwa Electrical Industries Co. Ltd.

I think that if you wish, you may create  : "Tokiwa Electrical Industries Co. Ltd". (Japan 725). as a new maker in Rmorg.

But we don't know yet the name of the other two makers,though we know their identification numbers. No doubt about that numbers.

I wonder if may we cause any inconvenience  to open in Rmorg temporary the other two makers as “Japan 517” and “Japan 757” till the day we may get the Japanese list?  



Meanwhile I found another code number  Japan 304 in a RINSING set model BP-815 (waiting for acceptance in Rmorg pages).


Meanwhile I've found in Rmorg three transistor radios JT-602 . Two of them are Orion and one is  Belson brand.


By the way , I've one Orion with the same (model number?)  JT-602.....

But this model number (if it is for sure the model number ) is a little larger : 


But, If one pay attention, inside, on the chassis, is TR -108 D2


Could  Orion and Belson sets  be made in the same factory ? Then  JT-602 JAPAN should be their code number and TR -108 D2 should be this Orion Model number.

I put the  same questions when I see this code number JT-602 also in a very different radio in this site:


Holger Ortmann

Ernst Erb  May 9, 2011 (for Holger Ormann and others):
I try here to reduce posts 6 to 15 to this one by having here a summary:

Holger Ortmann:
Sets With Japan Number on the Back Cover 704 = SANYO Sanyo MR 212, Sanyo N 26 Cassette Tape Recorder SANYO M88,the Same Recorder with the German Brand name Loewe Opta OC440. Loewe Opta OC 445, OC 448, Universum Quelle) Ordernumber 07404 Saba CG320, Saba CG 325 JAPAN 101 A Radiorecorder original With the Name AIWA, an unknown Type with the Japan number 101 BASF Radiorecorder 9301 with the Japannumber 101. "German" Taperecorders - manufactured in Japan - not in Germany! Number 515 = Teleton

with japanese Transistors..... ITT Schaub Lorenz SL 50, SL52, SL55, Studiorecorder 60, 70, 72, RC 1000, etc.. Neckermann Luxus Cassette recoder 823/147 with No. 515 on the Botton

An Universum (Quelle) Order Nr 02729 RadioRecorder japanese manufactured with the Number 718 on the Botton

Sometimes the Criterium of Japan manufactures are the ORDER NUMBER on the PRINTED CIRCUIT BOARD, not the Number on the Cover !
Not the GCMK Number on the P.C.Board
FUNAI Videorecorder VCR 4000, VCR 4500
Videorecorder FUNAI with the  CVC Cassette,Typenumber unknown
The nearly same Recorders named Grundig VP 100, Siemens FM 500, Technicolor CVC, Universum CVC RecorderType unknown. 

Sets named with a German Brandname,but made by Funai:
Tape Deck Telefunken RC 100, RC 200,Blaupunkt XC 240, Siemens RC 333, Uher CG 344, Universum Tapedecks Hifi 6000, Hifi 6600, Universum CT2307 and many others.
On all this Sets have P.C.Boards with a 7 x Number, beginning with 161....
Service Technican said, the really Manufactor is Funai Japan (for Telefunken RC200, Universum Hifi6600, Uher CG344 etc) Only in very old Funai Sets are this Kind of Number of the Boards.

Second  Example  +++ CROWN Radio Corporation +++
There stand on the P.C.Board   A M B ...and a 3 x Number. Example Mini TV CROWN CTV-12 and
Universum FK100 (FK 100).

Below, Wolfgang Scheida began the list, Holger Ortmann did propose and Wolfgang Scheida and I will continue to fill this list - if we receive findings from you - please also photograph your findings and put htem to the model page.

Mario Coelho:

Why  one can see JAPAN + a code number, only on this "Strange" brandnamestypes?
1st hypothesis: Japan 704 means that this radio was made in a  factory inside Japan or not, but supervised by Sanyo or by license of Sanyo. It was  not made by Sanyo in its mother factory.
answer :Code Japan 704 means Sanyo satellit factories not Sanyo or Japan..
2nd Hypothesis: Japan 704 means  Sanyo's exported models  .
answer: Japan 704 means particular models  from Sanyo.

Ernst Erb

We list a product there where a collector looks for. In most cases this is the country of production and sales. In later years production was outsourced. In that case: If there are differencies on a set AND it is also sold/advertised in that country of origin then we may open a new brand/manufacturer name for that country.

Theses are exceptional cases like we also can find for US brands/manufacturers in regard to Canada or other export or manufacturing countries like Argentina or Chile etc. But this is for instance not the case for a Loewe Opta sold in Germany - even if made in Japan by Sanyo. For cases like those we state the origin in the notes.

We may have some problems with this in certain cases like for Grundig which brand was sold to a company in Turkey. See model 75TE which is listed in Germany and in Turkey by good reasons. You just have to look at the back wall the different origins - both for export ... Grundig had also its works in England and you find schematics etc. in the UK. Some models then are naturally also found twice, like the model 2035... in Germany and the UK.

Quite a different case are some companies like Philips which had and has manufacturing plants all over the world. We list more than 30 countries with production we show models for. Some of these models are manufactured, only assembled or imported and it is sometimes not possible to distinguish. We even list some Philips models in Germany which officially never have been made in Germany nor exported to. They may have been imported by private persons at that time or later by collectors in big numbers. This is quite an other case and exception.

I just wanted to show that we have a solution for each of these cases. We should concentrate here in this thread on those Japan-Numbers and not discuss the policy or the way to do it. We only want duplicates where it is absolutely necessary for a reference work - but it is essential that we state facts about a model in the notes.

Wolfgang Scheida

Japanese Radio Manufacturers Codes

See below all used codes as well already known manufacturers:

If you have more informations please write to the platform operator - Thanks!
EE October 12, 2013: I received about 20 new entries from Jens Gruber and thank him for his work to find out. He even delivered links to the model pages. I put his in bold, but I need first the links to the models ... Will be done later.

Japan 101  =  AIWA
Japan 109 = Wendell-West (CR-18)
Japan 110 = Roberts (US) 450 Tape Recorder
Japan 201 = ERB radio
Japan 203 =  Columbia Records Sales Corp. Masterworks M-2918
Japan 205 = Okinawa TR-863
Japan 206 = ??? Manufacturer for US Brand Allied
Japan 220 = Bell & Howell: 8 Track Stereo/FM Multiplex 4550 TPF

Japan 302 = Sharp
Japan 303  =
Japan 304  = Rising, model BP-815 ; Musicstar ms4545

Japan 403 = Koyo (unproven)

Japan 502 = Matsushita (National?)
Japan 508 = Watson Model 280
Japan 513 = (yet for us) unknown manufacturer
Japan 515  =  TELETON
Japan 516 = Victor Company of Japan (JVC)
Japan 517  = Royal

Japan 602 = Orion (JT-602)
Japan 604 = Realtone Globepacer 11 Band 8812

Japan 609 = Ferguson Radio Corp. Ltd. London, Model 3160

Japan 611 = Midnight Owl WACO , WACO Rolls Royce 1910

Japan 703  =
Japan 704  =  SANYO
Japan 705  =
Japan 710 = Toshiba (see Model 7H-896F)
Japan 718  =
Japan 725  = Tokiwa Electrical Industries Co. Ltd  (data from Silvestre -Portugal)
Japan 757  =

Japan 803 = Arrow

Japan 902 = Captain YT-981 probably made by Yashima Electric

EE March 16, 2011 Sep 13, 2012 = changed a dead outbound link.
joined models from the other list which I have deleted (doublet), added links to models and model ERB ;-)

Ernst Erb

This thread has grown too long and I have tried to delete some posts without loosing information.
Each post can help to find a true solution. So please go on, posting here if you find new codes or the same code on an other brand. I then will take the information and put it into the post just above.

Here I will try to concentrate for conclusions. Please take a photo of such codes and put it to the model page in a way that we have many proves.

I have received different theories - but not yet an evidence:
The most certain is from Eckhard Wegner who dealt quite a lot with Japan at that time: MITI (Ministry of International Trade and Industry) has given that 3 digit Japan Code as proof for a certain quality standard for smaller and medium sized manufacturers. Big companies as Sony, National, Nivico etc. had to loose a good brand name by failing in quality. Therefore such number was not necessary.

The JAPAN Code was probably not a forerunner of ISO 9000 which is a
quality management system, but maybe a manufacturer could apply for such a number by showing some quality standards - or maybe has had some training for quality - and MITI would probably check some of the exports of such manufacturers by looking at the quality. Anyway: All shipping papers needed to show the number. That’s why the importers worldwide could trust even the lower end items quality, different of those from Taiwan, Korea, Hongkong etc. This system had been stopped around 1980 and today MITI has other obligations.

We still miss an official document, proving that MITI stands behind this - but it is most probable. We don't know if the code was given for a certain product line, a company, a group - but by collecting those numbers over a longer period we might find out.

Please check your early Japan models for such code - normally found on the rear of the set. If found, please take a photo, load it up and put into the notes:
(with this HTML code it comes in bold). See here and here.
With this expression we can find all such models with the SEARCH (from the next day on). It is a neutral wording which has nothing to do with a certain manufacturer.

The SEARCH with "MITI JAPAN" would bring all such models, but Konrad's idea on next post - to put it also into the actual search fields (as (Japan xxx)) for the model search on top of this has also good values - and doing it on two occasions it will stick better in case of changes.

Please enter a new post here if you found a new one or can give us the link to a known one, by linking to the model - or giving the model ID.
I will then add it to the list above as link to the model page. We will see what we get for a certain number ... Maybe several models for the same number.
There are examples above without having created a model page - for instance Royal 655 for MITI JAPAN Code 517 ...

I will add a thread in German - since there is a big potential there on members and sets ... but add new numbers and findings here.

Konrad Birkner † 12.08.2014

Dear Mario, dear all,

I strongly recommend to mention such code not only in the remarks. It is even more useful in either one of the two searchable fields: Model name or Model type. The latter I would prefer.

The entry shhould be in brackets (Japan XXX)

That permits to search for a listing of all models being manufactured by the quoted manufacturer, regardless under whatever name it was marketed.

Such a search must ignore the country and manufacturer to be entered. Only the model field would see  (Japan XXX).


I prepared a model sheet for your "Muxima" to show what I mean. Please complete it with all available data/ info.
Thank you,

Sandor Selyem-Tóth

These codes would be good to write some manufacturers presenting the text!

Gidi Verheijen

Very recently I contacted METI (formerly MITI) in Japan to ask them for information about the codes for radio manufacturers and to send me the complete and accurate list. They answered me that they were not aware of any list with code numbers for radio manufacturers, but nevertheless they will try to find more information.

In the meantime I have my doubts whether the list with codes for the Japanese industry really has been set up by MITI. In that case MITI would have known and further it would have been a coincidence that the radio manufacturers would have got the first series of codes with the lowest numbers, ranging from 101 to 999. My suspicion is that those numbers were given to some (or all) Japanese radio manufacturers by the Japanese Association of Radio Manufacturers (or organisation with a similar name) in order to enable the identification of the maker of radios manufactured in Japan.
I have asked further questions and hope to get a useful answer soon.

It seems also a good idea to me to follow the proposal of Sandor Selyem Tóth and to contact Japanese radio manufacturers for information about the code numbers. Companies having a code number and still in the business today, would be the best candidates to contact.

Gidi Verheijen

Ernst Erb

From a guest we received a few photos because he would like to sell the set. It is a Ferguson (London) model 3160 and the set shows the Japan Code 609. I added the code to the list (post 8).

End of forum contributions about this country