Welcome to Begin Japanology's

Fan-Based Website

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.


  • Hosted by Peter Barakan
  • Bilingual (English/Japanese)

Topics of the week:  Dolls

From ritual charm to children’s toy, from star of the stage to life companion, dolls play a wide range of roles in Japanese society. Japanese dolls have their origins in religious charms that absorbed misfortunes or diseases that would otherwise befall people. Over time, dolls became toys for children, works of art valued for their beauty, and even part of the performing arts. It is a traditional Japanese belief that a doll can have its own soul. When dolls become old and worn out, some people go to great lengths to give them a proper send-off. The United States and Japan once had a historic exchange of dolls. These dolls were sent as symbols of friendship, but war later twisted their original meaning.On this edition of BEGIN Japanology, we look at dolls – the special roles they have played over the ages and the special affection the Japanese have always felt for them.

BEGIN Japanology invites you into the world of Japanese culture, both traditional and modern, explaining how traditions evolved and the part they still play today in people’s everyday lives

  • Hosted by Peter Barakan
  • Bilingual (English/Japanese)



Sun. 23:30 – 0:00
Mon. 5:30 – 6:00
11:30 – 12:00
17:30 – 18:00
*English on audio main-channel **Check your local stations for times.