A subtle way to let certain people know they’re still on your mind.

With seven years past since the Tohoku Earthquake, the memorials and tribute have died down somewhat. It’s probably human nature to move on after a certain period of time, for better or for worse.

A few years ago, TV stations would be steeped in retrospectives on 11 March, but now the date gets only scattered news reports and mentions. It’s only a matter of time before it moves from mainstream media to the history books much like the Great Hanshin Earthquake before it and the Great Kanto Earthquake before that.

But Japan’s Public Broadcaster has found a way to circumvent this diminishing coverage by slipping a sweet little secret message to the people of Tohoku in their TV listings.


At first glance it just appears for be a rather dry rundown of the late night programming for NHK. However, if you look at the first character of each line from 10:05 p.m. to midnight, you’ll see:

Arranged horizontally, that becomes:

(We love Tohoku!)

Doing the same thing for the listings from 1:05 a.m. to 5:00 a.m. reveals the message:

(We will never forget that day!!)

It’s not clear whether this was a planned effort by NHK itself or just a rogue copywriter that snuck it in. Regardless, it triggered an avalanche of goodwill for the public broadcaster.

“NHK is awesome! Read it vertically!”
“That was perfect. I cried a little.”
“I’m from Tohoku and this made me very happy. Thank you!”
“That’s great. I also won’t forget that day.”

We’re often hard on NHK, what with their fee collection system occasionally crossing into criminal territory. But it’s things like this – and the occasional offering of a giant squid pillow – remind us that they still know how to be cool.

Source: J-Cast News
Top image: Twitter/@_t_it