Talking about urban soundscape, one of the interest in cities in Japan is the presence of loudspeakers on top of street lights on the pedestrian’s sidewalks. In Sapporo, I often stumble upon these loudspeakers during my walks. Usually this speaker is used to announce. It seems like the Japanese is familiar with the announcements. Speaker as a form of technology made this habis found its instrument. Not to mention Japan is also the pioneer and leader for loud speaker technology and other audio apparatuses. One example is: TOA speaker, invention of Tsunetaro Takatani. After built in 1934 in Kobe, this company had produced mass model for the legendary trumpet horn speaker with longer distance range. This trumpet-like beak speaker type is effective as speaker for announcements. The technology then spreads to multiple parts of the country and could say contributes in the changing of the world’s soundscape today. Although of course there are horn speaker producers in the world, TOA company is still one of the most popular in the market. In Indonesia, a lot of mosques uses TOA as speakers for azan and announcements.
Back to Yamagata. When I was there for two days I found an interesting soundscape phenomenon. From the loudspeakers hung above sidewalk poles, I listened to a local radio. That was around 10 am. From this audio record, the sound of radio from speakers clashes with the sound of transportations passing through the asphalted streets. A new experience for me. I was just curious, why does at times like this, radios are emitted through speakers in public areas like this? Everybody seems busy with their own activities. Maybe there is an important news? Or just for entertainment amidst the hectic daily activities? Or the presence is a media of community information for Yamagata citizens?