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Documentary : Nature


The Story of a Stream


四季・牛渡川 [NHK]

|Length : 45min. |Year : 1998

A visual poem depicting the four seasons in the Tohoku region

The Ushiwatari River starts its journey from Mt. Chokai, and meanders along the northern edge of Shonai Plain in Yamagata Prefecture in northeastern Japan, finally emptying out into the Japan Sea. It serves as a source of life and entertainment to the people in the area, flowing through rice paddies and residential areas. The combination of cold mountain water and its proximity to the sea allows the river to provide a unique environment which is capable of supporting both freshwater and seawater life.

The Diving Fishermen of Niijima


水深40メートル 追い込み漁に生きる 伊豆諸島・新島 [NHK]

|Length : 44min. |Year : 1998

The Izu Islands stretch to the southeast from the Izu Peninsula. The fishermen on the island of Niijima hunt fish. Called "Ogake-ami", this traditional fishing method uses over 30 fishermen to cast nets and close to 15 divers to drive the fish into the net. They hunt schools of fish such as T"akabe" (yellow striped butterfish), "isaki" (chicken grunt) and "hiramasa" (amberjack), catching between one to five tonnes at a time. The fierce battle in the sea can last up to three hours as the fishermen are pushed to the limits of endurance and skill by the treacherous conditions.

Japan from 1,000 Feet


にっぽん上空“高度1000フィート”の眼 航空写真家・芥川善行の世界 [NHK]

|Length : 44min. |Year : 1998

Up close and personal: A bird's-eye view of Japan

Yoshiyuki Akutagawa's photographs - shot from a lightweight aircraft flying the lowest allowed altitude of 1,000 feet - present a unique and intriguing perspective on Japan. Depending on the season, location and altitude the work can be physically demanding and mentally challenging, but the rewards are considerable. Akutagawa's 35 years of experience in this type of work mean that whether photographing nature or people hard at work and play, these shots offer an unusual angle of what makes Japan the country that it is.

Shiretoko Peninsula : Dancing with Nature


知床悠久の半島 ヒグマとともに生きること [HTB]

|Length : 46min. |Year : 2002

Into the Sea of Okhotsk, off northern Japan's island of Hokkaido, protrudes the Shiretoko Peninsula. The severe nature of the peninsula deters human intrusion and development. The peninsula, small though in size, has preserved a rich and bountiful ecosystem. Reigning atop this ecosystem is the brown bear. Can the fierce, wild animals successfully coexist with humans? We spotlight the brown bear. The camera captures the rare scenes of a bear family emerging from hibernation, fishing for Sakhalin trout, and a mother affectionately playing with her cubs.

Mystical Waters of Toyama Bay


神秘の海 富山湾 海の中までアルプスがつづく [NHK]

|Length : 52min. |Year : 2006

The magical blue glow of firefly squids lights up the dark sea. A forest of marine plants submerged for over ten thousand years lies beneath the deep waters. Toyama Bay is an underwater world of rare natural phenomena. Countless legends about this mysterious bay have been passed on through generations of fishermen. Some fish are thought to "drink"the water welling up from the ocean floor and certain sea creatures are considered messengers of the sea gods.

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