Documentary : Country Life
The Place Where We Belong – A Story of Elderly Couple in Okunoto –
ここより行くところなし 奥能登に生きる老夫婦の物語 [MRO]
｜Length : 47min. ｜Year : 2001 ｜
The village of Minamiyama in the city of Suzu located at the top of Noto Peninsula is afflicted by a severe depopulation of the young generation, who have left for the cities to seek employment. A small aging generation remain behind, making a living through agriculture. Yoshio Oku (79) and his wife, Tomi (72), whose sons have left for the city, struggle to maintain their life in this small village. They devote themselves to rice harvesting.
Memories by Candlelight – Honey Candle Craftsman Ryuji Ando –
灯火に思いを寄せて 蜜ろうそく職人 安藤竜二 [YBC]
｜Length : 25min. ｜Year : 2000 ｜
Asahi in Yamagata Prefecture is well known as a town of beekeepers. However, due to the planting of Japanese cedar and other fast-growing trees, the number of horse chestnut trees favored by the bees has been decreasing. But one group of local beekeepers has banded together to plant chestnut trees. Ryuji Ando, along with helping with the planting of trees, also uses the wax secreted by the bees to make candles. In the light of these candles he sees the hope that forests of broad-leaved trees will once again flourish.
It’s Tough Being the Eldest Son!
オイラ長男っこ つらいんです [YBC]
｜Length : 25min. ｜Year : 1999 ｜
For 23 years, the Kageboshi folk group in Yamagata Prefecture has served as a voice for farmers, describing their anger and despair, while poking fun at the government. Together with an association of farmer's wives they search for the theme for a new song. When the women describe how the oldest sons have been so pampered by their mothers that they can't find their own underwear, the members of Kageboshi become inspired by the power of these women, and before long a new song is born.
｜Length : 49min. ｜Year : 1998 ｜
Small town fishermen tackle big business
The fishermen of Saga-no-Seki in Oita Prefecture have taken destiny into their own hands, by bypassing the established distribution and marketing routes. These fishermen employ a special method to catch the saurel and mackerel. The fishermen use "hand-lining" fishing, aiming for a spot known as "Se," where the saurel and mackerel are most likely to gather. To promote their special methods and efforts, the townspeople have registered their fish under a brandname and supply their catch directly to clients.
Shakespeare in the Valley – An Englishman Brings the Theater Home to Japan –
｜Length : 26min. ｜Year : 1997 ｜
Theater breaks cultural barriers
When a diverse groupe of people from all walks of life join together to perform Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream" in English, the results are anyone's guess. But that is exactly what the Hijikawa English Theatre Troupe in Ehime Prefecture, Shikoku, did to rave reviews. Founded in 1994 by English poet and playwright Gavin Bantock and his wife Kyoko, this troupe recently put on its second English-language performance.