Documentary : Country Life
The Diamonds of the Sea – The Life of the Tuna Fortune-Seekers –
一獲千金・津軽海峡 最高級マグロを追え [NTV]
｜Length : 30min. ｜Year : 2001 ｜
This exciting documentary takes us right into the thick of the tuna-catching action. We follow the efforts of Mitsuyoshi Takeuchi, a stubborn fisherman who is delighted to be joined by his 17-year-old son Ryoji. Very few young men today choose the hardships of tuna fishing over a cosy office job, but Ryoji, with his pierced ears and dyed hair, is determined to follow in his father's footsteps and continue the family tradition. We observe the thrilling moment when Mitsuyoshi can at last cut off the dorsal fin of a huge tuna to present to his son, the latest victor in the eternal battle between men and the "diamonds of the sea."
Kumagaiso – A Tiny Miracle in a Tiny Village –
クマガイ草 小さな村の小さな奇跡の物語 [RNB]
｜Length : 55min. ｜Year : 2002 ｜
Besshiyama Village is the smallest village in Southern Japan with a population of only 270 people. Due to decreasing population, the once prosperous mining village will soon disappear as it merges with a city nearby. This story is about a flower named "Kumagaiso" which blooms for only 2 weeks in its lifetime and a 92-year former miner named Kiyoshi Kondo who has dedicated his life to the flower.
Sankyoson – One-hectare Utopia –
散居村 1haのユートピア [KNB]
｜Length : 47min. ｜Year : 2003 ｜
"Sankyoson" signifies a certain type of rural community where villagers'houses are scattered irregularly, with each house situated in the middle of 1 hectare of plowed land. Factors that allowed such beautiful scenery and this unique form of local community to continue existence into this modern age are found in the form of Sankyoson itself. "Houses scattered, separated from each other by 100 meters" indicates the basic layout. A big house called "Azumadachi", and "Kainyo", a thick estate forest surrounding its lot of 500 tsubo, provide each family with perfect privacy free from unnecessary attention from the neighbors.
Crossing the Finish Line – The Story of a Thoroughbred Who Lost Her Sight –
盲目の名馬 タカラコスモス [RAB]
｜Length : 47min. ｜Year : 2003 ｜
Takara Cosmos was once called a "Queen" in the Japanese Equestrian World. Unfortunately for this champion, the spotlight of fame slowly faded from sight. Five years ago, Takara Cosmos went blind due to an undiagnosed illness. A world without light is full of fear and uncertainty. However, a friendly young voice reaches out to touch her heart and keep her spirit alive. Takara Cosmos finds a kindred spirit in equestrian club student, Kanae Minato. Finally, a new life emerges from the darkness.
[NHK Documentary] Bamboo Village
NHKスペシャル 奥能登 風の絆 ～間垣の里の四季～ [NHK]
｜Length : 43min. ｜Year : 2005 ｜
There is a small village on the Noto Peninsula surrounded by a 4m high bamboo fence, called a "magaki". This fence blocks out the strong winds that blow in from the Sea of Japan, and the occupants of this village have a very unique lifestyle. There are 70 people, who comprise 20 households, living in this "bamboo fort". This secluded lifestyle promotes a strong sense of support, which in turn keeps the village's old traditions and wisdom alive.The villagers have developed strong inter-personal bonds and a distinct identity due to their inherent separation from other villages because of their fence. These bonds have helped prevent people from leaving the village, and while the youth of the village may leave to work in cities, most return to carry on their family's name later in life. Strong bonds have helped keep this community's unique identity alive - a characteristic that seems to have been lost in today's bustling modern society.