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Documentary : Modern Living

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“The Shodo Girls!!” The High School Girls’ Koshien

DC241038Documentary

ザ・書道ガールズ!!涙の180日!女子高生たちの甲子園 [RNB]

|Length : 45min. |Year : 2010

"Shodo Performance" -- a creative form of calligraphy in which high school girls draw characters on an oversized sheet of paper while performing routines to music. The "Shodo Performance Koshien" was first held in 2008 in the city of Shikokuchuo, Ehime Prefecture, which is known as the number one producer of paper in Japan. A group of local high school students decided to host this event in order to create publicity and revitalize their recession-hit hometown.
The movie was made based on this true story. The Shodo Girls and Shodo Performance became widely known throughout Japan by the time the third "Shodo Performance Koshien" took place on July 31st, 2010. In the first tournament only 3 schools participated and then 5 schools in the second; this time, 18 schools applied from all over the country.
The original Shodo Girls of Ehime Prefectural Mishima High School not only made their film debut in the movie but also put on a live Shodo Performance in Cannes, France where the International Film Festival was being held. The now popular Shodo Girls search for ways to make the best of the dynamic movements of calligraphy in its original form.
First-time contestant Kumamoto Prefectural Tamana High School applied in order to create one last memory with their beloved instructor, who will retire at the end of the academic year. But differences in opinion occur frequently between the 60-year old coach and the 17-year old students. The trouble continues up through the day before the tournament, when the coach instructs his students to cut a specific portion of the performance so that their presentation is completed within the time limit of 6 minutes. Team members gather in one room of the boarding house that evening, and decide to disobey him to perform the way they originally intended without telling him. They did this because they loved the coach, and wanted a chance to say 'thank you.'
3,000 spectators filled the site on the day of the tournament. The Shodo Girls are tense, feeling immense pressure. After completing the performance the Shodo Girls cry, relieved and recalling various hardships they had to overcome.
And finally, the presentation of the results. More tears fall at the tournament site -- for a variety of different reasons and sentiments.

Raising Parents: Lessons from a Veteran Midwife

DC241539Documentary

親育て~91歳の助産婦の教え~ [ABC]

|Length : 24min |Year : 2015

Fujie Sakamoto, a 91 year old midwife operates a maternity home in Wakayama Prefecture. Immediately after the war, she started this job and has since assisted delivery of over 4000 babies in 70 years. When midwives first came about, they would assist deliveries at homes, but now most give birth at hospitals. Still, there are so many pregnant women who wish to give birth at Sakamoto’s midwifery. It is because she doesn’t hold back giving gentle and sometimes stern advice based on her experience, even with mothers she meets for the first time.
In this program, we learn how best to nurture life from Sakamoto, who has brought babies to their mother’s warm embrace for 70 years.

The Tragedy of the Mt. Ontake Eruption: Living on an Island of Volcanoes

DC241540Documentary

御嶽山噴火~火山列島ニッポンに生きる~ [CBC]

|Length : 48min |Year : 2015

Midday September 27, 2014, some 250 people at the summit of Mt. Ontake were caught completely unaware by a sudden and violent explosive eruption that sent volcanic rocks and ash raining down on them. Sixty-three people died or went missing that day in the single greatest volcanic disaster in postwar Japanese history.
Living with the possibility of a volcanic eruption is a fact of life for many Japanese people. Is Japan doing enough in the way of volcanic disaster awareness and prevention to keep its people safe? This documentary examines what went wrong at Mt. Ontake and explores issues with Japan’s volcano disaster prevention warning system.

SERIES 20s Discovering Life | Working as a Meteorologist

DC241541Documentary

気象予報士 [NHK]

|Length : 24min |Year : 2015

Our subject is meteorologist Yuu Sato, 29, who works at a meteorological service company. He is in charge of developing weather predicting systems, which have garnered great reviews.
However, his association with a new apartment mate has caused a little bit of self-doubt to emerge. “Is job satisfaction all that life should be about?” Inspired by his roommate, Sato had started to search for the “satisfaction” that he had not been able to find in his job.

SERIES 20s Discovering Life | Working to Support the Great East Japan Earthquake and Recovery

DC241542Documentary

復興支援団体 代表 [NHK]

|Length : 24min |Year : 2015

Our subject is Takuma Kato, 26, who heads a support organization in Kesennuma, Miyagi Prefecture. Immediately following the Great East Japan Earthquake, he entered the Karakuwa area of Kesennuma as a volunteer.
Kato has worked part time at the city office, while carrying on his activities as head of his support group. His first objective is to get the cooperation of local fishermen in starting up “fisherman-for-a-day” tours for tourists. But with no knowledge of the tourist industry, he encounters problems one after another. Will the tour be a success?

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