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Documentary : Welfare


Ryoji and His Fellow Travellers – 18 Years of a Blind University Student –


良司君 旅立ち 全盲大学生18年の記録 [NHK]

|Length : 44min. |Year : 1995

Ryoij Hoshika, 18, is totally blind. He is also a student at Japan's most difficult-to-enter and prestigious institution of higher education - Tokyo University. Despite his handicap Ryoji has always attended regular schools. Supported by family and friends - and especially by his warm-hearted mother - Ryoji has worked tirelessly to get ahead. Now, however, it is time to be independent and he has started to live on his own in Tokyo.

Along the Way – A Year of a Monk –


道ゆきて ある僧侶の一年 [KTN]

|Length : 48min. |Year : 1995

This documentary offers an interesting view of the spiritual side of Japan. It tells the story of Shinsuke Kaneko, a Zen monk and co-founder of Zenshin-ji temple. Drawing on what he has learned from his own battle with cancer, Kaneko gives regular lectures on Life and Death. We also see him tending his dying mother. Along with the Catholic Hospital in Nagasaki, Kaneko believes that it is not enough to just tend to the health of the body: the health of the soul is just as important.

Breaking through Barriers – A Wheelchair Marathon –


その腕で走れ 車いすランナーたちの熱き闘い [NHK]

|Length : 44min. |Year : 1996

You Don't Need Legs to Run Free

The spirit of competition brings out the best in human nature. As we witness through coverage of the 15th Oita International Wheelchair Marathon, this is as true of the physically disabled as anyone else. Follow athlete Kazuya Murozuka in his quest to overcome world champion Heinz Frei and a field of 432 athletes from 42 nations and win the supremely challenging event.

Dad Wants to Get Well Again


とうさんのこいのぼり [ABS]

|Length : 45min. |Year : 1997

Can love overcome a degenerative disease?

Shortly after being stricken with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, a degenerative disease affecting the spinal cord, Kosuga Toshikatsu is only able to move his eyelids. Refusing to let this illness keep him from communicating with the world, he enters the Akita City "Encounter Concert" where poems written by physical handicapped people are presented. Using his eyelids to tap out Morse Code, Kosuga composed the poem "Koinobori," which was entered in the concert. With the support of his wife and children, and the national ALS association, Kosuga attempts to come to terms with his illness.

Braille Books across the Ocean


海を渡った点字参考書 [NHK]

|Length : 28min. |Year : 1997

Japan-China ties through braille

Some 8.8 million visually impaired people live in China. Thanks to braille textbooks written by Hikoji Shimozono, a former math teacher, blind students in both Japan and China now have an opportunity to go on to higher learning. Yoko Aoki, who studied with Shimozono's textbooks, opened a Japanese-language school for the blind in Tianjin, China using the same textbooks. As Shimozono arrives in China to see the fruits of his work, Guo Lihua, the school's first graduate, is about to leave for Japan to continue her studies.

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