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Documentary : Traditional Culture


The Mark of Beauty |

SERIES The Mark of Beauty | Mount Fuji


美の壺 | 私の富士山 [NHK]

|Length : 29min. |Year : 2013

Mount Fuji has recently been named a UNESCO World Heritage site. The mountain has long been engrained in the Japanese soul as an object of worship and as the source of countless pieces of art. This episode takes a look into the deep relationship Fuji shares with water, which is indispensable to the view of the mountain. It also explores the reason why many Japanese people share the image of the mountain as having a summit with three peaks. From the Middle Ages to the present day, Mount Fuji has been the theme for many pieces of art produced by countless painters and creators, and as such, has been admired by the people in everyday life. We delve into the deep beauty of the mountain through the keywords of "water", "worship", and "design".

SERIES The Mark of Beauty | Sakura


美の壺 | 桜 [NHK]

|Length : 29min. |Year : 2013

In Japan, the sakura cherry blossom is synonymous with spring. The people of Japan have long adored the sight of how the sakura blossoms bloom proudly at once, before soon dropping their petals ever so elegantly. Such beauty of the sakura has given birth to countless beautiful handicraft pieces. The sakura kanzashi hairpin, which features realistic, faint-colored sakura petals, is popular among young women. The delicate hue of the dyed fabric called sakurazome is produced using the color that dwells inside the trunk of sakura trees. We also introduce the mystical beauty the sakura reveals when it is viewed at night; it almost looks like the flowers are emitting light. Furthermore, we look at how the famous writer Chiyo Uno was so intrigued by the sight of falling sakura petals that she produced countless elegant kimonos of that theme. We thoroughly savor the beauty of the sakura, which never ceases to enthrall the people of Japan.

SERIES The Mark of Beauty | The Donabe Pot


美の壺 | 土鍋 [NHK]

|Length : 29min. |Year : 2013

Winter in Japan exists together with hot pot dishes, and the main character of such delicious dishes is the donabe earthenware pot. While it is a cooking utensil, the donabe is at the same time a serving dish ensconced at the center of the dining table, and adored by everyone. That is why the donabe has needed to have the beauty to adorn the dining table, besides the practical features to tolerate heat, retain heat, and not break. This episode features the soft-shelled turtle hot pot that is served at an established Japanese restaurant; the beauty in donabe pots of Iga City, loved by many prominent individuals; and other unique earthenware pots from around the world. We dive into the unknown world of beauty that lies in the simple and warm donabe earthenware pot.

SERIES The Mark of Beauty | Confectionary of Kanazawa


美の壺 | 金沢の和菓子 [NHK]

|Length : 29min. |Year : 2013

Kanazawa is one of Japan's top three confectionary cities. This former castle town with more than 400 years of history is bustling with beautiful Japanese confectionaries that owe their origin to the snowy Kanazawa scenery. The city offers a myriad of Japanese sweets: from candy adorned with vivid colors that stand out in the snow; rakugan, the confectionary of supreme elegance that was loved by samurais; to cakes that add color to a tea ceremony. As Kanazawa is a city with a tradition of handicraft production, the episode also introduces local wares to serve confectionary on. In addition, we follow a confectioner as he goes through trial and error to produce confectionary to best match a Kanazawa-made ware. We take a close look at the former castle town's sweets during winter, when Kanazawa is at the prime of its beauty.

SERIES The Mark of Beauty | Hasami Ware


美の壺 | 波佐見焼 [NHK]

|Length : 29min. |Year : 2013

The Hasami ware, baked over a period of 400 years, in Hasami Town, Nagasaki, has a deep, hidden history. We examine a piece acclaimed by connoisseurs as the ultimate example of wabi-sabi, or "simple elegance"; an exotic bottle loved by the great writer Leo Tolstoy; and many more. Join us as we delve into the deep world of beauty that lies in the Hasami, which has travelled back and forth between practicality and beauty over its long history.

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