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Documentary : Traditional Culture


The Mark of Beauty |

SERIES The Mark of Beauty | Sashimi


美の壺 | 刺身 [NHK]

|Length : 29min. |Year : 2012

One of the dishes that the Japanese are most acquainted with is the sashimi. To say that sashimi is "just cutting raw fish" would be ignorant. Since its birth in the Heian Period roughly 1,000 years ago, it has been passed down through generations of chefs, with the technique being refined to an art form. We will take a look at the superb knife skills of a master and the secret to plate selection in creating awe-inspiring presentation. We will also take a look at sashimi specific to different regions in order to fully understand and appreciate its simplistic beauty.

SERIES The Mark of Beauty | The Bento


美の壺 | 弁当 [NHK]

|Length : 29min. |Year : 2012

The gentle autumn season is perfect for picnics and excursions, and what better way to compliment the splendor of the season than a nice boxed bento meal? The wide array of colorful side dishes carefully arranged in the small box is a beauty unique to Japan. We will get a close look at the presentation techniques of Kyoto's made-to-order "Shidashi Bento", the origins of the "Shokado Bento" which are rooted in the Japanese tea ceremony, and a behind the scenes look at the preparation of the "Makunouchi Bento" which have been enjoyed at Japanese Kabuki plays for decades. Loaded with bento fun-facts and imagery that are sure to whet your appetite, we will try to get a better understanding of the Japanese aesthetics that are packed into the bento box.

SERIES The Mark of Beauty | Nebuta of Aomori


美の壺 | 青森のねぶた [NHK]

|Length : 29min. |Year : 2012

The Nebuta Festival colors the streets of summer in the northeastern Tohoku region of Japan. What draws the attention of all is the brilliant and enormous "Nebuta" with its fierce warrior face, giving it a lively, forceful presence. This power is the secret behind the fascination of Nebuta. Its origins trace back over 300 years, when it started out as a custom to exorcise bad luck by setting a small lantern adrift on a river or ocean. Taking in influences from other parts of the country during a time of land development in the Edo Period (1603-1868), the Nebuta grew to be dazzling and gigantic. We will enjoy three marks of beauty the Nebuta Festival has to offer: three dimensional shaping, black sumi ink, and red of passion.

SERIES The Mark of Beauty | Okinawan Houses


美の壺 | 沖縄の民家 [NHK]

|Length : 29min. |Year : 2012

Okinawa. A tropical land abounding with colors and nature. The characteristic scenery comprised of red roof tiles and coral walls of the Okinawan houses is a beauty unique to the land, which never ceases to attract travelers. This breathtaking view was born out of Okinawa's own history which prospered in its location between Japan and China, and its struggle against the harsh climate of heat and typhoons. We will take a detailed look at the red tiled-roofs, eaves, and walls to get a better understanding of the Okinawan aesthetics.

SERIES The Mark of Beauty | Summer Kimono


美の壺 | 夏の着物 [NHK]

|Length : 29min. |Year : 2012

A hot summer day in Japan. A female figure in a kimono holding a parasol in her hand, walking along in a cool, refreshing manner displays a dignified beauty. Because it is a country with such contrasting seasons, there are ways to enjoy the kimono through fabrics, patterns, and accessories that are unique to summer. One of Japan's foremost kimono stylists, Nobuko Ookubo, states of the kimono's appeal, "I see it as the presence of a slender figure, swimming inside a thin garment. It projects elegance and sensuality." Along with avid kimono-lover, actress Riho Makise, we will learn the art of wearing the summer kimono in a stylish manner.

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