Documentary : Science and Technology
Beyond the Naked Eye | The Secret is in the mighty swing of the Katana
アインシュタインの眼 ｜ 刀一振りに奥義あり [NHK]
｜Length : 43min. ｜Year : 2009 ｜
The attraction of Japanese period films lies in the elegance and dynamism of its sword fighting scenes. From the realistic bits that make people look as though they're actually being cut, to the breathtaking beauty and intensity seen in the split-second execution of skills...
How do these scenes -- that continue to intrigue us -- come to life?
The stage combat master is the choreographer and director of sword fighting scenes. By utilizing a state-of-the-art camera, we close in on the ultimate skills that the stage combat master brings to life through his infinite wisdom and discipline.
Beyond the Naked Eye | Food Poisoning — the creepy micro-sized devil
アインシュタインの眼 ｜ 食中毒 しのびよるミクロの悪魔 [NHK]
｜Length : 44min. ｜Year : 2009 ｜
Hot seasons bring about spates of food poisoning incidents. Bacteria invisible to the naked eye attach and multiply on foods; when consumed in the human body, these bacteria cause serious symptoms such as diarrhea and vomiting. In this program, the multiplying process of such bacteria is caught on footage utilizing a state-of-the-art camera which is able to capture even the slightest amount of colors. The workings of bacteria such as o-157, which has the ability to withstand gastric acid, and the heat-resistant bacillus cereus, are also investigated.
Tech Innovators in Japan～①Magic Paint that Shields the Streets ②Keeping Tradition Alive with Kaya from Aso
｜Length : 24min ｜Year : 2021 ｜
1. Japan's transport infrastructure, in particular roads and bridges, was mainly built in the country's rapid economic growth decades. However, problems of infrastructure aging and scenery maintenance are causes of concern for citizens and civil authorities. Kumamoto construction company Amaken Tech has stepped up to help resolve these problems with a revolutionary new paint. This water-based paint is non-toxic and scentless, yet is strong against abrasion. It’s a revolutionary new option for the road construction industry, which still uses enormous amounts of long-lasting oil-based paint. In this half of the program, we investigate the traits and technology of this paint, which is finding its way onto roads all through the country.
2. Constructors of traditional Japanese buildings have a big problem: where do they get the kaya grass to replace kayabuki thatched rooves? Kaya growers are decreasing in number, as are the grasslands where one can harvest kaya. Meanwhile, in Aso, volunteers are gathered each year to burn down kaya grass to maintain farmland.
Yasutaka Yamamoto from the Aso-based GS Corporation has started a new business, purchasing kaya grass harvested before burns, to be sold to kayabuki craftsmen in Kyoto. It’s helping to provide income to farmers in the off-season, and motivation to protect Aso’s grassland. In this half of the program, we talk with Yamamoto about his work to protect traditional architecture, and meet the people of Aso helping to gather and maintain kaya grass.
Science Zero The Underground Secrets of Oze
サイエンスゼロ 大調査！尾瀬 知られざる地下世界 [NHK]
｜Length : 30min ｜Year : 2020 ｜
Science ZERO utilizes cutting edge knowledge and technology to thoroughly investigate various phenomena from a scientific perspective. In this episode, we focus on Oze, Japan’s largest mountain wetlands, where a comprehensive scientific survey was conducted after a hiatus of 20 years. Documenting the survey team for one year, this program joins them in revealing the secrets that have made Oze a paradise for rare flora and fauna. Even the experts are surprised by what they find in a pond called Ryugu Pond. How can this small pool possibly keep absorbing a stream of water that continually eddies in? Using the latest underwater drone technology, the survey team discovers a complex tunnel structure beneath the pond. It turns out that the key to Oze’s unique ecosystem can be found in an unknown subterranean world!
Tech Innovators in Japan～ ①Visualizing Heart Disease ②Miracle Meat to Save the World～
世界一の九州が始まる！ ①心音が“見える”！超聴診器 ②地球を救うミラクルミート [RKK]
｜Length : 24min ｜Year : 2020 ｜
① President of the medical startup AMI Co., Ltd., cardiovascular disease specialist Shinpei Ogawa has developed a stethoscope that allows doctors to see heartbeats.
Until now, stethoscopes have only provided the sound of heartbeats; by turning them into graphic data, it allows for early detection of heart disease and assists doctors with diagnoses. There are even plans to use it in telemedicine, as performing stethoscopies via the internet can benefit areas with a shortage of doctors. Could this device be a breakthrough for the countries’ ageing population, as well as areas short on doctors?
② As the world’s population increases, so do fears of a future protein shortage. For that reason, DAIZ, a company located in Kumamoto City, Japan, has developed a “miracle meat” made solely from soy beans. Koji Ochiai, DAIZ’s Head of Research and Development, was interested in the fact that germinating soy beans share similar properties with animal meat. And by altering their sprouting conditions, he was able to produce “meat” that closely resembled the taste of beef, pork, chicken, and more. Since then, he has continued to develop this miracle meat in the hopes that it may one day save the world.