TV Station ABC
Baton of Memories
｜Length : 27min ｜Year : 2021 ｜
Yoko Nakajima (68), painter and teacher at an art studio in the city of Kobe, brought cheer back into the lives of children there who had lost their smiles after the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake of 1995 by having them paint pictures. When the Great East Japan Earthquake struck in 2011, unable to sit by doing nothing, she packed art supplies into her car and headed for the devastated area of Northeast Japan. Because school gymnasiums were being used as morgues and other buildings were unusable, she held art classes outdoors, on school campuses. For years thereafter, she continued to travel to the devastated area using art as a tool in her effort to rebuild the lives of the children and bring them cheer. One of the schools she visited was Hashikami Elementary School in the city of Kesennuma. Momoka Goto and Kaede Iwabuchi, who were first graders at the time of the disaster, still have clear memories of that day. In 2018, they participated in a memorial event for the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake in Kobe. Seeing the children of Kobe attending the memorial and how the devastated city had bounced back, the two girls began to feel that they wanted to do something for Kesennuma, so they started storytelling activities that would talk to people about what had happened in 2011. 2021 marked the 10-year anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake. Many of the planned events had to be cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but in November 2020, Ms. Nakajima paid a visit to Kesennuma. She planned to pass on to Momoka and her classmates, now high school students, a figurative “baton” that embodied their hopes for the rebuilding of their town….
Gion Festival 1150th Anniversary -The Essence of Japanese Culture and the Spirit of the Townspeople
｜Length : 61min ｜Year : 2020 ｜
This program follows the Gion Festival as it celebrates its 1150th anniversary and provides an exclusive in-depth look at some of its lesser-known rituals and the floats whose decorative artworks from around the world have earned them the nickname "moving art museums." It also highlights the dedication of the people who put on the festival and explores the essence of Japanese culture.
Summer in Kyoto is synonymous with the magnificent Gion Festival that attracts more than a million visitors each year. Born from a desire to quell disasters following a devastating plague and earthquake in 869, the festival has continued uninterrupted for 1150 years despite numerous wars and natural disasters because of the indomitable spirit of the people of Kyoto. Today, the Gion Festival features 34 splendiferous floats featuring artworks from abroad and craftsmanship by top Japanese artisans.
The Show Must Go On～Overcoming the 2016 Kumamoto Earthquake～
｜Length : 25min ｜Year : 2016 ｜
Kumamoto Prefecture was hit by a devastating earthquake in April 2016. The Kobayashi Troupe, a traveling group of actors, was caught in the quake. Fortunately, no one suffered any life-threatening injuries, but the theater where they had been performing, so they were forced to evacuate. Theater owner Ryuji Genkai, who is also an actor, has opened up his facility to people in need, sharing his well water with people in the town with no running water due to quake damage. Ryuji and Makoto, the leader of the Kobayashi Troupe, make a pact, swearing that they will put on a play together again at this theater, to entertain the people who need cheering up after such a devastating experience. They overcame many difficulties and uneasiness in order to resume their performances.
Raising Parents: Lessons from a Veteran Midwife
｜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.