TV Station MBC
Yanedan : The Rebirth of a Village
やねだん ～人口300人、ボーナスが出る集落～ [MBC]
｜Length : 51min. ｜Year : 2008 ｜
This is the story of the rebirth of a village. Located far in the southwest of Japan, twelve years ago the village of Yanagidani (affectionately called "Yanedan") was a typical village in rural Japan. Its young people moved away and those who remained grew older. More than 40% of its 300 residents were over 65 years old and the village was in a state of decline.
When the village appointed Mr. Toyoshige to be its new village head -- and the people of Yanedan set out to re-build the community -- life began to change in unexpected ways. This is the story of how in practical and often creative ways the villagers brought a new life and vitality to their village, and without any help from the government.
This program is based on a close documentation of village life during the past five years, a story told using film footage, photographs, and interviews with the village head and the many old but active members of the community.
As a model of local revival, Yanedan has become famous throughout Japan.
Department Store for a Day
｜Length : 12min. ｜Year : 1992 ｜
In 1991, the seniors at the Ibusuku High School of Commerce headed a project that would turn their school into a "Department store for a day" This documentary highlights the work that went into the students' project - initial planning, sales training, creation of a budget, buying of stock, advertising, sales. The documentary follows the students through the preparatory stages to the grand opening of the high school department store and its sucessful one day of operation.
Growing Old in Rural Japan ～Time with 5 Elderly Friends～
どーんと鹿児島 お日さまに照らされて～私とふるさとの先輩たち～ [MBC]
｜Length : 45 ｜Year : 2018 ｜
As younger people move to nearby cities, the population of rural Japan continues to shrink and age rapidly. This documentary takes a close look at the lives of 5 elderly people (ages 84 to 94) who are living in rural Japan, on the southern island of Kyushu. It follows them in their daily lives as they grow vegetables, ride the local bus, do rehabilitation work, socialize with their friends and share their feelings about aging and dying.
The following five individuals are the main focus of this program:
Yoshi (94) lives alone, farms, and takes the bus to the hospital. Her son visits every weekend to help with his mother’s farm. Chikayoshi (90) is a retired plasterer who is forever making or growing something and shares his philosophy – his wisdom – about life and death. Himo (91) lives alone. She farms and socializes with the many friends who stop by her house. She doesn’t want to grow old. Toshio (84) is in the hospital after suffering a stroke. He wants to regain his strength so he can return to his home and die there. Aya (90) lives alone. Her husband died 50 years ago and she raised her kids on her own. She gardens, cares for her cedar trees and continues to drive wherever she goes.
What the Sea Turtles Teach Us
｜Length : 72min. ｜Year : 2009 ｜
Sea turtles have lived on this planet for some 200 million years. A symbol of longevity and fertility, in Japan they appear in traditional folktales and are worshipped and admired. Research regarding sea turtles has revealed surprising results. Loggerhead sea turtles, born on Japan's beaches, travel to Mexico and after growing to maturity there, they return to Japan to lay their eggs. In the course of a lifetime, they travel roundtrip across the vastPacific Ocean.
In recent years, the number of sea turtles has declined to the point that they now near extinction, and on many beaches where they once laid their eggs, they can no longer be seen.
Making use of underwater, aerial and other footage of the abundant natural environment, this program documents the current status of the environment in which sea turtles live, and shows people who are making every effort to live side by side with sea turtles.
Small Town, Big Challenge – Six Years Face to Face with Dioxins –
｜Length : 51min. ｜Year : 2005 ｜
The Kawanabe Township, in Kagoshima Prefecture, had been throwing dioxin-contaminated ash in a valley behind the waste treatment facility for some 23 years. The town decided to dig up all the ash that had been dumped, to fully disclose information about their situation, and - in an effort shared by the local government and local residents-to re-evaluate their approach to environmental matters. The township's decision not to hide anything led to a convergence of people of the same mindset, people in Japan and abroad who then contributed their wisdom to an effort that culminated in the birth of an entirely new dehalogenation technology and all this in a town of only 15,000. Although this documentary looks at six years in the history of one small town in Japan, environmental problems have no borders.