TV Station MBS
A Passionate Challenger | The Joy of Independent Watchmaking
独立時計師 菊野昌宏 [MBS]
｜Length : 25 ｜Year : 2019 ｜
In a world of mass-production, the “independent watchmaker” creates a watch from scratch - from original design to crafting every, single mechanical piece and putting them together. There are only 31 of them who have been officially certified by the Horological Academy of Independent Creators. Masahiro Kikuno became fascinated in his twenties by a Swiss independent watchmaker, and when he was 30, he became the first Japanese, and youngest ever in the world, to be certified. His creations which feature uniquely Japanesque designs and elaborate precision mechanisms, attract orders from around the world, commanding prices ranging from 45,000 to 160,000 dollars. He makes only two watches a year, hand-making screws as little as 0.001 millimeters. Our cameras follow Kikuno for eight months as he creates a one-of-a-kind timepiece for an overseas client, and delve into why he persists in making something commonly mass-produced with his own hands.
A Passionate Challenger | Medical Innovator Revolutionizing Medicine with Virtual Reality
｜Length : 25 ｜Year : 2018 ｜
Like a scene out of a SF movie, surgeons wearing head sets study 3D images of organs that hover above the patient on the operating table. Then with precision accuracy, the lead surgeon removes the lesion. A futuristic world has opened up in the medical field with VR technology that was pioneered in games and entertainment. Naoki Sugimoto has applied it to develop a system that can be used in surgery. Named one of the winners of Apple’s Mac 30 – Thirty Years of Innovation in 2014, this medical doctor is in high demand throughout Japan, providing support as a surgical navigator in complicated cases, and also travels widely as a lecturer and advisor. Despite the challenges of making inroads in the medical field, especially in surgery, this medical innovator is fervent in his belief that “Japan is a breeding ground for VR medicine” and passionately continues his quest.
A Passionate Challenger | Master Chef of Fermentation Refining the Taste of Tradition
｜Length : 25 ｜Year : 2018 ｜
Near Lake Yogo in Shiga Prefecture, there is a little treasure of a restaurant named Tokuyamasushi where its owner-chef Hiroaki Tokuyama has devoted his life to the ancient method of “narezushi” - salted fish packed with rice and fermented to produce a uniquely delicious aroma and taste. Tokuyama is the guardian of the traditional local cuisine that dates back a thousand years, but he is also a pioneer, adapting a myriad of ingredients into innovative dishes, raising the art of fermentation to a whole new level. Connoisseurs from around the world seek out the hidden restaurant where reservations must be made months in advance.
For nearly a year, our cameras followed Tokuyama who thrives amidst the seasonal bounties of the woodlands. Using the delicacies from the lake and the mountains, Tokuyama has honed his technique and knowledge. Enjoy the wonders of “fermentation” which preserves and creates such exquisite tastes, and revel in the scenery of Japan’s yet-unspoiled nature.
A Passionate Challenger | Weaving the Tradition in a Tropical Forest
情熱大陸 ｜ テキスタイル・デザイナー・森本喜久男 [MBS]
｜Length : 25 ｜Year : 2017 ｜
Near Siem Reap in Cambodia, known for the famous ruins of Angkor, is “a weaving village” uncommon even in this world. Using the abundant natural resources available in the area, and traditional Cambodian weaving techniques, textiles of high artistic quality are produced here that have garnered worldwide acclaim. Fourteen years ago, this area was a wasteland. Today, the villagers create handwoven silk fabric from start to finish - from raising silkworms, to creating dyes to weaving. And the man who made this possible is a former Yuzen silk artisan, Kikuo Morimoto, from Kyoto. When he was in his thirties, Morimoto volunteered at a refugee camp in Cambodia and came upon a single piece of traditional Cambodian textile. Due to years of internal conflicts, the Khmer silk culture was fading into oblivion. Inspired by its beauty, this man from Japan set down his roots in a country foreign to him, and dedicated half his adult life to restoring the ancient technique, and almost single-handedly, pulled off a miracle. However, he was diagnosed with cancer and given five years to live. This is the fifth year, and it is also the season for the “silkworm festival” which is held annually in the village. It was begun by Morimoto in reverence of the silkworms who, in death, leave behind their beautiful threads. The festival is a venue to introduce newly woven textiles as well as to put the village on the map and help it prosper. Realizing that this could very well be his last festival, Morimoto reflects on the legacy he hopes to leave behind -- his fervent wish that the village will continue to thrive, and pass down the beautiful traditional silk-weaving culture to future generations. How will the festival turn out? Our cameras follow Morimoto and the villagers through this important and hectic period.
A Passionate Challenger | Treasure Hunter in Tropical Rivers
情熱大陸 ｜ 淡水魚研究家 佐藤智之 [MBS]
｜Length : 24min ｜Year : 2016 ｜
Cambodia boasts nearly 500 species of freshwater fish. More research on freshwater fish needs to be done on a wider scale because so little is known even about the types of fishes that exist there. In his quest to encounter every fish that exists in Cambodia, Tomoyuki Sato, an avid aquarist, has been cataloguing the freshwater fishes of Cambodia with great zeal. At the same time, the Cambodian arowana conservation project has hired him to study the Asian arowana which has been declared an endangered species. We take a fascinating look at this man, Tomoyuki Sato, and his simple and honest desire to “encounter every fish that exists.”