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Production Year 1997

Heads! Bump the Sky! – Nebuta Fires the Passions of Summer –


天サ頭ぶっつけろ ねぶたに燃えた一瞬の夏 [RAB]

|Length : 43min. |Year : 1997

Lit figures atop floats spur dancing in the streets

The Aomori Nebuta "fire festival" is famous the world over, but the men who make it possible are still shrouded in secrecy. This documentary focuses on two nebuta masters, Sakuryu Chiba and Takashi Kitamura as they plan, design and build their floats depicting legendary figures and animals. Work starts in the dead of winter for the festival which takes place over six days, from August 2.

Japanese Great Masters and Ever-Popular Handicrafts


職人魂が宿る究極の逸品 [TX]

|Length : 45min. |Year : 1997

A look at the secrets behind traditional arts & crafts

Japanese handicrafts are renowned world wide for their beauty and intricacy. The summer kimono requires not just an eye for color, but also a keen sense of timing. The essence of the folding fans from Kyoto can be found just as much in the split-bamboo frame as in the beautiful paper.

Fireworks Festival at the Sumida River


ロマンと感動の記録『隅田川花火大会の軌跡』 [TX]

|Length : 30min. |Year : 1997

The summer Sumida River fireworks festival has a long history. This particular festival was originally intended to prevent fire and disease when it was first established, but today more than 1 million people annually watch as some 20,000 "fire flowers" light up the evening sky. The skill required in the manufacture of fireworks is as important as the care taken when they are released into the sky.

Kendo’s Gruelling Challenge – The 120 Second Test of Spirit –


心で闘う120秒 剣道・日本最難関試験に挑む [NHK]

|Length : 50min. |Year : 1997

Japanese fencing, kendo, combines sport with art, and entrance into the hierarchy is dependent upon passing a gruelling examination. Two professional kendo practitioners, Kenichi Ishida and Kai Miyamoto, walk us through the finer points of this martial art as several candidates compete during the one-day hachidan qualifying exam.

Karakuri – A Technology from the Past –


からくり いにしえのテクノロジー [TVA]

|Length : 30min. |Year : 1997

Long before robotics, mechanical dolls served the people

The technology used by Sakichi Toyoda to develop the automatic loom and eventually auto plant robotics dates back to the Edo period when mechanical dolls (karakuri dolls), powered by springs, performed a variety of tasks, from serving tea to adorning festival floats. This show focuses on a family which has carried the art of karakuri making through to the present era. The goal of Shobei Tamaya, ninth in his family of karakuri craftsmen, is to mesh the technology of the past with today's computer-generated works and line city streets with mechanical doll clocks.

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