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Production Year 2022

SERIES A Passionate Challenger | Confections of Unrivaled Beauty -An Innovative Wagashi Creator:Shiho Sakamoto


和菓子作家 坂本紫穂 [MBS]

|Length : 25min |Year : 2022

Starting about ten years ago, Shiho Sakamoto took on the title of “Wagashi Creator.” She runs no shops, publishes no recipes, and works mainly from her home kitchen to create Japanese wagashi sweets. Yet, she continues to create unique, breathtaking works. Her motifs include a butterfly perched on a flower, a single raindrop, the moonlight, crashing waves, footprints in snow. She draws upon a variety of everyday images and occurrences for inspiration. Her portfolio of over 400 creations has captivated women who exclaim that her wagashi are “too pretty to eat.”
Sakamoto’s career path is as unconventional as her confections. She got a job at an IT firm after college but was forced to take a leave of absence after falling ill from overwork. Just when she was rethinking her life, a dream she saw of wagashi served as a sign for her to pursue her true calling. Ever since, she has forged her own path as a mostly self-taught Wagashi Creator with no formal training at any notable wagashi shops.
This program follows Sakamoto’s project with a major wagashi maker and another with a small shop in the countryside to witness the birth of new wagashi, and in doing so, we discover a surprising treasure of hers. Although wagashi has been taking a back seat to Western confections recently, and the distinction is often blurred, Sakamoto insists on differentiating wagashi from its Western counterparts. Just what is the “Japanese spirit” that lies within these tiny treats? We search for the answer in Sakamoto’s creative process during a time when summer fades into autumn.

Our High School is an Aquarium -Happiness on Every Third Saturday


ハイスクールは水族館!! 第3土曜日のしあわせ [RNB]

|Length : 54min |Year : 2022

This stage is set on an island called Shikoku. There was once a municipal aquarium in a small town on this island. It was built 87 years ago, and it was the very first aquarium in Shikoku. After that municipal aquarium closed, the townspeople wished to revive it once more and that’s how the Naga High Aquarium was born. It’s an aquarium inside a school. Ehime Prefecture Nagahama High School. They have the nation’s only Aquarium club, and there are 2,000 sea creatures of 150 kinds inside the school building.

The club members feed the fish every day, cleans the tanks, and give their all to care for them. Those sea creatures can be seen at the public viewing every third Saturday of the month, and many people visit the school on that day. A popular event during the public viewing is “Tommy’s Yellowtail Show”. High school students became yellowtail trainers, and they trained yellowtails to create what may be the world’s first yellowtail show. The show puts a smile on everyone’s faces. It creates a moment of happiness.

We began recording footage at Naga High Aquarium ever since the public viewing started in 1999. Among them is a segment covering six years of the yellowtail show, starting when the founder “Tommy” first entered the school. In 2018, western Japan suffered from a disaster caused by torrential rainfall. The school closed, and many fish died. In addition to that, Nagahama High School is not a preparatory school, and it’s not very easy to access, so they have to deal with declining student admissions. The school may have to close for good if there are not enough new students coming in. The club members shoulder the dreams of the townspeople and older students who left the club in their care, as they overcome crises and work hard every day. Together with all the sea creatures.

Fukushima Monologue II


福島モノローグ2 [NHK]

|Length : 49min |Year : 2022

"What should be cherished? What should be passed on?" After the Fukushima nuclear accident, Matsumura Naoto stayed put in his hometown of Tomioka to look after abandoned animals. A decade later, Matsumura is now battling to revive a rice field in a decontaminated wasteland. As once-treasured farmland is lost to various new forms of development, Matsumura's solitary struggle to carve out a different path to the community's future casts the theme of post-disaster reconstruction in a new light.

Pearl of Gion: Return of the Miyako Odori


ETV特集 「祇園の子0都をどり コロナからの復活0」 [NHK]

|Length : 59min |Year : 2022

The prestigious entertainment quarter of Gion in Kyoto is the largest in Japan. As an area priding itself on traditional hospitality, Gion was hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. Several geiko and maiko lost their places of work, and without any opportunity to pass down traditional ways to the new generation, the art itself seemed in danger.
The revival of the Miyako Odori, a large-scale dance performance to be performed for the first time in three years, is their only hope. We join some young maiko who fell in love with this wondrous district and life in Gion as they attempt to overcome adversity. We bring you rare footage from inside the okiya where they live and train; a side of life normally unseen by outsiders. Young maiko work hard to realize their dreams in the sometimes strict, sometimes kind world of Gion.

Tech Innovators in Japan ① The Endless Potential of Pulsed Power ② Modern Decor with an Ancient Story


世界一の九州が始まる! ①一瞬で未来を変える!?驚異の稲妻パルスパワー ②里山発!進撃のインテリアブランド [RKK]

|Length : 21min |Year : 2022

①The Endless Potential of Pulsed Power
A new insecticidal device that uses an enormously powerful, lightning-fast pulse of electricity to kill off Anisakis, a parasite that causes food poisoning, is garnering attention around the world. The device wields an incredible kind of energy called pulsed power. A variety of industries can already see its promise, and pulsed power is being hailed as a savior of the next generation. Associate Professor Takao Namihira of Kumamoto University is persevering in his research in hopes of finding everyday applications for this energy, which was originally developed for military use.

②Modern Décor with an Ancient Story
Furniture made from Oguni cedar, a special type of Japanese cedar found in Minamioguni Town in the Aso region of Kumamoto Prefecture, has become a hit not only in Japan, but across the globe. The company responsible is Foreque, a local brand with only five employees. When their sleek designs grabbed the attention of international media outlets, they were flooded with orders from Japanese and foreign customers alike. Company president Syunsuke Anai recalls that when he first started the company, every furniture maker he spoke to wrote off Oguni cedar as an unsuitable material for furniture. Despite their pessimism, Anai held onto his strong desire to create one-of-a-kind products and protect the forest he loves.

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