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Production Year 2023

Gion Festival-The Road to the Historic Float’s Restoration-


祇園祭 鷹山復興への道 196年の眠りから覚めて [KBS]

|Length : 52min |Year : 2023

Gion Festival, one of the most famous festivals in Japan, includes many rituals and events during the month of July every year. The most famous of these are the float processions held on the 17th and again on the 24th. All the floats are festooned with gorgeous ornaments and are pulled and pushed through the main streets of Kyoto.
On July 24, 2022 the Takayama Float which had not been seen for 196 years, was seen once again in the second parade.
Over the years there had been many failed attempts to revive the Takayama Float. But it wasn’t until 2022 that this fabled float would once again proudly join the parade again. It wasn’t easy, but thanks to many people’s efforts, the Takayama Float enjoyed a rebirth after nearly 200 years, marking the beginning of a new chapter in the history of the festival.

Two Wars One LifetimeRemembering Sakhalin and Ukraine


二度の戦争を生きて ~ウクライナとサハリン、ある日本人の軌跡~ [HBC]

|Length : 45min |Year : 2023

In March 2023, 78-year-old Hidekatsu Furihata arrived at Narita International Airport in Japan. Despite being Japanese, he converses with his family in Russian, as a consequence of a unique life journey. During World War II, Furihata resided with his family in Karafuto, now Sakhalin. The Soviet invasion and post-war chaos prevented his return to Japan, compelling him to stay in Karafuto. After marrying, he moved to Ukraine, only to face the Russian invasion last year. With Russian bombings threatening his home, Furihata evacuated with his grandchildren and great-grandchild to Hokkaido, Japan, where his sisters and brother reside. Despite facing numerous hardships, Furihata maintains a constant smile and a witty sense of humor. Living alongside his siblings in Japan, he eventually makes a life-changing decision. As we delve into the history of Japanese individuals who endured life in Sakhalin through rare footage spanning half a century, this program explores the wars in Ukraine and Sakhalin, shedding light on the profound impact these events have had on ordinary lives.

SERIES A Passionate Challenger | Nebuta Artisan Asako Kitamura


ねぶた師 北村麻子 [MBS]

|Length : 25min |Year : 2023

The Aomori Nebuta Festival is one of the three major festivals of the Tohoku region and is also designated as an Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property by the government. It features a majestic spectacle of large “Nebuta” floats that are paraded through the city along with people chanting "Rassera, Rassera." Reaching a size of nine meters wide, seven meters long, and five meters tall, Nebutas are considered to be the world’s largest paper crafts.
Asako Kitamura is the first female artisan to create these giant works. It was long thought that the creation process was too much for a female to handle; the physically demanding and at times dangerous work involves drawing sketches with a paintbrush, creating massive parts with numerous wires, building the framework with hammers and saws, and climbing up high.
The Nebuta Festival is no mere show for the giant floats; it is a competition. Every year, the floats are evaluated and ranked by judges. Asako started her training at the age of 25 under her father Takashi, who is the sixth-generation Nebuta Master. In 2012, she surpassed her father and placed third with her debut work. In her fifth year, her Nebuta won the grand prize. The program follows Asako as she prepares for the festival, returning after a three-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

SERIES A Passionate Challenger | Neurosurgeon Katsumi Takizawa


脳神経外科医 瀧澤克己 [MBS]

|Length : 25min |Year : 2023

Neurosurgeon Katsumi Takizawa displays superhuman skills when he sutures blood vessels in the brain that are not even a millimeter in diameter. He is swift and precise, devoid of any trace of hesitation. His stage is international, having visited 22 countries including Cambodia, Brazil, and Russia. Takizawa’s guiding principle is rooted in a personality that cannot ignore a call for help—"Wherever summoned, I will go." In the operating room, he maintains an unruffled composure. Yet, once he finishes a surgery, a transformation occurs, and he becomes remarkably loquacious. His somewhat nonchalant demeanor remains unwavering whether in the presence of colleagues or patients.
Takizawa serves as the Deputy Director at Japanese Red Cross Asahikawa Hospital, where he juggles administrative responsibilities in hospital management with surgical procedures, outpatient consultations, and on-call duties. On his days off, he responds to requests from around the world. However, “the hands of god” did not manifest overnight. In his youth, he was told that surgery was not his calling as his hands would constantly tremble from anxiety. But he persevered, and through continuous effort, he has evolved into a globally sought-after surgeon, with requests pouring in from all corners of the world.

Walking With My Family -The Nail Artist’s Journey to Happiness-


家族で歩く!~車いすネイリスト6年半のキセキ~ [HTV]

|Length : 46min |Year : 2023

Yuka Nakano, a nail artist, was involved in a traffic accident in March 2016 and suffered a spinal cord injury, which left her limbs paralyzed and now in a wheelchair. With the support of her family and her friends, she desperately continued her rehabilitation and returned to work as a nail artist two years after the accident. She never gives up on her dreams, but what she was about to give up on was romance and becoming a mother. Meanwhile, she meets someone who says her disability doesn't matter, starts a family, and becomes a mother. Yuka begins her journey with her new family.

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