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JAPAN VIDEO TOPICS

2006 Volume 1

 

FIGTHING SPORT BUILDS FRIENDSHIP (4'11”)  

Invented in 1882 by Jigoro Kano, Judo is now the world's second most popular participatory sport, practiced in 200 countries. Kano refined element of tradition martial arts to create a new sport he hoped would build character and mutual respect. The fruit of his high ideals was on show at the recent Jigoro Kano Cup International Judo Tournament in Tokyo , where the world's best Judo practitioners competed in a spirit of friendship.

 

BLOCK TOY UNBLOCKS CREATIVITY (3'06”)

Children have long loved to construct their fantasies out of play blocks, but the possible shapes were always limited until a small company in the Japanese countryside came up with a new ideal. Joint sections angled at 120 degrees now allow flat blocks to be assembled into spheres and other natural shapes. The unlimited possibilities of this system have made it popular with both children and seniors, inspiring creativity in the young and keeping older minds sharps and active.

 

HEREOS OF DISASTER – TOKYO 'S HYPER RESCUE TEAM (4'26”)

Formed from members recruited from Tokyo 's fire department rescue teams for their special skills, the Hyper Rescue Team is the elite of the elite. A number of spectacular rescues since its creation in 1996 have made the team famous, and it is now often called on to help in emergencies around the world, Unlike regular rescue units, the Hyper Rescue Team has its own bulldozers and heavy equipment, allowing it to rapidly respond to very difficult hazardous accidents.

 

UNDERGROUND CAVERNS OF AKIYOSHI (4'07”)

The Ramsar Convention on wetland resources lists the limestone plateau of Akiyoshi, with its underground water system that has eroded a 10Km complex of magnificent caverns. The plateau was formed by the remains of a 350 million years old coral reef, pushed ashore by the movement of the ocean plates. Rainwater percolating through the rock cut the caverns, and the lime in the water created the spectacular stalactites and stalagmites that make this one of the nature sights of Japan.

 

 

JAPAN VIDEO TOPICS

2006 Volume 2

 

CITY OF COUNTLESS FACES ( 3'56”)

Tokyo is not just one of the world's biggest cities (the biggest, by some definitions) it is also one of the most varied. Moving from one locality to the next can take you instantly from street that a samurai would recognize into the world of science fiction. From the otaku paradise of Akihabara to many faces for you to enjoy.

 

THE ART OF THE COMPACT ( 4'20”)

From folding fans to multi-compartment bento lunchboxes, Japan has long been famous for sophisticated techniques to fit things into small spaces. In modern times, this gave the world the transistor radio, the walkman, and multi-fiction mobile Phones. But this is more than just technique: as you might guess from the Japanese garden and the art of Bonsai, There lies behind it a philosophy of creating spaces, however compact, designed to keep us in touch with the world of nature.

 

KEEPING THE EXPRESSWAYS SAFE (3'50”) 

Keeping the expressways carries 5.6 million vehicles a day and is indispensable to the nation's economy. The expressways keep functioning safely thank to a system of round the clock road repair and maintenance, computerized traffic control and expressway patrol vehicles. As well as real-time broadcast and highway signs operated from the traffic control centers, service areas provide road users with many kinds of information. Constant research has given Japan some of the most advanced expressway construction techniques.

 

WEAVING WORKS OF ART (4'38”)

Nishijin, in the north of Kyoto , has been a silk weaving center for over 1,000 years. Two brothers from a poor family became weavers here straight from elementary school. Both are now over 100 years old. They are still weavers, but in middle age they each turned to art. Itaro , now 104, is close to completing his decades long project to reproduce in silk a famous 900-yeasr old painting on the Tale of Genji, His younger brother Yujiro decided to research dyeing techniques to restore old Noh costumes. Now a leading expert, he create original Noh Kimonos

 

 

 

 

JAPAN VIDEO TOPICS

2006 Volume 3

 

SHIMANE – LAND OF SILVER , SWORDS AND ANCIENT SHRINES ( 4'20”)  

Shimane, on the west coast of Japan , is the place to go for a taste of the country's ancient history, Japanese creation myths center around this land, home to Izumo Taisha, one of its oldest and most unique shrines. This is where the Japanese began practicing iron-and sword-making, using techniques imported from the continent. And here were the famous mines that once exported silver to the whole world.

 

LASTEST DIGITAL CAMERA TRENDS ( 3'56”)

The first digital camera aimed at amateurs appeared in 1995. It caused the revolution that meant everyone could be a photographer with a tiny camera in their pocket. Rapidly evolving design and technology over the past decade of competition between camera and electronics makers has given an 80% share of the world digital camera market.

 

ART OF HIDDEN BEAUTY ( 4'30”)

300 years ago, the shogan summoned artisans from all over Japan to beautify the capital Edo, now known as Tokyo . One result was the creation of a specialized style of cabinet making called EDO Sashimono, famed for its cunningly hidden joints and elegant simplicity. The tradition seemed about to die out, so one of the surviving master has begun openly teaching its once-secret techniques.

 

MORE THAN CUTE – KAWAII !!! ( 3'10”)

One world you're sure to notice on a visit to Japan is “kawaii”. Teenage girls seem to use it in every sentence. It's an old word, meaning the warm, protective feeling we have toward small defenseless things like puppies or babies, but in the last decade it's become the Japanese teenager's word of choice for everything cute and appealing. And today this convenient word is spreading around the world.

 

 

JAPAN VIDEO TOPICS

2006 Volume 4

 

THE ROOTS OF JAPANESE ANIME

Japanese pop culture is spreading worldwide today and many young people overseas regard anime animated films and manga comics from Japan as “cool”. Children in New York are fascinated by Pokemon and you can easily buy Japanese comics in Paris. Collaboration work has also begun between animation production companies in Japan and foreign artists. This segment investigates the roots of Japanese animation, which perhaps go all the way back to a picture scroll drawn 900 years ago or to the ukiyo-e woodblock prints of the 18th and 19th centuries.

 

SHOP ASSISTANTS WITH PURCHASING POWER

Convenience stores have overtaken department stores and supermarkets in terms of sales figures, and they now enjoy the top position among retail shops in Japan. Why are their sales figures increasing? A leading convenience store chain not only uses computerized data for sales management, but has also introduced a system in which even the part-time shop assistants are responsible for purchasing. The segment introduces the backstage activities at Japanese convenience stores that can quickly grasp customer needs to increase their sales figures.

 

EXPLORING JAPAN: APPRECIATING JAPANESE-STYLE ROOMS

Traditional Japanese-style inns and ordinary houses feature Japanese-style rooms called “washitsu” where Japanese people can find peace of mind. Simplicity is the main characteristic of a washitsu and it is normally kept largely free of furniture. However, it can be easily become a dining room if a table is placed on the tatami mats or a bedroom if futon mattresses are laid out. Washitsu rooms are divided by fusuma, sliding wooden doors covered with paper. This segment represents the unique Japanese aesthetic by which a limited space can be put to a variety of uses.

 

THE JAPANESE ECONOMY IS RISING FROM RECESSION

Japan has at last escaped from the recession that has lasted since 1990, and it is now about to move on to a new stage of stable growth. This, however, has only been achieved by thorough reconsideration of the business systems that made Japan strong in the past and the implementation of initiatives such as rigid restructuring. This segment pursues the course of Japan's long-awaited economic recovery.

 

 

 

 

JAPAN VIDEO TOPICS

2006 Volume 5

 

JAPAN'S ASSISTANCE FOR IRAQ

Japan's assistance for Iraq has been developed based on two main activities around the two main activities around the town of Samawa: the implementation of Official Development Assistance, ODA, including the provision of trucks to distribute clean water; and humanitarian relief provided by the Japan Self-Defense Forces, JSDF, including medical assistance and helping with reconstruction and repair work on roads and public facilities. In addition, construction has begun on a large-scale power station through the ODA. We provide and update on Japan's assistance being conducted in cooperation with local people in Samawa.

 

EXPLORING JAPAN: APPRECIATING JAPANESE SOUND

The Japanese have traditionally lived with a deep respect for Nature, and they developed a lifestyle that was well harmonized with it. We introduce the Japanese sense of appreciation for natural sounds, including the croaking of kajika singing frogs living in the river, the rustling bamboo leaves in the breeze, the refreshing tinkle of “furin” wind bells, and the distinctive sounds of the Japanese musical instruments produced from natural materials, such as shamisens, flutes, and drums.

 

JAPANESE ANIME IN MALAYSIA

Many elements of Japanese pop culture feature strongly in newspapers and magazines today in Malaysia, including character goods, fashions for young people, manga comics and anime animation films. There are even shops specializing in Japanese pop culture, and Japanese animation programmes compete for the top ratings on Malaysian TV. In this segment, we investigate Malaysians on the street.

 

CITIZENS IN CITY PLANNING

The city of Mitaka, 18 kilometers west of the centre of Tokyo, has a population of about 170,000. It features Japan's most advanced example of local administration with citizen participation. The mayor of Mitaka asked residents to draw up basic plans for city revitalization and promised that their proposals would be implemented. The citizens of Mitaka came to participate in the administration, being regarded as founts of wisdom and knowledge rather than just as simple taxpayers. We introduce the unprecedented local administration being carried out by the enthusiastic residents of Mitaka.

 

 

 

JAPAN VIDEO TOPICS

2006 Volume 6

 

MOBILE PHONE TV

There seems to be no end to the diversification of mobile phone functions. In April 2006, a “one-segment broadcasting” service was launched in Japan. For the first time in the world, digital television programmes can now be viewed on a mobile phone. The service will be available nationwide by the end of 2006. The advent of the era in which you can watch television anywhere had begun. “One-seg” has already been a big hit with young people who enjoy live sports programmes, but it is attracting everyone's attention because it will greatly influence the future of TV. This segment introduces the current situation of “one-seg broadcasting”.

 

EXPLORING JAPAN: APPRECIATING WOODEN ARCHITECTURE

Mountains comprise 70% of Japan's land area and the Japanese have traditionally valued forests and carefully fostered the culture of wood. There are many large trees in Japan and Japanese people have venerated them as sacred objects while valuing their timber in their daily lives. In this segment, we will introduce the charm of Japan's wooden structures and introduce some of Japan's finest examples: Todaji Temple Hall (48 meters high, the world's biggest wooden structure), the five-storied pagoda of Horyuji Temple (32.5 meters high, the world's oldest wooden structure), Kintai-kyo bridge (constructed in 1673), and Ise Shrine, which is regularly rebuilt to revere the freshness of wood.

 

JAPAN WELCOMES YOUNG STUDENTS

This segment provides an update on studying in Japan. Recently, the number of young people from overseas countries who want to study at universities and advanced vocational schools in Japan has been increasing. The Japanese government has been making an effort to complete its system to help promote understanding about Japan. One of the measures taken is the introduction of a general examination called EJU, held every June and November. If students acquire a certain score, they can apply for the entrance examination to the educational institution they wish to enter. In addition, there are Japanese language schools available that are specifically designed to help students master a sufficient level of Japanese to take the EJU. In addition, Japan Education Fairs are being held in several countries to encourage overseas students to come to Japan.

 

 

 

 

 

JAPAN VIDEO TOPICS

2006 Volume 7

 

CLIMBING FOR CLEANING

In May 2006, Ken Noguchi, the internationally famous Japanese mountain climber, returned to the Himalayan peaks with colleagues to carry out “climbing for cleaning” for the fifth time. Every visit they find several tons of garbage left behind by members of climbing expeditions, including heavy climbing gear such as oxygen cylinders. The network supporting Noguchi's actions to clean up the mountains is spreading in both the public and private domain, and “climbing for cleaning” has begun on other mountains, including Mt. Fuji, Japan's highest mountain. Noguchi's dream is to find support for his efforts by getting more and more people interested in the environmental protection of mountains.

 

LIVING WITH FLOWERS

This segment introduces how the Japanese live with flowers. Many Japanese incorporate flowers into their daily life, and more than five million people learn the traditional style of flower arrangement called “ikebana”. There are many scenic spots for flower-viewing all over Japan and each season has its special blooms. The most popular are the morning glories in summer, the chrysanthemums in autumn, the ume Japanese plum tress in winter, and the cherry blossoms in spring. Some people take pleasure in planting miniature flowering trees in pots.

 

Fine Marquetry from Hakone 3' 52”

The Hakone Yosegi-Zaiku marquetry craft tradition, featuring complex geometrical patterns formed using the natural color of different types of Wood, began about 200 years ago in Hakone, a forested area containing many tree species. Several types of wood are cut and glued into a solid block so that a pattern runs all the way through it. Thin veneers shaved off this block are used to decorate products ranging from jewelry cases to chests and trays, Hakone Yosegi-Zaiku ware is also famous for intricate secret puzzle boxes.

 

FUROSHIKI- THE FLEXIBLE WRAPPING CLOTH

The Japanese have traditionally used a furoshiki, a cloth about one meter square, as a handy way to wrap things. The furoshiki is now experiencing the revival. More and more people are using them as a bag or even as a headwear, and there are classes available to learn how to wrap things efficiently and attractively with a furoshiki. Yuriko Koike, the Minister of the Environment, has been promoting use of the furoshiki as a means to save energy and encourage environmental conservation. This segment introduces the revival of the long-neglected furoshiki.

 

 

 

JAPAN VIDEO TOPICS

2006 Volume 8

 

BEACH CLEANING BUGGY

This segment introduces modern beach cleaning equipment based on traditional techniques. The beautiful beaches of Japan are increasingly suffering from the problem of how to remove accumulations of trash. A Japanese car manufacturer has developed some equipment that is highly effective in removing trash from sandy beaches. Its designers used hints from traditional Japanese tools, including the sieves that were used to separate the bran from rice and the bamboo rakes that are still used all over Japan to collect fallen leaves. After a lot of trial and error, the equipment could sieve out cigarette butts from the sand. In summer 2006, two types of device were attached to a four-wheeled buggy. Its energetic cleaning efforts on beaches suffering from trash pollution have already been highly evaluated.

 

SECRETS OF THE WHITE EGRET CASTLE

This segment introduces the many attractions of Himeji Castle, which was completed in early 17th century and designated as a World Heritage Site in 1993. The wooden construction soaring to a height of 49 meters is said to be the most beautiful castle in Japan. The design of its five-layered, seven-storey keep with its curved roves makes the castle resemble a white egret opening its wings, so it is also known as Shirasagi-jo, the White Egret Castle. Two huge pillars, 25 meters long and one meter in diameter, have protected the castle from earthquake damage over the centuries. The various defensive features include more than ten gates and the zig-zag approach to the keep that was designed to hinder access to the main citadel. The castle was, in fact, never attacked, but the lords who controlled it were often changed.

 

YUKATA FASHION BOOM

This segment introduces the increasing popularity of the traditional light kimonos called yukata. Recently, more and more young women are wearing Yukata, and they add color to summer events such as fireworks display and Bon Festival dances. Yukata were originally made from cotton dyed with indigo and they were worn as a bathrobe or a housedress. But recently, as many more colors and designs have become available and prices have fallen, they have come back into favor as fashionable clothing, particularly with young women. Major department stores and leading brand clothes makers are promoting yukata sales, with expanded display spaces and yukata fashion shows. The use of simple yukata has changed into a way for women to express their personal fashion sense in the heat of the Japanese summer.

 

WASHI- THE JAPANESE FINEST PAPER

The high quality hand- made paper called washi was invented in Japan in the 7th century. It is widely used today for various purposes that make full use of its thinness, strength, and beautiful texture. Washi has traditionally been used not only for letter paper, but also for umbrellas, lanterns, ukiyo-e woodblock prints, and as an architectural material. It provides a distinctive sense and charm to Japanese life and culture. In the 17th century, the Dutch painter Rembrandt appreciated washi's ability to fully express shading and he used it to print his copperplate etchings. Because washi provides a very effective way to moderate and soften light, it is attracting designers and artists worldwide. They are eagerly searching new ways to put it to artistic use, such as using it to wrap the exterior walls of a hotel and car bodies and interiors. This segment introduces the attractions of a traditional craft item that brings a simple and soft atmosphere to Japanese life.

 

THE POPULAR ENGLISH BUS TOUR

Yellow “Hato Bus” sightseeing buses take tourists to many sightseeing spots in Tokyo, Japan's capital city. Around 70,000 people a year enjoy sightseeing using the buses that provide an English commentary, a service that began in 1953. It is a very easy and comfortable way to see the Tokyo sights. The tours are led by female guides proficient in English who all have their own techniques to subtly change their explanations according to the nationality and cultural background of the tour members. Their efforts are always well-received. In this segment we join one of the popular bus tours that includes visits to the major sightseeing spots of Meiji Shrine, Odaiba and Asakusa.

 

 

 

JAPAN VIDEO TOPICS

2006 Volume 9

 

STATE OF THE ART PROSTHETICS

This segment introduces the latest technology centered around the development of assistive limbs and sports artificial legs. In 2005, the research project team at Tsukuba University in Japan announced its research results on HAL (Hybrid Assistive Limbs). HAL can increase the operator's muscle power by more than ten times, and it is expected to prove extremely useful in a variety of welfare situations, including disaster relief efforts and caregiving. Using state-of-the-art technology, a skilled prosthetic technician is also trying to produce artificial legs that are easier to use and give the disabled a feeling of security.

 

STAYING AT THE WORLD HERITAGE SITE

Mt.Koya, one of Japan 's most famous Buddhist sacred sites, was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 2004. Since the news was serialized in a French newspaper, the number of foreign visitors has been increasing year by year. One secret behind this increase is the popularity of the shukubo , lodgings inside the temples that visitors can stay at. At the shukubo , you have the chance to experience part of the training for priests and also eat the same vegetarian meals-including many vegetables and seaweed-as the priests, who are not allowed to eat meat. This segment introduces the shukubo of Mt.Koya.

 

BASEMENT FOOD RICHESS

Most Japanese department stores have a handy basement food section that connects with railway stations via underground passages. In recent years, these sections have changed considerably as the lifestyle of the Japanese has changed. Today, the sections feature not only many world-leading food products and food from famous high-class stores throughout Japan , but also “eat-in-corners” where you can taste freshly prepared dishes from an open kitchen on the spot or take them home. This segment introduces the latest situation at the department store basement food sections.

 

WASHI- THE JAPANESE FINEST PAPER

 

The high quality hand- made paper called washi was invented in Japan in the 7th century. It is widely used today for various purposes that make full use of its thinness, strength, and beautiful texture. Washi has traditionally been used not only for letter paper, but also for umbrellas, lanterns, ukiyo-e woodblock prints, and as an architectural material. It provides a distinctive sense and charm to Japanese life and culture. In the 17 th century, the Dutch painter Rembrandt appreciated washi's ability to fully express shading and he used it to print his copperplate etchings. Because washi provides a very effective way to moderate and soften light, it is attracting designers and artists worldwide. They are eagerly searching new ways to put it to artistic use, such as using it to wrap the exterior walls of a hotel and car

 

 

 

 

JAPAN VIDEO TOPICS

2006 Volume 10

 

JAPAN'S 50 YEAR AS UN MEMBER

This segment looks at Japan's history as a member of the United Nations. Ever since it was admitted in 1956, Japan has consistently made appeals to the international community through the UN General Assembly on the need for nuclear disarmament and nonproliferation. Japan 's role at the UN has become increasingly important since the fall of the Berlin Wall and the end of the Cold War. For example, the government of Japan played a central role in seeking the peaceful resolution of the international conflict in Cambodia. It has also been engaged in development assistance in various African countries, based on the concept of “human security”, and it takes initiatives to achieve the Millennium Development Goals. In order to help make the UN more effective in the 21st century, Japan is now seeking permanent membership in the UN Security Council.

 

ONSEN- WARM-HEARTED HOT SPRINGS- BEPPU AND YUFUIN

Beppu, in Oita Prefecture on the southern island of Kyushu , is one of Japan's most famous onsen hot spring resorts and the Japanese are fond of its distinctive townscape filled with steam. In recent years, Beppu has been trying to attract more foreign tourists; the number of overseas visitors has tripled over the past ten years. This segment introduces the attractions of Beppu, centered around an American who provides walking tours with an English commentary and a Japanese craftsman who creates beautiful wooden tableware in Yufuin, the attractive neighboring town.

 

RAMEN- JAPAN'S FAVOURITE NOODLES

This segment introduces the secrets of a dish that ordinary Japanese people just cannot resist-“ramen” noodles. Although ramen originated in China, a variety of ideas were added to the basic recipe to produce Japanese original versions. Japanese ramen chefs have created many ramen variations that incorporate “umami”, the subtle soup stock flavour produced from seafood products and fresh vegetables, and added distinctive soup seasonings based on soy sauce, miso, and so on. In the city of Yokohama, not far from Tokyo, there is even an amusement park with ramen as its theme. The irresistible attractions of ramen draw more than 1.3 million visitors to it every year, proving just how much the Japanese love ramen noodles.

 

THE SMALL ISLAND THAT DRIVES ON ETHANOL

 

This segment introduces a small island in southern Japan where biomass ethanol is being produced in the most cost-effective way in the world. In Japan, great efforts are being put into measures to protect the global environment and many technological developments have been carried out. One of these, research on mixing ethanol with gasoline, is now underway on Ie Island in Okinawa Prefecture, 1,500 kilometers from Tokyo. Biomass ethanol is produced from sugar cane on the island. But Japan has only a limited area suitable for growing sugar cane, so in order to make the use of ethanol viable, the research team developed a new type of sugar cane that grows to about double the normal height. The ethanol factory makes full use of Japanese energy-saving technology.

 

 

 

 

JAPAN VIDEO TOPICS

2006 Volume 11

 

GLOBAL OYSTERS SUPPORTED BY FOREST

Kesennuma is located on the northeastern edge of Miyagi Prefecture. The coast has a beautiful ria shoreline and the peninsula, with an intricate network of inlets, faces the sea in three directions. Since 1989, Shigeatsu Hatakeyama, who makes a living here from oyster farming, has been involved in tree-planting activities with his fellow fishermen. He also set up work-study programmes that invite children from all over the country to experience the importance of the relationship between forests and the sea. His philosophy is that in order to protect the marine environment, you must not only think about the sea itself but also care for the upstream forests and the rivers that run into it.

 

NOT JUST FOR PLAY- MOBILE GAME DEVICES EVOLVE

Mobile game devices are now enjoying a boom among adults in Japan. Although they were originally designed for playing games, interest is now focused on the wide variety of software applications available for them, including English language instruction and cooking guides. Museums and art galleries are also paying attention to the use of the devices. The National Museum of Western Art in Ueno, Tokyo, is experimenting with a guidance system to explain the exhibits to visitors. In Kyoto , several makers have cooperated to create an interactive museum, where visitors can enjoy the “Ogura Anthology of 100 Poems by 100 Poets”, playing the traditional card matching game using mobile game devices. This segment introduces the latest applications of the devices that continue evolving beyond the bounds of the existing framework.

 

TOKYO ONE-DAY TRIP

In this segment, two young foreign students experience a one-day trip around Tokyo using an economical ticket that allows unlimited travel on the Tokyo Metropolitan subway system as well as bus and train services all day for just 700 yen (around 6 US dollars). They visit various popular Tokyo spots, ranging in style from an ancient Edo atmosphere to the most advanced cityscape, as well as places where visitors can get a taste of life of ordinary Tokyoites. Their first destination is Tsukiji Wholesale Market, where they enjoy fresh sushi at a very reasonable price. Then they visit Ameyoko in Ueno, Asakusa, and Hamarikyu Detached Palace Garden . After enjoying the atmosphere of old Edo, they end their one-day trip in a club in Roppongi that is right at the top of universal youth culture.

 

UDON- NOODLES FOSTERED BY NATURE

 


This segment introduces one of the representative Japanese slow foods and how it is made. In the Inland Sea of western Japan , ferries weave their way through around 3,000 islands of different sizes. The calm mirror-like see is the result of the mild climate that is unique to the Inland sea area throughout the year. Sanuki udon, thick wheat noodles, is a popular “slow food” dish from nationwide in the last few years as the “final noodle boom”. The prefecture has low rainfall and shallow underground water supplies that provide the mineral-rich well-water ideal for producing udon noodles. The Kagawa noodle-makers are very particular about the preparation techniques: carefully mixing white flour with water and treading on the dough to help generate the distinctive “body” of Sanuki udon. People from all over Japan visit the prefecture searching for that special taste.

 

 

 

 

JAPAN VIDEO TOPICS

2006 Volume 12

 

ONE-DAY TRIP TO TSUKUBA- NATURE AND SCIENCE

This segment introduces an attractive location for a day trip from Tokyo on which you can enjoy mountain scenery, ocean delicacies and advanced technology. Since the opening of a new railway service in 2005 it has become possible to travel from central Tokyo to Tsukuba City in Ibaraki Prefecture in just 45 minutes. The symbol of the city is the famous Mt. Tsukuba , which often featured classical Japanese poems and is today a popular location for casual hiking. The research carried out at Tsukuba Science City supports Japan 's leading-edge technologies and the facilities of many of the research organizations are open to the public; the tours given by English-speaking guides are very well received. And just east of Tsukuba is the Pacific Ocean where the angler fish, a winter delicacy, is in season.

 

EDO KITES FLYING HIGH

Traditional Japanese kites made of handmade Japanese paper and bamboos are very popular because of their charm as traditional craftworks. However, there are very few craftsmen left producing them. 82-year old Tetsuya Kishida is one of the leading craftsmen who makes “ Edo kites”. Very particular about the kite frames and elaborate design, he produces kites that display the stylishness of Edo . In this segment we see Kishida at work in his atelier and also introduce the lively festival featuring kite competitions in Hamamatsu in Shizuoka Prefecture.

 

SUPPORTING THE NEXT GENERATION OF AIRCRAFT- CARBON FIBER COMPOSITE MATERIALS

Development of the next-generation large-size passenger planes is advancing in Europe and the USA. Japanese textile manufacturers hold an unchallenged position in the production of carbon fiber, an essential element in their development. Super-fine fibers are bundles, heated, and further woven to produce carbon fiber, the finest trump cards for reducing the weight and strengthening the body of highly advanced aircraft. This segment introduces the carbon fiber composite materials that are created by the fusion of traditional textile industry technology and modern high technology.

 

TOKYO TRADITIONAL TASTE

 

Tokyo, originally known as Edo, is a city with a history of over 400 years. Many old establishments dating from the Edo period (1600-1868) remain in business in Tokyo today. They have gained support by preserving traditional ways. In this segment, we introduce three establishments at which “Edo period taste” has been handed down, centered around lunchtime menus with which you can casually enjoy the atmosphere of the past: “Sasa-no-yuki”, a restaurant that specializes in dishes made from tofu, the globally popular health food; “Komagata Dojo” which serves dishes featuring the dojo loach, a freshwater fish traditionally loved by Tokyoites; and “Hanazono Manju” a confectionery shop where you can enjoy traditional sweet desserts with matcha green tea.
 

 

 

 

(c) Embassy of Japan in the Philippines
 

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