The Fisherman and the Forest
The tsunami of March 11, 2011 was first and foremost a disaster for humans. More than 22,000 people in Japan’s northeast died or went missing. However, other species were affected too, including creatures of the sea. Oyster farmer Shigeatsu Hatakeyama, known for the phrase “forests are lovers of the sea,” decided to restart oyster farming. NHK captured images of the sea working with mountains to rejuvenate itself, nurtured along by humans.
March 9 Fri. 23:10/ March 10 Sat. 5:10/ 10:10/ 17:10 (UTC)
A ravaged high school piano, soaked by the tsunami, sat stoically after the Great East Japan Earthquake. Renowned musician Ryuichi Sakamoto came across it when visiting the disaster area. The sounds were divorced from conventional tonality, and Sakamoto employed them in his first album in eight years. He also attached sensors to the keys, transforming the instrument into a machine that converts seismic waves into sounds. It was his way of conveying the message that the disaster should never be forgotten. Moving to watch and listen as the teacher and students who had used the “tsunami piano” before the quake react to its new melodies.
March 16 Fri. 15:30/ 21:30/ March 17 Sat. 3:10/ 9:10 (UTC)
J-MELO on Sendai
J-MELO shines the spotlight on Sendai, the largest city in Japan’s northeast, known as the Tohoku region. In the first of two programs, host May J. and friends take a musical journey around town. Sendai proves to be a treasure trove of tunes from up-and-coming rock bands, performers of traditional folk music, and many other kinds of artists. Part two features an appearance by MONKEY MAJIK, a Canadian and Japanese band based in Sendai.
Part1: March 18 Sun. 15:10/ 21:10/ March 19 Mon. 3:30/ 9:30 (UTC)
Part2: March 25 Sun. 15:10/ 21:10/ March 26 Mon. 3:30/ 9:30 (UTC)
Tsuruko’s Tea Journey
In one form of the Japanese tea ceremony, the host serves traditional kaiseki cuisine, sake, and finally tea to the guests. The ritual, established as an art form more than four centuries ago, is believed to be the foundation of Japan’s omotenashi hospitality. One woman has decided to embark on a unique nationwide pilgrimage to immerse herself in the art. Tsuruko Hanzawa is a rare “catering chef” of tea ceremonies. At 70, she loaded her pots, pans, and tools for making tea onto a van and set off in her kimono, serving food using local ingredients and tea to the people she met along the way. Exploring a life devoted to tea, this documentary follows Tsuruko for two years as she battles illness to continue her pilgrimage.
March 30 Fri. 23:10/ March 31 Sat. 5:10/ 10:10/ 17:10 (UTC)