Letters from DAIBA FujiTV English Blog

Ohatsu returning to Japan from Europe

Dec 20, 2013

Hello, friends!

In a forest.
Before dawn.

The man stabbed a sword deeply at the beloved woman's throat.

And then, he killed himself with the same sword.

They finally died together.

The woman's name is Ohatsu, and the man's, Tokubei.
Their love was finally fulfilled in heaven.

This is the climax scene of the play "Sonezaki Shinju (Love Suicide at Sonezaki)."

One of the most famous tragic love stories of Bunraku, a traditional Japanese puppet performing art.  Bunraku is designated as one of the Intangible Cultural Heritages by UNESCO.

Ohatsu was a high-class courtesan in the pleasure district.

But her one and only was Tokubei.

One day, Tokubei was swindled by his friend and lost his will to live.

He asked Ohatsu to commit joint suicide (shinju) and she agreed. 


They roamed the deep forest and.....

Ohatsu and Tokubei first appeared on stage in the world of Bunraku in 1703 in Osaka.

Since then, Ohatsu has been the one of the most famous "heroines of a tragedy" in the Bunraku world.

And just 310 years after, Ohatsu "entered" in front of European audiences this year.

These are photos from the performance held at Teatro Argentina, Rome in October (photos courtesy of Odawara Art Foundation.)

Playing the role of Ohatsu is regarded as an honor for any performer since it requires high performance skills to express Ohatsu's beauty, transitoriness and sadness.

Usually a puppet of Bunraku is operated by three men, one for the right hand, one for the left hand, and a third operator for the feet.

At Rome's show, in the first act, Ohatsu appeared in a special way.
Mr. Kanjuro Kiritake, a Japanese famous puppet master had been operating Ohatsu by himself.

One-man-operating-Ohatsu is very rare; almost no one has seen this even in Japan.

Mr. Kiritake made a special one-man Ohatsu puppet for himself especially for the European shows.

He showed us this Ohatsu the other day.

Do you see the surface of Ohatsu's kimono?

Mr. Kiritake had been searching for kimono cloth in Rome and finally found it in the Hermes shop.
Ohatsu's kimono is made of Hermes's scarf.

The shows in Rome, Madrid, and Paris drew a loud applause from audiences.

We, at Fuji TV's Rome Office also supported this show in Rome.
Ohatsu and Tokubei will come back to Japan next March after a successful tour in Europe.
This "Sugimoto Bunraku Sonezaki Shinju" will be held in Tokyo and Osaka.
I'm very much looking forward to seeing Ohatsu return from Europe.

Thank you!


Posted by.sarasa | | Comment (0)

The Wounded Sea Cormorant

Aug 27, 2013

Hello, friends!
Like Nissy, I am also returning to this blog since last summer.
I've been busy getting old and swimming in the sea :-D
The other day, when I went to the beach where I always swim, I noticed two birds standing on a rock. Even when I approached them, they didn't fly away...soon I realized one of them could not fly.

As you can see, the bird on the right side, her right wing seemed to be broken.
She was moving her wings at times but she could not spread it.
The bird on the left side spread out both his wings occasionally. He seemed to be OK.
It looked to me like he was accompanying his partner.
The birds are sea cormorants.
We can often see sea cormorants in this area.

I was watching these two birds for 30 minutes or so.
They didn't leave the spot...they looked like they wanted humans to leave the area soon. So I left the spot, hoping they would be able to return back to their home safely.
The next day when I went there, they had left already.
I didn't see them anymore.
I'm hoping she is now flying in the sky.
Thank you!

Posted by.sarasa | | Comment (0)

Walking Along a Canal

Jul 26, 2012

Hello, friends!

Even in the early morning, the strong beam from the sun was reflecting on the water of the Tennozu canal.
I used to walk from The Shinagawa station to the Tennozu Isle station, about 2 kilometers, on my way to FUJI TV in the morning.
One winter morning a long time ago, I stopped walking ever since a cold wind hit me in the face.
The reason I started to walk again these days is because I noticed I needed to control my weight.
For exercise too.
I'm going to take you on a wonderful walk along the canal in Tokyo.

The starting point is the Shinagawa station.
Lots of people are coming out from there.
A few minutes walk towards the east will take you across the river.
Actually this is not a river but a canal.

There stretches a boardwalk along the canal.

You can often see a waterfowl around here.
Faint smell of the sea... 

There are many bridges over this canal.
One of them is Rakusui bridge.
People say the night view of skyscrapers from this bridge is very beautiful.
I'm going to cross the bridge.

There is a park on the corner of the boardwalk.
A big headphone appears suddenly.
Next one is the Fureai bridge.

This name "Fureai" means "rapport" because this bridge is connecting Tokyo's two wards, the Shinagawa Ward and the Minato Ward.
When you come to the other side of the bridge, there is another boardwalk.
Drama shooting is sometimes conducted around here.
The surrounding area is a business district.
After crossing this road...finally you will arrive at the Tennozu station.
The approximately 20-minute walk along the canal is very much fun.
I'm going to keep doing this in the morning.

Thank you!


Posted by.Clarence | | Comment (0)

Sunny Side Town

Jul 11, 2012

Hello, friends!

I was in a small French town named "La Rochelle" last month.

More than 2,000 producers of TV documentary programs gathered from 50 countries to exchange information and to look for partners for co-production.
I attended this event called "Sunny Side of The Doc" for the first time this year.
Although my trip was very short, I got a lot of useful information there.

The town itself is so small but the wording "sunny side" describes it perfectly.
Situated along the Atlantic Ocean, many tourists are visiting this resort.
The symbols of this town are 3 towers built in the 14th and 15th century.
3 hours by the TGV train from Paris.

This is the town I want to visit again in the future.

Thank you!


Posted by.Clarence | | Comment (0)

I Saw A Beautiful Woman

Jun 26, 2012

Hello, friends!

I'm sure I saw her somewhere a long time ago.
She was a very beautiful Japanese woman.
But I couldn't remember where or when.
Before long, I came to forget her in my daily life.

I saw her again in a post office recently.
I was suddenly reminded of her existence!
But why in a post office?
The reason is this picture.
This is a post-office pane which was issued in June 1st, commemorating the "60th anniversary of The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo" and the "50th anniversary of The National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto."
My woman is on the right side.
I bought these commemorative postage stamps.

The original painting is titled "Bathhouse Maiden", drawn in 1918 by Bakusen Tsuchida (1887-1936).
It was registered as an Important Cultural Property by the Agency for Cultural Affairs.

The woman in red is lying on a bed, her breasts half bare, looking at a distant landscape.
Next to her, you can see another woman with the face invisible.
She is sitting playing a Japanese shamisen.

She looks like one of the women drawn by French painter, Renoir.

This is how I finally found the woman I've been thinking of.

Meanwhile, when I was walking in Ueno where there are many museums in Tokyo, I noticed a poster on the street.

They are planning a special exhibition in celebration of the 60th anniversary of The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo.

I saw her again in this poster.

I'm looking forward to seeing the "real her" this October.

Thank you!


Posted by.Clarence | | Comment (0)

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(Female, 40s)
Specialist in French, who grew up in Paris. Once-tough TV journalist, but currently shows her goofy side. Has lots of hobbies, especially golf and traveling. Is the reliable older-sister type.
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Loves the ocean. Paddles his canoe to a deserted island with his pet Standard Poodle on weekends to read. Has such a dark tan, the only visible areas are his teeth. The penpals' boss.
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Working mom with a son, a set of B/G twins and an overweight cat. Eats 5 meals a day to maintain her energy. Rewards herself with a special treat of shochu every night♪ Loves to cook, knit and sew.
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Originally from Kyoto then temporarily lived in Chicago. Loves hanging out with friends and exploring new places/unknown things. Addicted to sweets and coffee. Book, culture & art lover.



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