Letters from DAIBA FujiTV English Blog

International Emmy Award Judging Session at Odaiba

Jul 30, 2013

Hello Friends,

Im pleased to report that Fuji Television had the chance to host the Semi-Final Round of Judging for this years International Emmy Awards. For those of you who are not familiar with the International Emmy Awards, the Awards is hosted by the International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, a membership based organization comprised of leading media and entertainment figures from over 50 countries and 500 companies from all sectors of television including internet, mobile and technology. The Academy awards presents the Awards in twenty programs categories each year.

As a host for this special occasion, Fuji TV organised and prepared for the Judging Session to take place here in Tokyo. A group of professionals from various fields gathered for this Semi-Final Round of Judging, from Japanese representatives of a Hollywood studio, creators from Asia, Korean MBC, NHK, to Kansai TV, a total of 22 professionals.

The judging session itself took place from July 23rd to 24th, for a day and a half where judges crammed themselves into a hotel room and watched programs ceaselessly. A Japanese Representative Director of one of Hollywoods major Studios voiced out Its difficult to see them through a different perspective than that of a buyer.

Between the judging sessions, there were opportunities to network and even talk about new opportunities in business, which I thought was beneficial to all participants and gave new meaning to the sponsorship Fuji TV provided.

The Semi-Final Round of judging is planned to continue on until the end of September. (23 scheduled sessions) Then, all judging results will be collected from the sessions for the Nominated programs to be announced at MIPCOM in Cannes October 7th. The final winners will then be announced at the big awards show on November 25th at New York. I can't wait to find out who the winners are!

                   

Have a nice day,

Tak


Posted by.sarasa | | Comment (0)

Whatever Will Happen To ”Made In Japan”?

Jul 31, 2012

Dear Friends,
 
After Japan recovered from the devastation of World War II, “Made in Japan” was still synonymous with crude goods which were cheap and poorly-crafted until the 1960s. Yet Japan focused on the long-term goal of producing the highest-quality goods for world markets. As a result, “Made in Japan” went from being shoddy copies to the best in the world in ten years. Historically, there have been many examples of tiny nations and city states becoming super economic powers, so Japan is hardly unique in that respect. In thirty fast years, tiny Japan rose to become the world’s second largest economy (now the third). How this happened continues to be a mystery to most people.
 
Recently, “Made in Japan” got a lot of attention in a negative way. It was an object of censure. The chairman of an investigation ordered by Japan’s parliament into last year’s failure of the tsunami-crippled Fukushima nuclear plant has declared that it was a crisis “Made in Japan” resulting from the “ingrained conventions of Japanese culture.” On July 5th, Kiyoshi Kurokawa, chairman of the Diet’s Nuclear Accident Independent Investigation Commission, said “Its fundamental causes are to be found in the ingrained conventions of Japanese culture: our reflexive obedience; our reluctance to question authority; our devotion to ‘sticking with the program’; our groupism; and our insularity.” But the foreign media criticized his statement for its misleading the essence of crisis. “Made in Japan” has been facing praise or censure.
 
The global financial turmoil of the late 2000s is often called a crisis comparable to the Great Depression of the early 20th century. The Depression and World War II that broke out a decade later changed the world completely. For Japan, the Great East Japan Earthquake of March 11, 2011 has been added into a historic event that turned everything on its head. Indeed the world now stands at a crucial turning point in history.
 
Thinking of history, we have historical text, Kojiki or ‘Record of Ancient Matters’ which is the oldest extant chronicle in Japan, and compiled by O-no-Yasumaro at the request of Empress Gemmei. The Kojiki is a collection of myths concerning the origin of the home islands of Japan, and the Kami or deities. This year marks the 1300th anniversary of its compilation.
 
In fact, the Kojiki refers to the creation of Japan in a romantic way. Though it is mythology, it was implied that two deities Izanagi (male) and Izanami (female) gave birth to a series of islands that would become what is now Japan after having conjugal intercourse. It is a mysterious but a simple story: Love makes a Land.
 
Other myths include: Izanagi’s journey to Yomi-no-kuni (the Underworld) in an attempt to bring back Izanami after her death, Susano-o’s battle against the eight-headed and eight-tailed serpent Yamata-no-Orochi, and the adventures of Okuninushi as he rose to become the deity charged with turning the land of Japan into a true nation. These myths share similarities with mythology from around the world, particularly well-known tales from Greek mythology, and this provides an added layer of interest to them.
 
While it is difficult to say at which point the stories pass from myth and legend into historical fact, this blend of stories gives us many different windows into Japanese history and culture. And all is “Made in Japan.”
 
I sat glued to the TV to watch the Opening Ceremony for London Olympic Games. The Olympics is a good opportunity not just to see top-class athletes but also to learn about the world’s peoples, countries and cultures. Creative genius Danny Boyle (film director: “Slumdog Millionaire” and “Trainspotting”) turned Olympic Stadium into a jukebox, cracking up world-beating rock from the Beatles, the Rolling Stones and The Who to send the planet a message: Britain, loud and royal proud, is ready to roll. I could see how Great Britain developed as a nation and who Brits are. With a nonstop rock-and-pop homage to cool Britannia, I saw many “Made in Great Britain.” With a sing-along of “Hey Jude,” Beatle Paul McCartney closed the spectacle.
 
 
 
The era of the Internet has been with us for less than a couple of decades. The Opening Ceremony boasted the British as an inventor of World Wide Web actually. Today, billions of people express themselves to others using the Net. We can reach others with just a click.
 
But we must not forget one important thing. The irony is that now, 1300 years later, we can read ancient wise men’s works, yet how much of what is created digitally today will last even 10 years, let alone 1300? True “Made in Japan” has content and depth, which is simple. Only that will remain. Simple story goes a long way.
 
This is my 80th blog post. So far I have touched upon lots of Japan related stuff. As poet Shiki Masaoka (1867 – 1902) says, “Writing style is best when simple. The simplest writing gives the greatest delight.” I have tried to be simple in writing but don’t know if it has worked. In promulgating my esoteric cogitations and articulating my superficial sentimentalities, amicable, philosophical, and psychological observations, I haven’t used big words so far, keeping away from platitudinous ponderosities.
 
Sir Paul McCartney sang “The End” before “Hey Jude.” It went simply like this:
 
And in the end,
the love you take is equal to the love you make.
 





Best regards,
Tak


Posted by.Tak | | Comment (0)

In Search of the Japanese Mind

Jul 17, 2012

Dear Friends,
 
Writing my seasonal observations reminds me of how long the islands of Japan are. The rainy season ended in Okinawa, Japan’s southernmost prefecture about four weeks ago. In Greater Tokyo area, it is drawing to a close, while Northern Tohoku area is in the middle of the season.  In years when typhoons strike in June, the rainy season tends to end early. But that was not the case with Okinawa this year. Its rainy season was officially over at the usual time, two weeks later than last year.
 
Seasonal change is often on our agenda in our daily life.
 
Japan is a country rich in natural beauty that changes distinctly according to the season. The Japanese have long been enjoying each season, traditional arts, and beauties of the natural scenery as ka-cho-fu-getsu, splendors of nature represented by flower, bird, wind, and the moon. One of the nature related poetic activity is haiku.
 






Haiku
consists of 17 syllables – in three lines of five, seven, and five syllables respectively. It is often called the world’s shortest poetic form. A unique feature of haiku is that they evoke seasonal feelings. Every haiku must contain a kigo – a word associated with a particular season. Books called “Saijiki” list seasonal words for Japan’s spring, summer, autumn, and winter. Many people enjoy attending haiku gatherings (kukai) where they share their own poems with others.
 
Writer and critic Shichihei Yamamoto (1921 – 1991), who had been detained in a prison camp after World War II, made an ethnic joke: “On the battlefield, a German, an American, a French, a British and a Japanese are taken prisoner of war. What would they do first?”
 
– The German would establish detailed rules in a camp and establish a tribunal.
 
– The American would make a plan to escape.
 
– The French would forage for food.
 
– The British would maintain class order.
 
– The Japanese would hold a haiku gathering. High-ranked officers and full privates sit in a circle and share their poems. What a charming gathering in an extreme situation! I think haiku is an unavoidable element in exploring who the Japanese are.
 
Well, so much for preliminaries. I’m into haiku now, especially English haiku. I’m submitting my haiku to an English newspaper every week. This is my work where I used ‘cool’ as the kigo.
 
wearing shorts
daring act
to get cool at work
 
This week’s post didn’t work well. I still have a long way to be picked up.
 
Another unique feature of haiku is the use of kireji, or ‘cutting words’. There’s a kireji somewhere in every haiku, which serves to break up the flow of the poem. Here’s an example:
 
furuike ya
kawazu tobikomu
mizu no oto                          by Matsuo Basho (1644 – 1694)






 
It describes a frog jumping into an old pond and the sound of the water. The ‘ya’ in ‘furuike ya’ is the kireji which aurally creates a brief pause and gives readers a chance to read between the lines. Renowned expert in Japanese literature and culture Donald Keene, who acquired his Japanese citizenship last March, translated it into English as follows:
 
the ancient pond –
a frog jumps in,
the sound of the water
 
(Kawazu, or frog is the seasonal word for spring.) In Japanese culture, beauty lies in the things left unsaid, and people enjoy the opportunity to expand their imagination. Minimalist in the extreme, haiku can express anything and everything with so few words. It is the Japanese love of brevity that gives birth to this miniature literature.






 
Summer comes in full force after the end of the rainy season, with the strong sunshine, darker green of trees, the shimmering sea, and chirring of cicadas in chorus. As a novice haiku practitioner, I’ll look for haiku-inspiring things and listen to the sound of turning wheels of the four seasons.
 
Talk to you later.
Tak

Posted by.Tak | | Comment (0)

Reunion

Jul 2, 2012

Dear Friends,
 
I received an invitation to my high school reunion, which will be held in Tokyo next week. Our Alumni Association’s Kanto (Greater Tokyo Area) Branch consists of the graduates from the 80s down to the 20s. All are boys from Hiroshima. The invitation asks for an RSVP, and the graduates who can’t attend the event are required to return a questionnaire.
 
“Which song mesmerized you most in adolescence?”
 
I imagined the specific age range of adolescence or youth. Youth is the time of life between childhood and adulthood. The definitions of the specific age range that constitutes youth vary, but the addresser’s intention would be from the age 13 to 18, when I spent days at the integrated middle and high school. What was my soundtrack of adolescence? From 1972 to 1977.
 
As my profile says on the right, I have been a Beatlemania. I spent much of my adolescent years listening to the Beatles music. They were no longer active when I heard them for the first time, but each of its members was taking a different path in the 1970s. So I could follow their solo ventures, hoping to see them as a group again. Actually after the break-up, the Beatles “reunion” rumors continued to dominate the music press around the world. On July 4th, 1976, the 200th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, it was rumored that John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr would get back together for a concert.
 
Teenagers tend to act like grown-ups even musically. When almost all of my classmates had gone to another musical genre such as British hard rock and progressive rock, I sometimes bought some records (neither CD nor online music existed back then) of these genres to catch up. Yet there were no musicians who exceeded the Beatles for me.






 
Yesterday, July 1st was the start date of the ban, which prohibits serving raw beef liver in restaurants, following a spate of food poisoning cases last year. Then last week three classmates from my high school got together to appreciate “last” raw beef liver. When we were talking about music in our school days, one of us said, “We were regarding the Beatles as childish music.” I must admit that there is something to this argument, to be sure…
 
My 12-year-old son is into the Beatles right now under my influence (I admit). He plays Let It Be on the piano and sings. I am glad it could be one of his musical rite of passage.





 
There was a rumor again saying that the Beatles will get back together on the occasion of the Summer Olympic Games in London. But fortunately, in their own words or through their representatives, Paul, Ringo and Julian Lennon have all denied the report that the Beatles reunion (of sorts) might take place. As Julian, who theoretically would have filled his father’s role on stage, commented, “No one could or should try to replace them.” That’s true.
 
 
By the way, I mailed the completed questionnaire the other day. I didn’t write down the Beatles because it was not in real time. I wrote down my soundtrack of adolescence: Burn (Deep Purple 1974). This was the first record that I bought besides the Beatles, and “real-time” music that grabbed my heart besides the Beatles.
 
It was 46 years ago today that the Beatles left Japan after their first and last concert tour in Tokyo…I wish I had been born earlier.
 
Talk to you later.
Tak


Posted by.Tak | | Comment (0)

Hues of Edo

Jun 18, 2012

Dear Friends,
 
Almost a month has passed since Tokyo Skytree opened to the public. One rainy night I went to Tokyo Skytree Town (Sumida Ward), the complex in which the 634-meter tall broadcast tower stands. Actually I am not interested in climbing up the world’s tallest broadcast tower, but I wanted to see a new color which appeared in modern Tokyo.
 
Tokyo is formerly called Edo, and the division of the Japanese history ruled by the shoguns of the Tokugawa family is called The Edo Period, running from 1603 to 1868. When you visit Tokyo Skytree at night, you can see the Edo spirit in its lighting.
 
It has two different lighting patterns: iki and miyabi nurtured in Edo. These give us enjoyment by illuminating the sky.











 
This is the color of iki. The word iki is translated as “smartness, stylishness, chic.” In Japanese culture, iki is a product of the Edo culture and in some ways contrasts with the aesthetics of Kyoto and Osaka. Geometrical patterns, parallel lines, and cool, dark colors are said to be iki, while pictorial patterns, curved lines, and bright, motley colors are not. The idea of iki as an aesthetic sense spread in the late Edo Period among people, particularly the merchant class. The word means that the mind and appearance are neat and sophisticated with sexual charm and humanity.
Iki is displayed in human relationships. You should be concerned about what other people think of you, and you should be careful that your appearance is fresh and not showy. For example, when you dress up, you should stick to one hidden point or secret accent and make only one luxurious point in your clothing. You should give your help ‘anonymously’ to people who need assistance. You should pick up after yourself. You should live keeping in mind not to bother other people. Iki was reflected in the actions of the merchant class in the Edo Period. When they are walking on a crowded street in the rain, they would tilt their umbrellas sideward when passing each other to prevent raindrops from getting them wet. Such acts are regarded as iki, stylishness of spirit.
 
The color of iki in modern Tokyo is in the lighting that illuminate the central pillar of the tower with pale blue light that takes the motif of the water of Sumida River, a symbol of the Edo culture. In the sprinkling rain, it made a more attractive atmosphere than that of the Edo Period. Above the observatory deck was covered with rain cloud, and pale blue reflecting on the surface of the water. That created translunary scenery.










 
The next day I went to see Tokyo Skytree again because two colors appear alternately every day. This night was represented by miyabi under the clear sky.











 
The color of miyabi is purple with a meaning of elegant aesthetic sense. Purple partially illuminates the lower pillar of the tower this time, and it makes the tower look like a refined and graceful standing figure of a woman wearing Japanese clothes or kimono dyed with the color of Edo purple (murasaki).
 
Murasaki is a plant whose roots are used to make a purple dye. But murasaki roots contain only a very small amount of pigment. That means the dyeing process must be repeated more than 40 times for a piece of fabric to turn deep purple. As it has always been laborious to dye fabric purple, only the nobility were allowed to wear purple for a long time.











 
Tokyo Skytree’s appearance, which gives off natural light blue and the traditional beauty of Edo murasaki, is magnificently fused with the night sky of Tokyo. Light fixtures are LED (light-emitting diode) with a number of 1,995. You can appreciate iki and miyabi from 7pm to 11pm on alternate days
 
Tokyo Skytree stands tall to keep alive a colorful aspect of our traditional culture.







 
Talk to you later.
Tak

Posted by.Tak | | Comment (0)

<前へ 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17  次へ>

about

about

Brought to you by your friends at Fuji Television, Japan's No.1 broadcaster located in Daiba, Tokyo. Learn the latest Japanese culture, lifestyle,entertainment, trends, and more, through their eyes.

about

calendar

<< July,2013 >>
1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30 31
about

members

Isabelle
(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.
Coco
(Female, 30s)
Grew up in Los Angeles. A working mother raising one daughter. Obsessed with fashion and shopping. A fashion leader that's always staying ahead of trends. Goes to karaoke to relax.
Sarasa
(Female, 30s)
Worked in many different industries, including fashion, music, and cosmetics. A west coast Californian at heart, loves the sun and believes that the weather directly affects our moods. Music aficionado.
vivi
(Female, 30s)
Born in Tokyo. Studied abroad in Beijing, China during high school and college. Assigned to the International Department at Fuji TV after a stint in Beijing. A trendy existence in today's Japan as a single business woman in her 30's!.
Clarence
(Male, 50s)
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.
Tak
(Male, 50s)
Japan's George Clooney. Loves working out his muscles everyday at the gym. Worships John Lennon and loves playing the piano. Thanks to his obsession with Korean Barbeque, he has super smooth skin.
Anna
(Female, 40s)
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.
Nissy
(Male, 50s)
Became first time dad at the age of 54. Struggling with the wonders and difficulties of fatherhood. A hard-core angler, cook, camper and snowboarder. Shops for groceries at Tsukiji Fish Market.
Jimmie
(Male, 40s)
Was assigned in NY during 9.11. A.k.a the 'walking encyclopedia' of our department. Fields of expertise include aviation, railroad, air traffic control, engineering etc.
Nori
(Female, 20s)
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.
about

articles

RSS

Use QR-code-enabled Japanese cell phones to access our mobile blog site.

about
RSS