Letters from DAIBA FujiTV English Blog

Hacchy at Odaiba New World

Aug 19, 2014

Hello Friends,
For Tokyoites, it seems that we have finally come half way across summer, although the heat has not let down one bit. The only salvation for me at the moment is the faint scent of autumn, detectable on random days that are less hot and humid.
Our annual summer event, “Odaiba New World” has only 12 more days to go and before it’s gone for good, I’d like to introduce to you our adorable newborn character, Hacchy! Those of you who have had the chance to visit the event may already be familiar with this cute and round animal, but for those who aren’t, please allow me to give you a brief introduction.

 Hacchy is a mystical creature who was born from an unidentifiable egg that was found in “Odaiba New World” on a day that had the number 8 in it. (Hint: Fuji TV is broadcast on terrestrial channel 8) It is unknown whether Hacchy is male or female, but this lovable creature’s favorite foods include everything round, from donuts to hamburgers and even pizza (whole, of course).

The greatest thing about Hacchy is that when you spot him or her at Odaiba New World, he/she will give you a compliment using a cue card. In example, here the cue card says “What a tiny face you have!” What would you like for Hacchy to say to you?


When the heat gets unbearable, you just might be able to see Hacchy’s shell slipping off his head.


Hacchy is also now available as a stamp on the popular app LINE. You can click on the below link to purchase them for 100 yen or just search for “Fuji TV” using the LINE app search function. The screen should look like this.


If you can’t make it to Odaiba, don’t worry. You can always see what Hacchy is up to from his/her Facebook or twitter account.

Facebook (Japanese)
twitter (Japanese)
I hope you’re having fun in the sun!

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Holidays in Penang

Jul 18, 2014

Hello Friends,
I took an early summer vacation this year to visit friends residing in Penang island, Malaysia. The friend, is actually not one person but a wholesome family complete with kids, a boy and a girl who are adorable and most friendly to say the least. My friend J, who used to live here in Tokyo began traveling with his family last year, and since then he has continued to do so, while working remotely from wherever he goes. If you are curious to learn more about his lifestyle and family, please check out his website here.
J was kind enough to take the time to hang out with me for a few days to show me around the area. One of the places I enjoyed most was the Pulau Pinang National Park, on the north western tip of the island. The park offers various nature trails and boat rides that allow you see many animals. One of them is the monitor lizard. It’s basically a giant lizard, and this one in particular was about a meter or so in size. I’m assuming that it’s a water monitor, since it was able to swim both in the river and ocean.

This is the turtle rock and alligator rock we saw from our boat ride. Can you tell which is which?


This is Monkey Beach, where we took a small break on our way back. Unfortunately, there were no monkeys to be seen while we “Tarzan-ed,” grasping onto a rope tied to a tree. Apparently the monkeys are of the crab-eating Macaque species.

Returning from our 1.5 hour trail hike on the boat, we disembarked at this rather unsteady handmade dock. (photo: below right) J told me that the locals are fearless in driving their motorcycles down this dock at speeds you would never dare.

*On a side note, the E&O hotel in Georgetown is fabulous. A colonial style luxury retreat that has stood for over a century, the Eastern & Oriental hotel has hosted renowned writers and artists as well as heads of state. Even if you decide to stay elsewhere, the hotel itself is well worth a view.

Thanks for reading and see you in the next post.

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“Mysterious Summer”

Jun 20, 2014

Hello Friends,
Fuji TV has recently collaborated with Chinese streaming video platform giant “iQIYI” and a Chinese production company in creating a new drama series called “Mysterious Summer.” The drama features a Japanese director and Chinese cast, starring the best of young Chinese actors and guest appearances by Japanese actor Yuki Furukawa. A total of 15 episodes were recorded, each story concluding within the 20 minute running time.
“Mysterious Summer” is a mystery/horror drama that explores the mysteries that lie within our daily lives, with a modern and stylish take. Mr. Yuki Furukawa, who appears in each of the episodes as the key character has over 700,000 followers on China’s version of twitter, Weibo. One of the main reasons for his success in China may be rooted to his efforts in “Itazura Kiss – Love in TOKYO,” a drama that was watched over 1.4 million times via the web in China. In fact, his fan base there is so strong that he is now referred to as the “Male God.”
iQIYI’s parent company is Baidu, the world’s largest Chinese language search engine. Online since 2010, the iQIYI platform provides high definition authorized video content that is free of charge. What’s more, the fact that it is available to users in China means that reaching out to over 1.3 billion people is in fact, possible.
In an interview, drama producer Mr. Satoshi Kubota mentioned that he would like to create a follow-up series or even a film version for “Mysterious Summer,” if it proves to be a hit.

Streaming is scheduled to begin July 31st on the iQIYI platform, so if you live in China, please make sure to check it out!


You can also read the exclusive interview by Hollywood Reporter here.
Thanks for reading and see you in the next post!

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“Do You Know What My Name Is?”

May 27, 2014

Hello Friends,
Last week I watched a documentary film called “Do You Know What My Name Is?” at an internal screening organized by our CSR department. “Do You Know What My Name Is?” is about dementia patients and how a certain brain training program can reduce its effects and even go as far as improving the patient’s mental state, increasing social interaction and engagement.

You see, Professor Ryuta Kawashima of the Smart Aging International Research Center (SAIRC) at Tohoku University is the key figure behind this brain training program that was developed under the cooperation of Kumon Institute of Education and various nursing facilities. The brain training program has been named “SAIDO Learning™” in the US, where the non-pharmaceutical treatment is being utilized at a senior care facility such as the one where the film was shot, called Eliza Jennings’ Devon Oaks community in Cleveland, Ohio. The program has been practiced for more than 12 years in more than 1,400 nursing facilities across Japan, showing stunning results in over 18,000 older adults. Currently there are over 10,000 adults in Japan who are practicing the program.
How does SAIDO learning work? Well, the procedure is much simpler than you would imagine. The caregiver works with two senior patients diagnosed with dementia and engages them with a series of arithmetic, writing and reading exercises. The exercises themselves are not difficult at all. In fact, there are various levels to match the patient’s skill. For instance, an arithmetic exercise may be “1+3=?” These exercises are performed for 30 minutes daily, and once the patient continues to achieve successful results, he moves on to the next level. After 6 months of working on the exercises, nearly every patient has shown improved performance in cognitive function.
*You can read and learn more about the SAIDO Learning method at Eliza Jennings’ website (http://saidolearning.com/background/), an Aging Services Network in the US.
“Do You Know What My Name Is?” follows the lives of the elderly people diagnosed with dementia who reside at Eliza Jennings. Evelyn, aged 93 is one of them. After being diagnosed with dementia for 2 years, Evelyn had lost much of her former memory capabilities as well as her sense of character. But as she begins the SAIDO program, we begin to see small but certain changes in her abilities and behavior. She becomes more conscious of her appearance, resumes her cynical joke-telling habits, and even begins to knit again, a hobby she formerly enjoyed.
As a viewer, I was awe-stricken by how much the patients were able to improve their state of memory loss. Personally speaking, my grandmother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease earlier this year. Although her symptoms are currently at its preliminary stages, she has moved into a senior care home last spring together with my grandfather. I can’t help but wish that such programs be incorporated into as many nursing homes as possible in the near future.
Here is a picture of film director Naomi Kazama and producer Shigeru Ota on stage for a talk show after the screening.

The film is currently being shown at Uplink cinema in Shibuya.until May 30th, so please check it out if you have a chance.
The film's official website is: http://bokujohn.jp/index.html

Thanks for reading.

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Making an Iron Stamp

May 2, 2014

Hello Friends,
Japan is now in the middle of a long holiday, the so-called Golden Week where a number of national holidays line up on the calendar. Unfortunately, I’m stuck in Tokyo this year without much to do, but at least there are less people commuting which means that the trains are less packed than usual.
Last Saturday I went to a workshop near Meguro, at a factory-like facility called Makers’ Base where creators can make all sorts of things like crafts, jewelry, furniture, and more. I selected a class to make iron stamps, the ones used to make prints on wood or foods.
As with anything you try to make or create, you must first try to imagine the outcome of the object being made. Thus you have to come up with a design first. I’d already decided on my stamp design prior to the class, so the next step was to shape the long strip of iron with my hands to match my skull shape.


Now that I’ve created the outline of the skull and crossbones, I’ll create the center parts such as the eyes, nose and teeth. This was quite tricky, as a piece of metal plate needed to be cut in the exact shape.


After the eyes, nose, and teeth were set inside the outline of the skull, one of the craftsmen helped me to refine each part, by filing it down.
Now for the stamping test. The stamp is heated with a burner thoroughly.
Voila! How do you like it? I’m planning to stamp them onto pancakes soon ^^
If you would like to learn more about Makers’ Base, please visit their website below.
Thanks for reading!

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