Letters from DAIBA FujiTV English Blog

Multiple medals at the NY Festivals

Apr 18, 2014

Dear friends,
The 2014 New York Festivals Television & Film Awards took place at the annual NAB Show in Las Vegas on April 8th, 2014. We are pleased to share the news regarding Fuji TV’s programs and feature films that earned several medals at this prestigious competition.
With entries from 50 countries, this year’s New York Festivals presented a strong competition, and we are highly honored to receive so many awards at one time which is a remarkable accomplishment to us.
Gold World Medal -Human Concerns-
The Nonfiction: Death Scene Cleaner Gets Married
Atsushi Takaesu is a specialist who cleans scenes of unattended deaths.   He started his company ten years ago, and has since cleaned over 2,000 death scenes. Working face to face with loneliness, he had come to believe in “not having a family of his own.” However, as he continues cleaning, catching glimpses of the life and sorrows of the deceased at each death scene, his views on life gradually begin to change. He realizes that what the death scenes were showing him was not “despair” that comes out of loneliness, but “hope” that is necessary to live this life.
Silver World Medal - Current Affairs-
For Tomorrow and Beyond: Passing on Memories of the Tsunami      
The program closely analyzed the tsunami that struck Ishinomaki, Miyagi Prefecture, which suffered the greatest amount of casualties from the Great East Japan Earthquake. Two years since the tsunami, here is a message from the media to the future generations to think in earnest about what is necessary to be prepared for disasters.
Silver World Medal - Feature Films-
The Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami stroked on March 11, 2011. It caused untold damage and destruction along the northeastern Sanriku coastline. Many bodies start to be discovered among the rubble. With each passing day, the body count mounted. What were the thoughts and feelings of disaster survivors at these mortuaries as they interacted with the dead and the bereaved? To all the people of Kamaishi who provided support to the bereaved families; who worked tirelessly to preserve the dignity of the deceased, a deep debt of gratitude is owed. And it is important that this be known to as many people as possible so that the lessons learned and the examples shown can remain and be passed on to succeeding generations.
Silver World Medal - Documentarie -
The God of Ramen
Everyday people queue for over two hours for a bowl of ramen. What’s the celebrated chef’s secret ingredient?
There is no secret ingredient. In fact, as most fans of Taishoken believe, it’s the charisma of owner Kazuo Yamagishi that attracted people from all around Japan to his modest shop. His personality and love for his craft, combined with a precise mélange of flavours, combined to create perfection in each ramen bowl. This heart-warming documentary is not just for noodle fans, but for anyone who loves to be inspired by passionate people.
Finalist Certificate - Mini-Series-
Matrimonial Chaos
Modern marriage is complex, especially for young couples in their thirties. With divorce and reconciliation dancing on the landscape of two couples’ relationships, they bounce around their daily lives trying to understand and deal with one another. The program offers a comedic perspective of universal absurdities in matrimony while asking what marriage, couples, and families truly are.
Finalist Certificate -Social Issues-
The Nonfiction: Over the Clouds-The Journey of Little Survivors
An 11-year-old boy was swept up in the tsunami, but miraculously survived. He lost three family members and most of his classmates. He began taking photographs that reflected his feelings. After two-and-a-half years, he opens up for the first time about his feelings toward the loved ones he lost. A 12-year-old girl was forced to evacuate from her hometown due to the nuclear accident. She moved eight times and was torn apart from her friends. During a brief visit to her hometown, she faces a harsh reality and must make an important decision. An 8-year-old boy lost his entire family and has since refused to talk about them. His new life with his aunt was rocky at times, but their relationship gradually witnesses a change, and he opens up to her one day.
Since 2011, the program followed three children as they struggled with the unbearable tragedy, but managed to gradually come to terms with the overwhelming sadness that resides in their hearts.
Ciao, Elena

Posted by.Elena | | Comment (0)

Japan’s Castles

Apr 15, 2014

 Good day, mate.
 I hope you are well.
 Now that the cherry blossoms have bloomed, we actually feel like spring has arrived. In other words, the best season for traveling in Japan has begun at last, towards golden week which is a period of spring holidays from the end of April to the beginning of May. By the way, I am wondering if you can guess what the purpose of a trip is. 

 Some Japanese go on trips to see the ruins of a castle in Japan.

 I think that it is too difficult to count how many castle ruins there are in Japan. From the Sengoku (provincial wars) era, there were a lot of main castles with commercial towns and small front-line castles for defense purposes built in each territory. Most of the main castles and front-line castles from the time could not be easily seen today because they have been abandoned or destroyed by battles or family denominations. The castles with stone walls that we are able to see today are most likely from the Edo era.

 By the way, I would like to introduce one of my favorite castles, the one I was most impressed by, the Ozu-jo in Ehime prefecture. It is unique and wonderful for its wooden tower keep was rebuilt in 2004 using the initial old-fashioned architectural method following the consideration of some old drafts, images and investigations amongst a lot of modern day craftsmen.


 The Ozu-jo is becoming famous as the first historical attempt to build a 4th-floor tower keep with wood under Japan’s Building Standards Act after World War II. Although I visited there about one year ago, I was very surprised with the beauty of this castle, and the feelings of the people who wanted to build something perfect under tremendous efforts. I am hoping that this traditional wooden construction method can be kept for the next generation.

 Looking at the attached photo, I deeply feel that a composition of wooden tower keep on stone walls with some cherry blossom trees in spring expresses one of the best images of Japan’s traditions.

 See ya.


Posted by.Jimmie | | Comment (0)

FujiTV Surrounded by Cherry Blossoms

Apr 11, 2014

Several recent blog posts were themed around cherry blossoms. Today I’d like you on a special tour of cherry blossoms in the neighborhood of Fuji TV headquarters.
In Japan, April is the beginning of a new fiscal and a school year. Filled with hope, anxiety and anticipation, new students and new employees jump into the new chapters in their lives.
And what is deeply, inseparably related to this season of renewal and fresh start in Japan is... the cherry blossoms.


To Japanese, Sakura is unlike any other flowers: it is the symbol of a fresh start and renewed hope in Japan. And this is why everyone pays close attention to the timing of first bloom. Besides the regular weather forecast provided daily, the cherry blooming front forecast, or Sakura Zensen, which indicates the date of first bloom in every prefecture.
Now time for some trivia.
I’d like to share with you some theories of the Sakura’s word origin.
Theory #1: “Tree inhabited with the holy spirits of Crop” 
The sound “Sa” of Sakura means “the holy spirit of crop” and “Kura” (“seat” in Chinese character) stands for a place where the God sits. “Sa+Kura” together reads as Sakura for its trees resided with the holy spirit of crop.

Theory #2:A princess who made Sakura bloom from Mount Fuji
In the Kojiki (Records of Ancient Matters) and the Nihonshoki (Chronicles of Japan), a princess named Konohanasakuya-hime appears. The story tells that this princess flew along with the mist to the summit of Mt. Fuji. From there she scattered flower seed, which later blossomed into beautiful flowers. People started calling these flowers Sakuya by taking part of the princess’s name, and then it gradually changed to be called Sakura. 


Theory #3: Tree with bunch of blooming flowers
In the world of Sakura, the meaning of the first sound “Sa” of means “larger/many more,” “Ku=kwu” means “grouping together,” and lastly “Ra=Rwa” means “the act of gathering.” And all three together reads “Sakura,” which then translates to “Tree with groups of many flowers gathering together.


There are various other theories for the word origin of Sakura, and they often contain stories implies mystique elements.
By the way, the front area of Fuji TV’s central entrance is currently decorated with trees that are usually used as a stage set. These trees bring out a laid-back atmosphere, and it’s attracting many people visiting Odaiba. But…


It can't beat the view of the real sakura trees in full bloom.
I hope you'll make a trip to Odaiba so that you can enjoy Sakura season to the fullest next year!



Posted by.sarasa | | Comment (0)

Hanami at Edogawabashi Park

Apr 8, 2014

Hello friends,
Tokyo has been enjoying the blossoming of cherry trees once again this year since around the end of March. Last weekend may perhaps have been the final chance for Tokyoites to enjoy the breathtakingly beautiful sheer pink flowers in full bloom and so of course I spent my Saturday at a park in Bunkyo ward called Edogawabashi park.
Typically, I gather with my friends at Yoyogi park near Harajuku for hanami (cherry blossom viewing picnic) but this year, my friends and I decided to meet at Edogawabashi park, a narrow park that is situated along Kandagawa river. Compared to Yoyogi park, Edogawabashi park has a much more laid-back feel and relaxed atmosphere, most likely due to its location in a central but residential area. The cherry blossoms that line the river are of the Someiyoshino kind, referred to as Yoshino cherry. The Yoshino cherry is a hybrid cherry of unknown origin, yet is one of the most popular and widely planted flowering cherries in temperate climates worldwide.


Here is our collection of food and drinks. I was highly intrigued by the jar of pickled potatoes, but unfortunately missed out in trying them. Have any of you tried them before?
As for drinks, the Smirnoff Gold, a cinnamon flavored vodka with visible flakes of 23 carat gold leaf flakes surely didn’t let me down. ;)
Warm weather is yet to come but the arrival of spring has surely got me all perked up!


Thanks for reading.

Posted by.sarasa | | Comment (0)


Apr 4, 2014

Have you ever been to Japan’s ancient capital Kyoto? I absolutely love Kyoto.

This is the celebrated golden temple, Kinkakuji. Students of Tokyo usually visit this famous temple on their field trip. In fact, the last time I saw Kinkakuji was at my junior high school field trip.


One of the greatest charms about Kyoto is that you can eat delicious Japanese food.


With washoku or Japanese food, you can enjoy not only the taste with your tongue but the presentation with your eyes as well.

This is Minamiza, a theater in which many Kabuki performances are held. It has been standing since the beginning of the Edo period.


Kyoto shows us a different expression with each season. I’ll try to show you more if I get the chance.



Posted by.Hirolamo | | Comment (0)

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