Unit 731: Elite Doctors and Human Experimentation
GOLD CAMERA / BEST OF FESTIVAL NOMINEE
Japanese Imperial Army Unit731 secretly tested bacteriological weapons on human subjects in Manchuria during the war. Recently discovered testimony and documents shed light on this taboo subject.
Searching for Fathers: Japanese-Dutch Children of War
Japanese men in wartime Indonesia fathered thousands of children with Dutch-Indo women. These children, repatriated to postwar Netherlands, faced troubled lives: offspring of a despised enemy, uncertain of their identity, often subject to abuse. Late in their lives, they search for fathers and for closure to the legacy of war.
Breaking Their Silence: Women in Wartime Manchuria
In 1945, 20-year-old Harue Sato was living on a Japanese settlement in Manchuria, northeastern China, when she made a gut-wrenching decision: She agreed to go into sexual servitude to help ensure the safety of her settlers. The settlement was one of hundreds set up before and during World War Two to cement Japanese control of the region. But after Japan’s defeat, the residents’ very survival was at risk. Desperate, the leaders of Harue’s settlement offered 15 teens and young women to advancing Soviet troops in return for protection, an arrangement they called “entertainment.” Despite their sacrifice, surviving women endured decades of shame back home in Japan before finally deciding to speak out. Through first-hand accounts and interviews, this program reveals a new chapter in Japan’s wartime history, and illustrates how the collateral damage wrought by war leaves scars that span generations.
Give Us a Break! 100 People with Disabilities Speak Out
“Give Us a Break” is a variety show in which one hundred people with disabilities gather in a studio to talk frankly with non-disabled entertainers about their experiences. The program ends with a vote on who wins the “MZK” (Most Zero Knowledge) title for misconceptions about people with disabilities. In this second edition, the discussion takes the form of quiz, with the non-disabled celebrities answering a variety of questions. How should people without disabilities interact in different daily situations with people who have disabilities? This entertaining program thoroughly explores difficult questions that often don’t have correct answers. In some cases, people who try to be “considerate” wind up being accused of discrimination! Non-disabled viewers who rarely encounter people with disabilities get a lighthearted yet provocative chance to uncover hidden prejudices and deepen understanding.
Moribito II: The Anguish of the Destroyers
DOCUMENTARY: Science, Research, Technology
Balsa successfully protected Chagum and the spirit egg despite her failure to assassinate the king of Kambal, who is the enemy of Balsa's father and her foster father Jiguro.
Four years later, Chagum officially takes his place as heir to the throne of Shin-Yogo while Balsa becomes a wanted fugitive because of her failed assassination attempt. Balsa hides in the Kingdom of Rota, a neighboring nation of Shin-Yogo, and while working as a bodyguard she one day saves a girl, Asra, from slavery. Indwelling within Asra is Taluhamaya, a deity of destruction worshipped by her tribe. When Asra becomes angry and summons the deity, the usual aftermath is only mercilessly destroyed dead bodies. Trying to capture and kill Asra are Shihana and Sufahl, a daughter and father shaman pair from the Kingdom of Rota, who consider Asra a threat. Once again Balsa's journey for survival begins, going all out to protect Asra as she once did with the young Chagum.
Meanwhile, Chagum sets out on a perilous voyage to assist the sea Kingdom of Sangal, which is being invaded by the great southern empire Talsh. However, Sangal has already fallen to Talsh, and Chagum ends up being captured. What will become of the fate of both Balsa and Chagum?
Samurai Wisdom: Restoring Kumamoto Castle
DOCUMENTARY: Science, Research, Technology
Kumamoto Castle was devastated by two major earthquakes in April 2016. Its magnificent heritage stone walls had suffered badly, but an assessment of the damage also led to a startling discovery. The original walls withstood the quakes far better than newer restored sections. How did our forebears four centuries ago build these quake-resistant structures? We probe into the mystery using cutting-edge technology and new historical findings.
Looking to the future, the reconstruction plan will incorporate the wisdom of the samurais that built the castle, while aiming to balance seismic strength and cultural preservation concerns. One year after the Kumamoto Earthquake disaster, we take a close look behind-the-scenes at reconstruction of the city’s iconic fortress.
PythagoraSwitch: The Marble Brothers' Great Adventure
EDUCATION: Pre-School, Kindergarten
PythagoraSwitch is a children’s program that helps enhance thinking skills and shows how certain mechanisms work. It features a popular segment in which rolling marbles trigger a convoluted series of events in a Pythagorean device, commonly known as the Rube Goldberg machine. In this episode of PythagoraSwitch, the segment has been turned into an adventure story starring a marble named Bisuke. It’s a dramatic tale filled with excitement and songs.
Miracle Lesson: Figure Skating
EDUCATION: Intermediate/Middle School
This lesson aims to help children express themselves freely. Canadian ice skater Shae-Lynn Bourne gives a group of shy Japanese children tips and challenges that help them become more expressive on the ice. They also learn the importance of being grateful and rediscover their love of figure skating.
KURARA: The Dazzling Life of Hokusai's Daughter
Kurara: Japanese for dazzling, mesmerizing, brilliance.
The act of painting was always kurara to O-Ei, was the daughter of the Edo period master painter Katsushika Hokusai. Since her childhood, she was captivated by painting. O-Ei marries a town painter, but she soon chooses art over marriage and divorces him. Once she returns to the family home, she begins assisting her father. O-Ei is by his side as he completes his iconic “Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji” series. When Hokusai grew too old to wield his brush freely, O-Ei becomes his “brush” and paints on his behalf. It’s during this time that she starts to grow a strong fascination with colors as she finally develops her own painting style.
An Honest Death: A Palliative Care Doctor's Final Days
DOCUMENTARY: Health, Medical
It all began with an unusual request: “Could you film everything about me until I die?” Masahiro Tanaka was a palliative care doctor and Buddhist priest who was diagnosed with terminal cancer. He was an end-of-life specialist who helped thousands of patients die peacefully. Now he had to face his own impending death. The film crew set out to document an “ideal death,” but what they witnessed was quite different. This program offers an unflinchingly honest look at human nature at its most vulnerable.