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Family reunion special; medical mystery ‘Shi no Tenteki’; CM of the week: Takasu Clinic

TV Tokyo presents the latest in its series of attempted reunion specials. Though this sort of show is common on Japanese television, “Umi wo Koeta Kazoku Ai” (“Family Love Beyond the Sea”; Mon., 8 p.m.) goes a step further by reconnecting loved ones separated by international borders.

A woman from Aichi Prefecture wants to find her son, who traveled to India in 1997 and hasn’t been heard from since. A TV crew traces his whereabouts using the only information they have, which is that he wanted to train as a Hindu priest. Another tale focuses on a young Okinawan woman who participates in the Miss World competition in order to look for her American grandfather, who left Okinawa before her mother was born. And a Japanese woman who ran away from home to marry a Russian in 1940 and settled in Kazakhstan endeavors to reunite with her 90-year-old sister back in Japan.

Nagisa Katahira stars as Dr. Shoko Kuraishi in the two-hour medical mystery “Shi no Tenteki” (“The I.V. of Death”; Fuji TV, Fri., 9 p.m.). Kuraishi is an energetic doctor of internal medicine who becomes a mentor to a young nurse named Shun (Teppei Koike) while herself nursing a long-term crush on fellow physician Akai (Kohei Otomo, better known as singer with the rock band Hound Dog).

That crush is tested when the sister of Dr. Akai’s late wife is hospitalized and encourages Shoko to make a move on her former brother-in-law. Before she has a chance, however, the sister dies under strange circumstances having to do with an intravenous drip. Officially, the death is blamed on an error on Shoko’s part, but she’s convinced there is some other reason.

CM of the week

Takasu Clinic: The setup is simple. Dr. Katsuya Takasu, the globe-trotting head of Takasu Clinic, one of Japan’s leading “aesthetic” salon (read: cosmetic surgery) chains, is going to be interviewed on TV. A crew prepares the sound stage, which includes a huge portrait of the bespectacled Takasu and his trademark tousled chestnut hair.

The female interviewer awaits her guest and is shocked when he finally arrives … bald! He takes his seat and the program begins. They discuss his latest promotional campaign but the interviewer keeps stealing glances at the big portrait, and we wonder the same thing: Was it a wig all along?