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Japanese in remote locations; drama about dying at home; CM of the week: Kirin

The subject of “Sekai no Hate no Nihonjin” (“Japanese at the Ends of the World”; TBS, Thurs., 7 p.m.) is Japanese people who live in remote areas outside of Japan.

Reporter Kumiko Hara visits a 39-year-old woman who lives in a Mexican village 2,000 meters above sea level. She and her husband reside with 32 people, comprising eight distinct family units. Hiro Komura travels to Namibia to meet the only Japanese tour guide in the whole African country, a 41-year-old woman who has lived there for 10 years. The reporter has to live with a tribe of locals who don’t wear any clothes. Finally, a reporter called Mr. Chin goes to a village in northern India that’s so remote it isn’t designated on any map. A 35-year-old Japanese woman, who originally went to India to study dance, lives there with her husband, who runs an ashram that has no running water and only sporadic electrical service.

NHK dramatizes a topic described plainly in the title: “Ie de Shinu to Iu Koto” (“Dying at Home”; NHK-G, Sat., 9 p.m.). Katsunori Takahashi plays Yamazaki, who goes to picturesque Shirakawa village in Gifu Prefecture to talk his mother-in-law, Hisako (Misako Watanabe), into returning with him to Tokyo for treatment in a hospital. Hisako, who has cancer, has been told she only has three months, and she is determined to live out her last days in the home she’s always known.

Yamazaki’s wife and Hisako’s daughter, Emi (Naomi Nishida), avoids the situation by saying she has to stay in Tokyo to attend to her retail business and help their son study for his university entrance exams. Meanwhile, the doctor at the Shirakawa clinic is committed to offering care that satisfies Hisako’s final wishes.

CM of the week

Kirin: Actor Kuranosuke Sasaki sits at his kitchen table across from someone playing his wife. They are both drinking chūhai (carbonated sh&#ōchū spirits) while Sasaki is reading the can with an expression of disbelief.

“I didn’t know,” he says breathlessly. The wife answers, “What didn’t you know?” His look of disbelief intensifies, “You didn’t know what I didn’t know?” This line of inquiry continues.

A voiceover announcer interrupts to explain that the chūhai, Kirin’s Honshibori, only contains “real fruit juice and alcohol.” Most can chūhai only has fruit flavoring.