An endangered plant or animal species symbolizes a world that changes irrevocably every moment, but there are also man-made things that vanish. This week, on the variety show “Takeshi no Nippon no Mikata” (“Takeshi’s Way of Viewing Japan”; TV Tokyo, Fri., 10 p.m.), comedian-filmmaker Takeshi Kitano looks at once familiar items that are “about to disappear.”
Take nurses’ caps. They used to be mandatory, but fewer nurses are wearing them, and not necessarily for reasons of style or because an increasing number of nurses are men. Caps are not necessary, and the less stuff a nurse wears, the less likely he or she is to spread germs.
And what about pedestrian overpasses, which used to be on practically every street corner? Most are superannuated, and while local governments have the money to tear them down, they don’t have enough to build new ones. And shoeshine boys? You need a license.
The Boeing 787 jetliner continues to be a hot topic in the news because of its battery problems, but this week NHK’s “Chikyu Doramachikku” (“Dramatic Earth”; NHK-E, Sat., 7 p.m.) looks at an older Boeing model in very close detail.
About 200 engineers will take apart an entire Boeing 707 and reduce it to its component parts, which number more than 12,000. The documentary explains how the plane operates by focusing on individual parts and thus endeavors to enlighten the viewer about the miracle of flight and the safety of air travel. Then, the engineers will inspect the parts and put the whole plane back together again. Don’t try this at home.
CM of the week
Takada Moving Center: Takada isn’t the biggest home removal company in Japan, but it definitely has the cleverest TV commercials. A new spot has been attracting more than the usual attention, though, due to its resemblance to that infamous AKB48 apology video.
In the CM, a young woman cheerfully takes an electric razor to her scalp and shaves off all her hair. When she is done she looks in the mirror — meaning straight at the viewer — and in a satisfied tone of voice says, “Sukkiri,” which means “cleaned up” or “refreshed.” The ad promotes a Takada service for getting rid of unwanted items when you move out of your old abode, but it also makes a case for buzz cuts. Who said baldness has to be humiliating?