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Christel Takigawa gets Akita ‘omotenashi’; a dandy drama; CM of the week: Nisshinbo

by Philip Brasor

Former news anchor Christel Takigawa gets to sample some of that famous Japanese omotenashi (hospitality) she promoted during the bid process for the 2020 Summer Olympics. She is this week’s guest on NHK’s travel show “Tsurube no Kazoku ni Kampai” (“Tsurube Toasts Families”; NHK-G, Mon., 8 p.m.), the second part of a two-part series on the city of Daisen in Akita Prefecture (Part 1 is repeated on NHK at 10:05 the same morning).

Takigawa is told by the editor of a local newspaper that a Polish man lives in the city with his Japanese wife, so she visits them and they serve her a special stew that the region is famous for. She asks the couple why they decided to move to this remote area.

Meanwhile, the show’s host, Shofukutei Tsurube, is looking for a famous fireworks maker who always wins national competitions, but the deep snow makes the journey difficult.

A “dandy” is a man with sophisticated tastes. The new TV Tokyo drama series, “Ore no Dandizumu” (“My Dandyism”; Wed., 11:58 p.m.) is one long product placement project: Each week the story focuses on one item indispensable to a man of good taste.

Ichiro Danda (Kenichi Takito) has just been promoted to section chief, and he has his eye on subordinate Minami (Anna Ishibashi), who says to a colleague that her type of man is a dandy, which Ichiro is decidedly not, but he decides to try and be one. In the first episode last week, he visited a haber-dashery called Madame M, where the mysterious proprietor (Yoko Moriguchi) teaches him all about fine watches. He buys one, and Minami is impressed.

In this week’s episode Ichiro decides to replace his cheap ballpoint pen with an expensive fountain pen after a subordinate laughs when he signs a document.

CM of the Week: Nisshinbo

The energy company and industrial materials supplier Nisshinbo has been airing image commercials that do little to promote its business, but they sure are entertaining. All feature actual dogs in situational settings — eating in a restaurant, playing ping pong, mixing drinks in a bar — with human hands added for comic effect. Most include a catchy but very simple jingle, which has been orchestrated elaborately for the latest spot showing a golden retriever in a luxurious dress rising out of the floor like enka star Sachiko Kobayashi on NHK’s New Year’s Eve song contest. A star is born.