Home design; Pacific war; CM of the week: Taisho Pharmaceutical

TV Asahi’s “Before/After” (Sun., 6:57 p.m.) is single-handedly responsible for the “reform boom.” The show has inspired thousands of families to remodel their homes into something more livable and aesthetically pleasing.

Last year, the program went overseas for the first time and brought a Japanese designer to Paris to remodel an old apartment. This week’s two-hour special visits Germany and California. In the city of Kassel, a family needs its huge, overgrown garden tamed with the help of a Japanese landscape artist. In Los Angeles, a couple is renovating their home with a local architect, but they want their children to be familiar with Japanese culture and ask a Japanese designer to work with the architect.

Everyone knows about the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and many also know about the firebombing of Tokyo, but more than 120 Japanese towns and cities were attacked by American aircraft during World War II. The two-hour documentary, “Watashi no Machi mo Senjo Datta” (“My Town Was Also a Battlefield”; TBS, Mon., 9 p.m.) airs footage never before seen of some of these attacks.

What makes the footage doubly dramatic is that it was shot from the point-of-view of the aircraft. American fighter planes had “gun cameras” attached to their wings that would record when the pilot hit the trigger of his machine gun or dropped a bomb. Some of the planes swoop low, and the viewer can see roofs of houses and bombs hitting train stations and other structures. Much of the footage is in color. The Japanese authorities did not even know some of these places had been hit until they saw these films after the war.

CM of the week: Taisho Pharmaceutical

Actor Jun Oguri, the “food hunter,” is working at his desk when he is approached by some female colleagues, who invite him to a yakiniku (barbecue beef) party for a new employee. Oguri looks at the invitation flyer and rubs his stomach. “Today, again?” he mutters, wondering if all that meat won’t be too much for him.

Suddenly, a huge steer appears over him in a threatening manner. He pulls out a packet of Taisho’s stomach medicine, which is taken before a heavy meal so as not to cause heartburn afterwards. The steer is consumed in a huge fireball. In a previous CM, Oguri similarly vanquished a giant crab.