In February of 2009, painter Kenji Yoshida died at the age of 84 in Paris. Yoshida was better known in Europe than he was in his native country of Japan, a situation the NHK special “Inochi: Koko no Gaka” (“Life: A Solitary Painter”; NHK-G, Mon., 10 p.m.) may help to correct.

All of Yoshida’s work has one source: the Imperial Navy base where he trained to be a tokkotai (kamikaze pilot) at the age of 20 at the end of World War II. For months he “lived next door to death,” but the war ended before he was given a mission.

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