The current movement toward a more insular society is believed to reflect a backlash against the postwar trend of opening up to the world. With economic growth a thing of the past, the Japanese are now more interested in Japan.

Comedian Beat Takeshi tries to get to the root of this trend by going to Mount Koya in Wakayama Prefecture to investigate the “DNA of the Japanese soul.” In a special 2.5-hour version of “Kyokasho ni Noranai Nihonjin no Nazo” (“The Riddle of the Japanese That Isn’t Explained in Textbooks”; Nihon TV, Mon., 8:54 p.m.) Takeshi visits the temple on Koya, which is considered to be the crucible of Japanese Buddhism. In the ninth century, the priest Kukai established the Shingon sect there and started training monks. Takeshi enters the temple and sees things that have never before been caught on film.

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