Disaster survival tactics and a 3/11 baby; CM of the Week: Daiwa House

This week marks the third anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake. On a practical level, TBS’s two-hour special, “Shinsai chokugo: Seishi wo wakeru 72-jikan ni subeki koto” (“Right After the Disaster: 72 Hours Means the Difference Between Life and Death”; Mon., 9 p.m.), offers advice on how to survive the kind of calamity that happened March 11, 2011.

The program interviews survivors and rescue personnel who directly experienced the tragedy, and uses their testimony to formulate survival tactics. The first 72 hours is crucial. The show uses footage from the disaster that has never been aired before in an attempt to illustrate these tactics. The producers hope they will be useful when a major quake hits the Tokyo metropolitan area.

Something most people don’t think about when they remember the disaster is how many lives began on that day. In the area most affected by the quake and tsunami, more than 100 babies were born on March 11. If it seems late to discuss events that could counterbalance the day’s sadness, many of the mothers who gave birth that day have suffered from feelings of guilt about “receiving a gift” when so many people lost loved ones.

NHK tries to dispel some of that guilt on this week’s “NHK Special” (NHK-G, Tues., 8 p.m.), which follows a family that was blessed with a baby on 3/11 for the next three years as they cope with a new member and the difficult memories associated with the child’s entry into the world.

CM of the Week: Daiwa House

For a while now writer-actor Lily Franky and actress Eri Fukatsu have been portraying a married couple in a series of commercials for house builder Daiwa. The ads never say anything about the construction or features of Daiwa homes. In fact, they never talk about homes at all. They simply try to relate the marital situation of these two people, who have no children and seem quite different from each other. The older Franky is a typical salaryman, while Fukatsu seems to be a free spirit. In the latest spot Franky narrates that she is in Paris “for work,” though all we see her doing is touristy things. While she’s away the first snow of the season falls, and Franky saves it for her in the form of a miniature snowman he keeps in the freezer. The contrast is touching. Whoever built this home, it’s obviously a warm one.