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Sumo tournament; "The Eternal Zero"; CM of the week: GlaxoSmithKline

Special To The Japan Times

If you like sumo but think the two-week basho schedule is too much, then check out “Nihon Ozumo Tournament Dai-Sanjukyu-kai Taikai” (“39th Japan Grand Sumo Tournament”; Fuji TV, Sun., 4:05 p.m.), which compresses the whole thing into a 90-minute event.

And that’s both the juryo and makunouchi divisions, with all the wrestlers who appeared at the New Year’s Tournament, including new favorite Itsunoshiro, who made it into the highest division in record time, on his fifth tournament.

Rather than compete for most wins, each rikishi is eliminated whenever he loses, with the winner immediately going on to the next round. The last man standing is the champion. Even more than power, this tournament demands stamina.

TV Tokyo celebrates both National Foundation Day and its 50th anniversary with the drama special, “Eien no Zero” (“The Eternal Zero”; Wed., 8:54 p.m.), based on the best-selling novel by Naoki Hyakuta, which has already been adapted as a hugely popular feature film.

One year before the 60th anniversary of the end of World War II, Keiko Kiritani (Ryoko Hirosue) suggests to her freelance writer brother, Kentaro (Kenta Kiritani), that he do something about their grandfather, Kyuzo Miyabe, who died in the war. But when Kentaro asks his mother (Junko Takahata) about her father, she says that she doesn’t know much beyond the fact that he died overseas. Keiko writes to the government and receives a brief reply saying that Miyabe died in the South Pacific while carrying out a suicide attack.

The drama is in three parts, continuing Feb. 14 and concluding Feb. 15.

CM of the week: GlaxoSmithKline

 During the winter months, people tend to get stuffed up and have trouble sleeping, so English pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline came up with Breathe Right, nonmedicinal strips that act to clear nasal passages.

In a new series of ads idol Nonoka Ono lectures three monsters — Dracula, Frankenstein’s creature and a werewolf — on how the strips work. In one she impersonates a physician and in the other a flight attendant. The monsters grunt and fidget and try their own remedies — garlic, sticking bolts up their noses, eating rabbits — until they take Ono’s advice and immediately fall into peaceful, quiet sleep. If it can work for monsters, think of what it could do for humans?