Although Japan’s talent for industrial innovation has lost some of its luster in recent years, Japanese products remain the envy of the world, and a new series, “Monozukuri Nihon no Kiseki” (“The Miracle of Japanese Manufacturing”), takes in a wide range of design to prove it — so wide, in fact, that the series will be aired over five nights (TBS, Mon.-Thurs. 10:54 p.m., Sat. 9 p.m.).
Using a variety show format hosted by popular TBS announcer Shinichiro Azumi, the series focuses on a separate area of product design every night. On Monday, it’s lifestyle products, from home electronics to furniture. Tuesday night is given over to washoku, or Japanese cuisine, in all its permutations. Automobiles is the subject on Wednesday night, and fashion takes the spotlight on Thursday, with a special focus on Japanese textiles. Then, on Saturday, there will be a discussion of “What is true value to Japanese people?”
Now that veteran emcee Tamori is no longer tied to his daily Fuji TV variety show, he’s free to get out of Tokyo once in a while, so NHK will revive his neighborhood exploration series, “Buratamori” (“Wandering Tamori”), in April and allow him to visit places other than Tokyo. On Friday at 10 p.m., the network will rerun a special that aired in January about Kyoto but with new scenes.
On the program, Tamori visits the part of Kyoto that was destroyed by the Onin War — which raged in the ancient capital from 1467 to 1477 — and shows how neighborhoods sprang up in the aftermath and then changed in the subsequent centuries. As always, Tamori looks at history through his own uniquely wry viewpoint.
CM of the week
GLS Japan Shopping is love, according to Internet service Glamour Sales, whose commercials point out that you can buy high-quality products cheaply “anywhere, anytime.” We see sexy actor Takumi Saito, still in bed, reaching for the phone and deciding on a purchase as a soft smile crosses his face. When he presses the “buy” button, a heart-shaped icon floats up into the air. He does it again while nibbling on a strawberry. Then he sneaks up behind his lover, who is on the computer, and presses her “buy” button for her as he wraps his arms around her. She swoons. Now that’s foreplay.