Natsume Soseki’s novel, “Botchan,” has been adapted many times over the years, but it has been 20 years since it was last done for television. To celebrate the 100th year since the writer died, Fuji TV is presenting a brand new production of the classic story (Sunday, 9 p.m.) starring Arashi’s Kazuya Ninomiya as the main character, a rambunctious, emotional young man whose name we never hear since he is the story’s narrator. He’s simply known as “Botchan” (young master).
Botchan, who grew up in Tokyo, is characterized by his artless social skills and pugnaciousness. Like Soseki himself, he first experiences life outside the capital when he secures a teaching job at a junior high school in Matsuyama on the island of Shikoku, where most of the story is set.
Last September, the 33-year-old alpinist Nobukazu Kuriki made his fifth attempt to scale Mount Everest, the tallest peak in the world. The last time he tried, in 2012, he lost nine of his fingers to frostbite. On Monday, NHK will broadcast a documentary, “Godome no Everest E” (“To Everest for the Fifth Time”; NHK-G, 8 p.m.), which features footage from both these adventures.
The main reason for Kuriki’s difficulties is that he chose to climb the mountain in autumn, which almost no one has ever done since the conditions are much harsher than they are in late spring or early summer. The temperature and oxygen rates are lower. It is also more dangerous in that a recent earthquake made a glacier on the mountain unstable.
After he lost his fingers, Kuriki had to start from zero and undergo special training. The program incorporates video he shot himself during the ascent, as well as testimony from his team and his family.
CM of the Week: Parco
It’s that time of year again when retailer Parco releases ads to promote its New Year’s Grand Bazaar bargain sale. As in previous years, the 2016 edition is a movie tie-in. Tomoya Nagase and Ryonosuke Kamiki reprise their roles from the new film, “Too Young to Die!,” both holding guitars but with Nagase made up to look like a hard-rocking oni (demon). The pair do a musical riff on the word “Parkoala,” a mashup of “Parco” and “koala,” the store’s PR cartoon mascot which, in this instance, is drawn with fangs and an evil expression to match Nagase’s death metal demeanor. Shop at Parco … or else!
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