Japan Video Topics 2012-3 (DVD)
The Camellias of Hagi
Hagi, in Yamaguchi Prefecture, is an historic city set among beautiful scenery, containing many fascinating relics and reminders of the key role it played in Japan's 19th century modernization. Hagi's major attraction for visitors, though, is its camellias. Over 25,000 camellia trees grow in a natural hillside forest, and the simple beauty of these blossom-covered trees is an irresistible magnet for the flower-loving Japanese.
Arita, in Saga Prefecture, was where Japanese ceramics began, about 400 years ago. Arita ware is made in many variations, from simple blue and white pieces hand colored using the sometsuke process, to gorgeously colored, richly ornamented items. Arita also produces the world-famous style known as Kakiemon. From a shrine gateway tiled in porcelain to walls of old kiln bricks, a visitor will see reminders of Arita's proud past everywhere.
Leading-Edge Desalination Technology
In Japan's modern water-purification facilities, leading-edge technology converts seawater into drinking water. The secret is ultra-thin membranes wound in many layers. These Japanese developed membranes are finer than any other, able to block 99.8 percent of all viruses, chemicals, organisms and even ions. Supplying 70% of membranes used in water treatment plants worldwide, Japanese technology is helping to solve the global water shortage.
Producing a powerful sound that resonates throughout the whole body, wadaiko drums have been an important part of Japanese culture since ancient times. A mainstay of traditional Japanese music, wadaiko are also sacred instruments in Shinto and Buddhism. Today, the wadaiko is known worldwide thanks to a number of famous professional groups who are interpreting this traditional instrument in fresh and unique ways.