It’s the last chance to watch SUPER JAPAN, the Discovery Channel series of documentaries that celebrate the evolvement of Japan into the global powerhouse it is today! Today, 19 March, at 7:00 p.m., the last two episodes of the special will highlight the convergence of old and new in the land of the rising sun:
“Sea Whisperers” takes a plunge into the country’s 5,000 year old ancient tradition that has defied the tide of time – the legendary free-diving Ama or ‘sea woman’ who make a living by diving deep in the coastal waters of Japan to harvest abalone and turban shells. The key to their culture is their identity as female free-divers who understand the need to live in harmony with nature if future generations are to continue their way of life. This means they refuse to use scuba tanks as that would make it too easy to over harvest the abalone and turban shells which they depend on a living for. With environmental changes threatening their livelihoods and most Ama divers now aged over 65 years old, their future, as free-diving champion Ai Futaki discovers, is far from secure.
“POPcorn Dreams” takes viewers inside the quintessential Japanese pop (J-POP) music scene to document a burgeoning phenomenon – J-POP girl group AKB48 from Akihabara, Tokyo. Unlike regular pop groups who occasionally put up performances and are seen mostly on television, AKB48 – who holds the Guinness World Record for the Largest Pop Group – was founded and produced by Yasushi Akimoto based on the “idols you can meet” concept. The group is split into several teams and take turns to perform on a daily basis at their very own AKB48 Theatre where fans would be able to catch them live. SUPER JAPAN tracks the global expansion of AKB48 and examines its first overseas venture, sister group, JKT48 in Jakarta, Indonesia. Follow Melody Nurramdhani Laksani, a local JKT48 member as she hones her performing skills to become a pop idol sensation in Indonesia and Haruka Nakagawa, a Japanese girl who transferred from AKB48 to JKT48 to help the Indonesian girls replicate AKB48 songs and dance moves – and whose character and efforts to learn the local language is attracting a growing fan base. Can a pop group concept as unique and radical AKB48 be successfully exported and duplicated in countries with starkly different cultures?