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CATCH JAPAN

Aired: February 27, 2020 (UTC)


Series Information

Explore a colorful variety of modern Japan’s most popular topics, including food, technology, ecology and regional promotions, with a focus on the innovative ideas and passionate effort from the people behind it all.

J-FOOD

Anpokaki is dried persimmon fruit characterized by its natural sweetness, said to have first originated in the city of Date in Fukushima Prefecture. For a certain period following the nuclear accident during the Great East Japan Earthquake, producers of Anpokaki voluntarily stopped production. However, efforts were made to establish a system to ship only products which are tested and proven to be safe for consumption. Now, they’re back in business and are taking on the challenge of overseas export.

Anpokaki dried persimmon fruit
Satoshi Shishido, maker of Anpokaki

J-FACTORY

Furniture company Akiyama Mokko is well-known in the industry for its top-notch group of craftsmen. It produces high-quality, made to order furniture that are delivered to the Imperial Household Agency, first-class hotels and others. The company is known not only for its quality products but also for its method of training its young recruits into first-rate artisans. They employ a unique training system in which the young employees live together in the company president’s care, honing the heart, technique, and physique.

Toshiteru Akiyama, president of furniture company Akiyama Mokko
Yuto Yonebayashi, artisan in training at Akiyama Mokko

J-BIZ

Kunio Hara, president of the Ho-Me-I-Ku Foundation, is the man behind an educational training method that mainly focuses on giving compliments to trainees. Currently, the method is being implemented in around 300 companies such as restaurants and even kindergartens. It has been contributing to the decrease in the number of people leaving their jobs and a substantial increase in sales. What is the key to such changes for the better? This segment documents Hara’s training method in action.

Kunio Hara, developer of the Ho-Me-I-Ku educational training method, during a training session
At Katsumasa, a restaurant where the Ho-Me-I-Ku method is being used

J-ADVENTURE

The runAway team head for Mount Mitoku. It’s located just outside the small town of Misasa in Tottori Prefecture and despite being only 900m tall, it draws visitors from far and wide. Dean and the team are attempting to hike and climb their way to the top of a spiritual route that passes through numerous religious sites and finishes spectacularly at the National Treasure known as Nageiredo Hall. They will do so wearing traditional woven straw footwear known as Zori. This is a route that is physically challenging, shrouded in mystery, and utterly fascinating.
For more runAway adventures, check out: https://www.youtube.com/runawayjapan

Looking over from the Monjudo Hall on Mt. Mitoku
Nageiredo Hall

Host

Maxwell Powers

Voice Actor/MC/Bilingual Pro
From Oakland, California

Maxwell Powers

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