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Season 3 "Entertainment"

Aired: December 25, 2015


Episode #03: Roundup + α

This show features the new faces of Tokyo, where many professionals gather creating the Tokyo culture with their passion and technology.


In the last two episodes, we took a look at artists working in rakugo, a traditional Japanese performing art that goes back three hundred years, and the 2.5-Dimensional Musical, a new theater genre that is currently taking Tokyo by storm. In this episode, we will peek behind the scenes of these two forms of entertainment. Maho Saito is an event planner who organizes English rakugo workshops in hopes of promoting the art form overseas. In fact, she was the one who inspired Shinoharu Tatekawa, the rakugo actor featured in Episode 1, to start performing rakugo in English. Meanwhile, Makoto Matsuda is the producer who helped turn the 2.5-Dimensional Musical into the success it has become. We will take a look at how he has adapted many of Japan’s 2-D pop culture works into hit stage musicals.

Tokyo Sanpo

In this segment, we will be walking around one of the most popular areas in Tokyo: Shibuya. We will start at the iconic Scramble Crossing right outside Shibuya Station, and move on to quieter neighborhoods where shops selling shamisen and old-school dining establishments that feel like something out of the 19th century still exist. Shibuya may be better known today for its bright cosmopolitan vibe, but there are still elements of traditional Japanese culture throughout the area.


The Tama River Water Resources Forest Team
We will take a look at the activities of the Tama River Water Resources Forest Team, a volunteer group whose aim is to ensure the quality of Tokyo’s water. The Tama River is one of Tokyo’s main sources of water, which is why it is so important for the forests that grow around the river’s source to remain in good health. This involves both upkeep as well as preservation efforts.

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