Comments from the Top (Executive Director of Broadcasting)
Summary of Press Conference (July, 2020)
On the news of the death of Miura Haruma
(Comments by MASAGAKI Satoru, Executive Director of Broadcasting)
Actor Miura Haruma passed away on July 18th. I am shocked to hear this very sad news. Firstly, I would like to express my sincere condolences.
Miura Haruma had deep connections with NHK, having made his debut aged 7 in the morning serial drama “Aguri” and also appeared in many other programs, including the Taiga historical dramas “Musashi”, “Komyo ga Tsuji (Love and Glory)” and “Onna Joshu Naotora (Naotora: The Lady Warlord)”.
For the special feature drama “Taiyo no Ko (Gift of Fire)” scheduled for broadcast on General TV this summer, Miura had shaved his head for the filming and produced a wonderful performance showing the struggle for survival of a young person during a terrible time of war.
He has also co-hosted the “Sekai wa Hoshii Mono ni Afureteru (The World is Filled with Wants)” travelogue program, which is currently being shown on General TV, since it first started in 2018. He journeyed to find beautiful things from around the world and discussed them and the fascinating people who created them in lively conversations with his co-host, the singer JUJU.
Personally, it was his performance portraying the hard life of Ii Naochika in “Naotora: The Lady Warlord” that made a deep impression on me. It was a performance full of nuance that combined a sparkling smiling face with emotional complexity; I think he was a great talent. It feels as if NHK has lost a great treasure who had been with us a long time, it is truly sad.
It was not only on NHK programs, he also appeared in movies, plays and in dramas on commercial stations, where he showed his talent across a wide range of genres. I believe he had a great future ahead of him and I’m filled with sorrow. I again express my appreciation and condolences.
On the recommencement of broadcasts of “Awaiting Kirin”
(Comments by MASAGAKI Satoru)
Broadcasts of the Taiga historical drama “Awaiting Kirin”, which were suspended on June 7th, will begin again from August 30th. Recording is now taking place with measures against infection from the new coronavirus being enacted. This is taking much longer than it would under normal circumstances, but a milestone toward the restart of broadcasting has been reached. Regarding the morning serial drama “Yell”, we ask our viewers to continue to enjoy the reruns.
Programs related to 'Thinking about War and Peace'
NHK Special “’Tettai’ wa Nani o Motarashita no ka – Okinawa-sen Saigo no Ikka-getsu (‘Withdrawal’ – What was Achieved by it in the Battle of Okinawa – the Final Month)”
(Comments by MASAGAKI Satoru)
This summer will mark 75 years since the end of the war and NHK will broadcast programs which provoke thoughts about war and peace from various angles.
On August 2nd, an NHK Special “’Tettai’ wa Nani o Motarashita no ka – Okinawa-sen Saigo no Ikka-getsu (‘Withdrawal’ - What was Achieved by it in the Battle of Okinawa – the Final Month)” will be shown.
During the Battle of Okinawa, where 120,000 people, or one in four of the islanders, lost their lives, one of the most horrific periods was the month when the Japanese military kept fighting after withdrawing from its headquarters in Shuri at the end of May. The Japanese military utilised the natural caves in the southern part of the island during this time in a last ditch war of attrition to prevent the U.S. military invasion of the mainland. Among the chaos, the suffering was so great that the details as to who was killed and where are still not clear till this day.
With the discovery of new documents from the U.S. military, and investigation of the testimony of more than 1,700 islanders, NHK has been able to recreate what actions people took. These revelations uncover the fact that as the Japanese military attempted to fight to the bitter end the islanders who were trying to escape from the horrific battle were relentlessly caught up in the attacks by the U.S. military.
The program also shows how mutual distrust gradually grew between the islanders and the Japanese military, causing even more deaths. Even after the outcome of the battle had been decided, why were so many lives lost? The truth of the Battle of Okinawa is uncovered.
“Auschwitz ‘Shisha’ kara no Tegami – Akiraka ni naru Satsuriku no Shinjitsu (Auschwitz – The Truth of the Slaughter as Detailed in Letters from the ‘Dead’)”
(Comments by HAYASHI Rie, Deputy Executive Director of Broadcasting - NHK WORLD-JAPAN)
On August 16th, the NHK Special “Auschwitz ‘Shisha’ kara no Tegami – Akiraka ni naru Satsuriku no Shinjitsu (Auschwitz – The Truth of the Slaughter as Detailed in Letters from the ‘Dead’)” will be broadcast.
More than 6 million Jews were killed in gas chambers and by other methods in the Holocaust, the most horrific episode in human history. In the ground around the Auschwitz concentration camp, known as the 'Factory of Death’, numerous ‘secret letters’ have been discovered. Using the latest in digital technology, these are being deciphered. The letters were written by people who were made to work taking their own people to the gas chambers and disposing of their bodies, the members of the special Jewish teams who were known as ‘sonderkommando’. To silence these people who knew the full details of the genocide, most of them were killed. But to record what had happened, some wrote the letters secretly just before they died.
What comes to light from the letters is how the system in the camp was to divide up the work between the sonderkommando in order to prevent solidarity developing.
On the other hand, using people acting secretly, some members of sonderkommando risked their lives trying to communicate the horrors of the genocide to the outside world. The letters illustrate the unknown story of the lives of those trying to survive in the horrific environment. After 75 years, light is shone on this dark time from history, brought back to life by these ‘final testaments’.
“Mo Ichido ‘Nagasaki no Genbaku’ o Mitsumeru Genbaku no E Futatabi (Once More, Looking Again at the ‘Nagasaki Atomic Bombing’ Through Paintings of the A-Bombing)”
(Comments by MASAGAKI Satoru)
On BS4K on August 7th, “Mo Ichido ‘Nagasaki no Genbaku’ o Mitsumeru Genbaku no E Futatabi (Once More, Looking Again at the ‘Nagasaki Atomic Bombing’ Through Paintings of the A-Bombing)” will be broadcast.
As we approach the 75-year mark since the atomic bombing, the NHK Nagasaki Station is this year re-examining the approximately 800 ‘Atomic Bomb Paintings’ at the Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum to take another look at the ‘memories of that day’ which are etched into those pictures. These paintings were gathered from a wide range of people in two stages, in 1974 and 2002, and portray the personal experiences of the atomic bomb survivors.
What emerged through this reporting was a variety of ‘memories of that day’ which people hadn’t spoken about until now. There were those who were overwhelmed by the enormity of what they had seen and were unable to express it in their paintings, as well as those who felt they were urged by those who had perished to start painting.
How do the atomic bomb survivors deal with the experiences of ‘that day’, which will forever be in their minds, and how are they expressed in each of the ‘atomic bomb paintings’? We hope that viewers will, through the footage of the ‘atomic bomb paintings’ shot with ultra-high-definition 4K cameras, be able to experience the touch of the pictures and connect with the feelings behind them.
This summer, NHK will broadcast ‘programs to make people think about war and peace’ from a range of perspectives. In order to attract as many viewers as possible, these programs will be presented with the slogan ’75 years after the war, let’s think about peace.’