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Sunday, April 18, 2004

CHANNEL SURF

"Sekai Ururun Taizaiki" on TBS and more

Learning is often called a lifelong process, but what is the meaning of education to someone whose days are known to be limited? This is one of the questions addressed in the new drama series "Denchi ga Kireru Made (Until the Battery Runs Out)" (TV Asahi, Thursday, 9 p.m.).

Satori (Naomi Zaizen) is a teacher hired to teach classes at an in-hospital school. The classes are for children who, due to their treatment, are required to stay at the hospital for a long time, thus preventing them from attending regular school. Satori's class contains elementary school students and one junior high-school student. Some of the students are terminal cases.

In the first episode, Satori discovers that a former student of hers now works at the hospital. She also gets her comeuppance from Dr. Suenaga (Takenori Jinnai), a physician who scolds Satori and tells her that the classes she teaches should never interfere with the treatment he administers because making the children well is the most important thing. In addition, Satori's lone junior high-school student, Kaoru, doesn't show up for the first day of class.

On Saturday, April 24, Fuji TV will rebroadcast the award-winning two-hour drama, "Sensei no Kaban (The Teacher's Bag)" at 9 p.m. The drama was originally shown on WOWOW and is based on a novel by Hiromi Kawakami.

Former idol and CM queen Kyoko Koizumi plays Tsukiko, a 37-year-old woman who enjoys being single and, in fact, prefers living alone. One day, she runs into her old high-school language teacher, whom she naturally calls "sensei," in a bar in her neighborhood. They strike up a conversation and discover they like the same kind of alcohol and the same kind of snacks to eat with it. A sentimental bond is formed.

The story follows their relationship as it deepens with each rendezvous at the bar. Though Tsukiko never stops calling her new friend "sensei" and he is 30 years her senior, she finds herself being inexorably drawn to him. Is she finally falling in love?

Though Uzbekistan has been experiencing civil turmoil recently, apparently it's safe enough for young tarento Yoshio Inoue to visit the former Soviet state for a travel show. On the April 25 installment of "Sekai Ururun Taizaiki (World Sojourns)" at 10 p.m., Inoue journeys five hours by car from the capital of Tashkent to a farmhouse at the foot of a mountain.

A family of 16 comprising three generations runs the farm, and Inoue lives and works with them. He chops wood, cleans out stables and tends the huge flock of sheep. However, his main purpose in coming to the farm is to learn to ride an indigenous breed of horse, which legend says can run 1,000 km in a single day and sweats blood.



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