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Sunday, March 13, 2005

CHANNEL SURF

Fuji's "Dead Age" tries to bridge babyboomers and youngsters' culture gap and more

Though baby boomers control the creative side of the television industry, a huge part of their audience is a lot younger, a divide that often results in stilted programming.

Fuji TV's special information show, "Dead Age" (Monday, 7 p.m.), attempts to bridge this gap by exposing it. "Dead age" refers to a temporal border where knowledge ends. The word tokkuri, for example, will be immediately familiar to people over a certain age, but at what age group does it cease to have any meaning at all? This age group would be called the dead age for the word tokkuri, which during the '60s was the common term used for turtle-neck sweaters.

This theory works the opposite way as well -- new terms and ideas that older people do not understand -- and the purpose of the show is to enlighten specific generations on the mores and vocabularies of other generations. Celebrities will show up to jog people's memories of the past and etiquette specific to young and old will be discussed.


On the Japan Sea coast of the Noto Peninsula lies the hamlet of Kamiozawa, which consists of only 20 households. The village was founded more than 800 years ago on a stretch of coastline that receives typhoon-level gusts of wind all winter long. For that reason, the entire hamlet is surrounded by a high bamboo fence called a magaki, the circumference measuring 500 meters.

On Tuesday at 9:15 p.m., NHK-G will present a special program about Kamiozawa called "Magami no Sato no Shiki (Four Seasons in the Village of the Fence)." Owing to its almost complete isolation, the hamlet is self-sufficient. Its families live off the land and the sea. The fence is such an important part of their lives that the inhabitants spend a great deal of time every autumn repairing it. It's quite a chore, since the fence consists of more than 10,000 bamboo poles.


On March 20 at 7:10 p.m., NHK's BS-1 channel will present a documentary about the U.S. media's role in the Iraq War called "Iraq Senso no Michi (The Road to the Iraq War)." As everyone knows, the stated reason for the invasion was to seek out weapons of mass destruction that turned out to be nonexistent, and the program looks at how America's major media outlets reported this aspect before and after the invasion.

Reporting by The Washington Post and The New York Times is analyzed to see whether or not the two news giants sufficiently questioned Bush administration claims of WMD. The documentary will also look at the way the public's anxiety over 9/11 was exploited and the rise of Fox News, whose pro-administration stance appealed to a large cross-section of the American public, thus affecting news reporting in general.



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