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Sunday, Aug. 7, 2005


Fuji TV presents docudrama "The August 12 JAL Crash: To My Child in Heaven" and more

I n the NHK drama "Nanako to Nanao-Ane to Ototo ni Nareru Hi (Nanako and Nanao: the Day They Became Sister and Brother)" on NHK-G, Thursday at 7:30 p.m. Yu Aoi plays high-school student Nanako, who is something of a social outcast, mainly because of her attitude. Nanako's philandering father died seven years earlier, but not before he produced a son, Nanao (Yuri Chinen), with his mistress.

The mistress, Machiko, has been in prison for some time, convicted of assault. Nanao was thus deposited in an orphanage, and when Na nako's mother, Kimie (Eri Ishida), discovers this fact, she takes him out of the orphanage and has him live with her and Nanako, who doesn't like the arrangement at all. She gets annoyed about her half-brother's habit of checking people's reactions before doing anything.

Things get worse. Kimie falls ill and requires hospitalization, which means that Nanako and Nanao have to live with each other, and then one day Nanako finds Nanao eating some cake in secret and she explodes in anger.

In addition to the 60th commemoration of the end of the war, this sum mer marks the 20th anniversary of the JAL crash that killed 520 people in the mountains of Gunma Prefecture. At the time, it was the deadliest crash in aviation history.

On Friday at 9 p.m., Fuji TV will present a docudrama, "The August 12 JAL Crash: To My Child in Heaven," which incorporates the true story of Kuniko (Mieko Harada), a Tokyo mother who treats her young son to a trip to Koshien Stadium in Osaka to see the summer 1985 high-school baseball tournament. He will go by himself by airplane -- his first time flying. After seeing him off at the airport she hears on the news that a domestic airliner vanished from the radar.

The documentary portions of the drama utilize voice recordings and testimony from the survivors of the crash. In addition, an aviation expert explains what happened to the Boeing 747 using an experimental airplane that follows the doomed plane's flight.

One of the most famous postwar Japanese stories is the strange tale of Second Lt. Onoda, the Japanese soldier who remained in the jungles of the Philippines for almost 30 years after the war ended, believing that it was still being fought.

Onoda (kabuki actor Nakamura Shiro) was a reconnaissance officer who fought guerrilla style. He was a dedicated survivalist, and as his men succumbed to disease over the years he remained entrenched in the jungle boiling water and catching wild animals. In 1974, when a group of Japanese discovered him and tried to coax him out, at first he thought they were American spies. But eventually he came out of the jungle and returned to Japan.

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