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Sunday, Aug. 20, 2006

CHANNEL SURF

NHK's "Beatles Rainichi 103 Jikan," Nihon TV's "24 Hour TV" and more

Japan is still celebrating the 40th anniversary of The Beatles' only visit, and on Monday at 10 p.m., NHK-G will present "Beatles Rainichi 103 Jikan (The Beatles Come to Japan for 103 Hours)." The documentary will relive the Fab Four's arrival at Haneda Airport, which experienced a security crunch like none it had ever experienced before. It will follow them to the Tokyo Hilton (now the Capitol Tokyu, which is about to be demolished) in Akasaka. It will show footage from their concerts at Budokan. More importantly, it will interview many people who met the four mop-tops face-to-face during their stay, as well as a number of people who attended the concerts and "were deeply affected." They will talk not only about the way The Beatles impacted their lives, but also their effect on Japan, their effect on the 1960s, and their effect on the world.

Tuesday at 9 p.m., Nihon TV will present a special entitled "Okinawa Jugun Shojo Kangotai -- Saigo no Nightingale (Okinawan War Service Girl Nurses Corps -- The Last Nightingales)," which dramatizes the true story of a group of teenage girls who were mobilized during the Battle of Okinawa in 1945 to act as battlefield nurses.

The drama centers on Sachi (Riko Narumi), a junior-high school student who, along with 2,000 other children her age, are forced into service -- the boys as runners and even soldiers, the girls as medical assistants. Despite the professionalism of their nurse leader, Michiko (Kyoko Hasegawa), the violence and trauma of the battlefield is too much for them. But there is horror everywhere. One day Sachi runs home to see her family, and finds that they have all committed suicide.

This year, Nihon TV's "24 Hour TV" charity telethon is hosted by the six-member idol group KAT-TUN. It starts at 6:30 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 26, and runs until 8:54 p.m., Sunday, Aug. 27. The theme of this year's extravaganza is "thinking about our ties to the planet." The special will include the usual mindless quizzes and comedy sketches, and will feature a special drama about a young man named Yuki (Kazuya Kamenashi) who suffers from a chronic, incurable disease that causes part of his skull to deteriorate. In addition, the ultraskinny comedy duo Ungirls will participate in the full marathon that always concludes the show, and the "Dance Koshien," a popular feature of Beat Takeshi's legendary "Genki ga Deru Terebi" series of the '90s, will be revived. Amateur hip-hop dance groups from high schools all over Japan will come together at the Budokan and battle it out for the title of best in the country.



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