Home > Life in Japan > Media
  print button email button

Sunday, Dec. 23, 2007


Inside criminal scams, raising the Yamada quintuplets, unique cooking

A few years ago, the media was filled with reports about people falling victim to ingenious swindling operations called "furikome sagi," an umbrella term describing schemes that fool victims into sending money to con men via bank transfers. Because of the publicity, the frequency of such incidents has declined.

But the problem hasn't gone away; criminal groups have just become more inventive. Some of these new methods are investigated in the two-hour special "Chokugeki! Aku ni Tatakai Idomu — Za Tokumei Kisha (Direct Hit! Fighting Against Evil — The Anonymous Reporters)" (TV Tokyo, Mon., 6:30 p.m.), in which unnamed journalists use hidden cameras to uncover these new swindles, among which are con men posing as Social Insurance Agency employees who exploit people's anxieties over the current pension fiasco; and preying on housewives who want to earn extra money working at home. One of the most valuable tools for swindlers is private data about individuals that is improperly leaked.

C hristmas is a time for family, so it seems fitting that on Dec. 25 TBS takes a look at the Yamada clan of Kiyose, Tokyo. The family has been covered extensively in the past because the five children are quintuplets. Their father died two years ago, and "Gekito Daikazoku Special 07 (Fiercely Fighting Big Family Special 07)" (6:55 p.m.) looks at what the brood is up to now.

Noriko, their mother, is working as a caregiver, and raising five kids by herself is more of a chore than ever now that her children are all in the last year of elementary school and preparing for junior high. One of her sons is developmentally disabled and attends a special class. He will have to go to a different junior high school than his siblings, and that makes them angry.

H arumi Kurihara is one of Japan's most celebrated cooking experts, a housewife who has parlayed her own intimate take on Japanese cuisine into a business empire. Some time ago her desire to spread Japanese culinary culture to the world prompted her to immerse herself in a course of English language study. Her aim was to explain Japanese food in her own words without the use of interpreters. The success of her endeavors was acknowledged when she won a prestigious international cooking award.

She is now teaching a course in Japanese cuisine at a university in Atlanta, Georgia. NHK followed her there and has produced a documentary about her experience, "Washoku Kokoro wo Tsutaetai (Wanting to Convey the Soul of Japanese Food)" (NHK-E, Sat., 9:45 p.m.), which is narrated by her son Shinpei, who has followed in his mother's footsteps and is now a food expert in his own right.

Back to Top

About us |  Work for us |  Contact us |  Privacy policy |  Link policy |  Registration FAQ
Advertise in japantimes.co.jp.
This site has been optimized for modern browsers. Please make sure that Javascript is enabled in your browser's preferences.
The Japan Times Ltd. All rights reserved.