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Sunday, Feb. 10, 2008

CHANNEL SURF

Chinese women striving through history, hero cop docu-drama, African history game show

Chinese women get respect in the two-hour Nihon TV special "Onnatachi no Chugoku (Women's China)" (Monday, 9 p.m.), which looks at the country's female citizens and 4,000 years of history.

Veteran TV personality Tetsuko Kuroyanagi and comedy duo Cream Stew travel to the Asian mainland to gain understanding of Chinese women's lives from the historical perspectives of food and popular entertainment.

They meet a 16-year-old girl who is studying hard to earn a certificate as a Special Class Cook, which means she would be licensed to prepare meals for nobility — if nobility still existed in China.

They also meet a young woman with no arms who plans to compete in the Beijing Paralympics later this year.

In addition, actress Mayu Tsuruta travels deep into a mountainous region in search of a set of Chinese ideograms that only women were allowed to read and write.

Fuji TV appropriates the title of tenor Masafumi Aikawa's huge hit, "Sen no Kaze ni Natte (Becoming a Thousand Winds)" for a docudrama special (Friday, 9 p.m.) about police officer Kunihiko Miyamoto, who died in Feb. 2007 while saving a woman who tried to kill herself by jumping in front of a train.

The special mixes interviews of Miyamoto's family and colleagues with a dramatization of his life. Played by comic actor Yuji Miyake, Miyamoto is portrayed as an awkward but earnest member of the Tokyo police force. Right now Chad and Sudan are the focus of worldwide anxiety over civil unrest in those countries, but many centuries ago this area was the Kingdom of Cush, which rivaled Egypt as one of antiquity's most powerful empires.

The world history quiz show "Sekai Fushigi Hakken (World Mysteries)" (TBS, Saturday, 9 p.m.) travels to northeastern Africa to look into the history of the area. For some 1,800 years, Cush (also called Nubia) was subjugated by the Egyptians, who plundered the region's resources, mainly gold, and enslaved its inhabitants.

Then, around the eighth century B.C., the Nubians turned the tables on their tormentors and ruled over Egypt as the Kingdom of Cush. It wasn't until around the 14th century AD that the kingdom was conquered by Arabs.



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