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Sunday, Aug. 30, 2009
Ryuichi Sakomoto on 'Bakusho,' dishes worth tears and 'The Host's Wife'
This week the subject of "Bakusho Mondai no Nippon no Kyoyo" (Bakusho Mondai's Japan Education; NHK-G, Tues., 10:50 p.m.) is music, but not necessarily Japanese music.
The comedy duo visit musician-composer Ryuichi Sakamoto, member of Yellow Magic Orchestra, award-winning maker of film soundtracks, and recipient of the French government's National Order of the Legion of Honor. Sakamoto takes a pedantic rather than a performing role. He brings with him a computer holding 13,000 songs from all over the world.
Chosing pieces at random, he holds forth on the richness and unique appeal of music as an art form, and explains to the two comedians the musical particulars of each song. The more voluble Hikaru Ota is stimulated enough to hold forth on the ouevre of his favorite group, Southern All Stars, thus giving rise to a discussion of the "meaning of music." Speaking of music, the Japanese word nakiuta literally means "cry song," and refers to a piece that invariably makes the listener weep. Everyone can probably think of one of these songs, but what about food? Is there a dish that makes you cry?
That is the questionable premise of the new series "Nakimeshi" (Crying Meal; TBS, Wed., 10 p.m.), which takes for granted a belief that everyone has a dish they love so much that when they eat it it brings tears to their eyes.
The hosts, Masami Hisamoto and Hideyuki Nakayama, get their guests to tell them about foods that have special meaning in their lives. The guests on the first show are aging rocker Joji Takahashi and video king Sho Aikawa. This Friday, Fuji TV presents an original two-hour drama, "Host no Nyobo" (The Host's Wife, 9 p.m.), which is supposedly based on a true story.
Akemi (Hitomi Kuroki) is the rich and pampered daughter of a prominent Tokyo architect, and in line with her station she is married to an elite executive. Her life seems set.
One day, she goes to a host club in the Kabukicho entertainment district of Tokyo with a few of her female friends, mainly as a joke. There, she meets Aida (Susumu Terajima), who is the club's No. 1 host. Though hosts may play favorites with valued customers, they aren't necessarily supposed to become romantically involved with them, but Akemi and Aida are immediately attracted to each other.
The relationship sparks rumors that get back to Akemi's parents, who disapprove strongly. She becomes even more determined to abandon everything, including her inheritance, and run away with Aida. In the meantime, Aida, who grew up poor, is becoming the king of Kabukicho.