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Sunday, Feb. 6, 2011
Focusing on Masayoshi Son and Eiga Mura; CM of the week: My Land
In the earlier half of the previous decade, Japan seemed almost overrun with entrepreneurs heading digital and cyber businesses. Few, however, have succeeded as well as Masayoshi Son, the founder and president of SoftBank, one of Japan's three leading mobile phone carriers and the only one built from scratch, meaning that it didn't emerge from an already existing telecommunications company.
Son will be the subject of the variety show "Shirushiru Mishiru" ("Know, Know, Find Out"; TV Asahi, Wed., 11:15 p.m.), which will present a dramatization of his life. The program will also shamelessly promote his line of products and services. As everyone knows, SoftBank is the only carrier that handles Apple's iPhone in Japan, and a veteran baseball pundit will demonstrate how some new applications make it easy for even the elderly to be able to use an iPhone productively.
Two other entrepreneurs are profiled on the special program "Yume wa Nihon no Hariuddo" ("The Dream is a Japanese Hollywood"; TBS, Sat., 9:55 a.m.). Five years ago, a movie producer and a local government official from the region of Shonai in Yamagata Prefecture teamed up to create a film production business that would take advantage of the area's natural beauty. They created the Eiga Mura (Movie Village) Studio, which has revitalized the local economy.
So far, nine Japanese movies have been made at the studio, including the Oscar winner "Okuribito (Departures)," historical epic "Jusannin no Shikaku (13 Assassins)," the remake of "Zatoichi," and English-language parody "Sukiyaki Western Django."
The program explores how the two men came together and the way their special relationship developed as each endeavored to fulfill his dream. The documentary itself is also a special collaboration, between TBS and a local TV station, and is narrated by Masahiro Motoki, the star of "Okuribito."
CM of the week: My Land
A man dressed in a suit, sporting a parachute and eye goggles, clings desperately to the wing of an airplane in midflight. He faces the camera and screams, "It's said that buying a house . . . buying a house . . . can be like this!" He then stands bolt upright on the wing and is blown into the sky. A funny-sounding voice over then assures viewers, "You don't have to be this prepared in order to purchase a good home."
By "prepared" the commercial, for residential realtor My Land, obviously means "ready to risk your life," which is how many people view entering into home ownership. My Land is in the business of selling already occupied houses and condos, which are deemed to be less "risky" than new homes in the sense that they're much cheaper, so it's not like you're throwing your life away.