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Sunday, March 13, 2011

CHANNEL SURF

'Shock Illumination'; baseball played the Drucker way; CM of the week: Hebel Haus

Japan is a land of disasters both man-made and natural, and the theme of the TV Tokyo variety special,

"Totsugeki Kaimei Variety: Shiranai to Kowai Sekai" ("Shock Illumination Variety: What You Don't Know Can Scare You"; Mon., 8 p.m.), is everyday dangers you never expect.

Host Masaaki Sakai introduces a series of immersive reports by the usual complement of comedians on these dangers. The duo Ungirls, for instance, look at the perils of lightning at a special facility set up to carry out research into electrical phenomena. They learn how to stay safe in a thunderstorm, whether out in the open or in a car.

2 Other segments explore the latest scams that overseas con men use to sucker unsuspecting tourists and businesses in China that extract cooking oil from city sewage.

One of the more curious publishing success stories of the past year is Natsumi Iwasaki's book

"Moshi Koko Yakyu no Joshi Maneja ga Dorakka no 'Manejimento' wo Yondara," or "What Happens When a Female High School Baseball Manager Reads Drucker's 'Management.' " The story concerns a high school girl named Minami who becomes the manager of her school's baseball team. In Japan, managers of high school teams are always girls. They take care of the players' everyday needs, including washing their uniforms.

The team Minami manages is a perennial loser, and though she isn't involved with strategy or training, she wants to help. One day while in a bookstore, she comes across the late Peter Drucker's best-selling book on management. At first, it's difficult to understand, but as she reads more she finds valuable tips on how to make her team stronger.

NHK has used the abbreviated title, "Moshidora," for its 10-part animated version of the story, which starts March 14 at 10:55 p.m. on NHK-G.

CM of the week: Hebel Haus

An elderly man and a little boy are playing catch in a suburban playground. The boy keeps dropping the ball and the old man scolds him. "You have to hold the glove up like this," he says sternly. A young woman sits nearby on a bench. "Dad, be gentler," she says to the old man.

Based on the interpersonal dynamic, the old man is obviously the woman's father-in-law and the little boy's grandfather. Usually, grandparents dote on their children's children, but this old man has a reason for being so strict.

The puppet sheep mascot of housing construction company Hebel Haus pops out of the old man's breast pocket, giving voice to the man's thoughts: His son, the boy's father, has been transferred to a distant office by his company, so he has to be the boy's father. A message fades in at the corner of the screen: "Let's live together."



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