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Sunday, May 29, 2011

CHANNEL SURF

Celebrity eco tour; Yutaka Sado's dream come true; CM of the week: Midori Anzen

Japan likes to think of itself as a nation at the forefront of environmental action, but it still has a lot to learn from other countries. On

"Honto no Eco wo Kangaeru Chikyu Ryoko" ("Global Journey In Search of Real Ecology"; Nihon TV, Fri., 9 p.m.), Masaki Aiba of the boy band Arashi and other celebrity reporters travel the world to find answers about the environment.

Aiba goes to Bhutan, a country whose material wealth isn't very high but whose spiritual richness is envied worldwide. In surveys, 97 percent of the citizens declare themselves "happy." Aiba learns how the average Bhutanese lives in harmony with nature. He is also granted an exclusive interview with Bhutan's prime minister.

Other reporters visit Cuba and the island of Ogasawara.

When the conductor Yutaka Sado was in elementary school, he wrote in the yearbook that his dream was to someday conduct the Berlin Philharmonic, generally considered to be the greatest orchestra in the world.

Earlier this month his dream came true, and the documentary special

"Yume no Takuto wo Furu Hi" ("The Day He Waved His Dream Baton"; TBS, June 5, 10 p.m.) follows the road that led Sado to his faithful engagement in Germany.

Along the way, Sado directs a program in Osaka featuring 10,000 people singing the "Ode to Joy"; an overseas tour that takes him to Paris; and a special charity concert in Dusseldorf to raise money for victims of the March 11 disasters. It also shows Sado in rehearsal with the Berlin Philharmonic and backstage for a private moment or two.

CM of the Week: Midori Anzen

The work apparel maker Midori Anzen is famous for its commercials, which often don't reveal their intent until the very end. In its latest, a formally dressed audience sits patiently in a beautiful concert hall waiting for a performance. A stagehand dressed in green overalls and wearing a helmet walks out on stage. It's obvious from the surprised look on his face that he didn't expect the auditorium to be occupied.

Too late. The orchestra starts up Tchaikovsky's "Swan Lake" and the stagehand becomes swept up in the ballet, dancing along as best he can. He's a hit, and as the voiceover tells us at the end of the CM, it's because Midori Anzen work clothes "make it easy to move."



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