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Deciphering Japan

4 x 48 HD
Broadcaster:  Channel NewsAsia

Japan’s advances in technology are unparalleled. But what about the country’s path to social and cultural change? 

 

Journalist Yumi Araki returns to her homeland to explore everything from women redefining their roles in a patriarchal society and the country's extreme work culture, to hip hop dancing grannies and biracial communities challenging discrimination. She meets the inspirational people at the forefront of change as the country enters a new era, with the pending summer Olympics set to bring Japan into the international spotlight.

 

Fluent in both English and Japanese, and always happy to get stuck into cultural activities and controversial issues, Yumi offers a unique and vital perspective of the Land of the Rising Sun.

 

In the first episode, Yumi explores how women's traditional roles in society are being challenged by both women and men, from working mums to happily single professionals to dads who cook. In episode two, she tackles Japans's extreme work culture, visiting obsessive farmers, overworked salarymen and the therapists trying to keep them all sane. Next, Yumi visits hip hop dancing grannies and other members of the nation's sunset generation to find out how this fast-ageing country is coping with unprecedented demographic change. In the final episode, Yumi hangs out with bartending Buddhist monks, psychedelic pop artists, and shunned biracial communities to explore a national identity in flux and to decipher what it means to be Japanese today.

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