Art, Culture & Sports

Japan's Everyday Harmony和のくらし

  • 5 x 20 min.
  • EDC1S011-001~005
  • English, Spanish, French, M/E

©NHK International, Inc.

"Japanese people sleep on futons, rignt? What do they do with the futons during the day?" "Is it true that some Japanese people keep bugs as pets? Why?" Questions like these reflect the reality that many of the things Japanese people take for granted about their daily lives appear mysterious to outsiders. This series introduces some uniquely Japanese practices that continue to be part of lifestyles today, all of which reflect the principle of harmony with the natural world.

1. Space / 空間を生かす

A traditional Japanese-style room, or washitsu, can be used for sleeping, entertaining guests, or dining. The laying out of futons is just one example of how the commitment to the principles "nothing fixed" and "nothing fancy" enables the space to be adapted to any use. This program fives an overview of how the washitsu makes use of space.

2. Wood / 木を生かす

Japan is blessed with one of the world's greatest varieties of tree species. Exploiting the properties of various types of wood and methods of earthquake-resistant building were developed in Japan. This program presents the techniques of craftsmen with complete mastery of wood and introduces a way of life founded on making full use of wood.

3. Paper / 紙を生かす

For a Japanese person, there are two types of paper: Western and Japanese. Japanese paper, or washi, has long graced life in Japan with its beauty. This program presents the work of papermakers who are applying cutting-edge papermaking technology to create a new craft of washi as part of an exploration of the deep affinity Japanese people feel for paper.

4. Flowers / 花とくらす

The people of Japan have always been attuned to the changing seasons, incorporating natural elements into their lives. Ikebana, the art of flower arrangement, typifies this trait. This program presents the Japanese affinity for seasonal blossoms and the unique way flowers are enjoyed in Japan.

5. Sound / 音をたのしむ

Japanese have long evinced a sensitivity to sounds wafting in from out-of-doors, whether of nature or of human activity. The sound of wind in a stand of banboo, of temple bells pealing, the chirping of insects in the antumn, the wind chimes that make a breath of breeze seem more cooling, the ingenious schoing "water harp"... This program shows how Japanese people appreciate and cultivate pleasant sounds in their environment.