CNN’s ‘The Keepers’ meets the guardians of Japan’s heritage

HONG KONG, March 18, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — This month on ‘The Keepers’, in a special 30-minute program, CNN meets the artisans who are preserving as well as transforming Japan’s most cherished arts.

CNN’s ‘The Keepers’ meets the guardians of Japan’s heritage
CNN’s ‘The Keepers’ meets the guardians of Japan’s heritage

The journey begins on the remote island of Sado, at a training center for taiko apprentices hoping to join Kodo – one of Japan’s most renowned drumming troupes. CNN meets the teachers and trainees to learn about its history and why the taiko drum is referred to as the heartbeat of Japan. It’s then on to Hamamatsu where Japanese manufacturer Roland has partnered with Kodo to develop the TAIKO-1, a digital-age version that emulates the sounds of traditional drumming in an effort to preserve the taiko tradition.

‘The Keepers’ then meets Jumpei Hibino at his workshop in Kyoto and artisan Mami Okamura at the Narutaki Creative Center to learn about suminagashi, the ancient Japanese art of marbling. CNN also speaks with Kyoto Women’s University professor Mihoko Aoki who is helping her students find new applications for the art of suminagashi, including digitizing prints in a bid to keep the unique practice alive.

Keirin is the homegrown cut-throat sport where precision bikes can make or break a cyclist’s road to glory. CNN catches up with Shinichi Konno, who is continuing his family’s tradition of building hand-made bicycle frames. Renowned for his ability to bend metal to the point of artistry, even recreational riders are willing to wait months for a bespoke bike made by Konno. ‘The Keepers’ then joins Hiroshi Nakamura in Chiba who has been riding competitively for more than two decades and whose impressive top speed has put him near the top of the keirin league.

Shiho Sakamoto has been studying the art of wagashi, or traditional hand-made Japanese confectionery, for the past decade. But even with her respect for tradition, Sakamoto isn’t afraid of experimenting, teaming up last year with food-tech startup Open Meals to create 3D-printed "cyber wagashi" which reflects Japan’s weather data. ‘The Keepers’ ends its journey with Mitsuharu Kurokawa, the current steward of the legendary Toraya Confectionery Company, now in its eighteenth generation, as he looks to spread the sweets beyond Japan’s borders.

The Keepers Japan trailer: https://bit.ly/2PZAIWp
The Keepers Japan images: https://bit.ly/2OxC6Pv 

Airtimes for 30-minute special:
Saturday, 20th March at 6:00pm HKT
Monday, 22nd March at 1:00am and 9:00am HKT

About CNN International 

CNN’s portfolio of news and information services is available in seven different languages across all major TV, digital and mobile platforms, reaching more than 475 million households around the globe. CNN International is the number one international TV news channel according to all major media surveys across Europe, the Middle East and Africa, the Asia Pacific region, and Latin America and has a US presence that includes CNNgo. CNN Digital is a leading network for online news, mobile news and social media. CNN is at the forefront of digital innovation and continues to invest heavily in expanding its digital global footprint, with a suite of award-winning digital properties and a range of strategic content partnerships, commercialised through a strong data-driven understanding of audience behaviours. CNN has won multiple prestigious awards around the world for its journalism. Around 1,000 hours of long-form series, documentaries and specials are produced every year by CNNI’s non-news programming division. CNN has 36 editorial offices and more than 1,100 affiliates worldwide through CNN Newsource. CNN International is a WarnerMedia company.

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