Browse content similar to Japan. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!
Hello and welcome to this special edition of Witness with me, Mariko
Oi. I'm here in Tokyo to introduce you to five people who've
experienced extraordinary moments in Japanese history first-hand. We'll
meet a doctor who treated thousands of the injured at Hiroshima. Two
brothers who were among the first to learn the Suzuki method of playing
the violin. And a cameraman who captured Japan's royal wedding in
the nineteen fifties. But first, in 1995, this city's busy subway system
was brought to a standstill when the deadly nerve gas sarin was released
at this station behind me. It later transpired it had been released in
five locations across the network by the cult.
At the height of the morning rush-hour in the world's most
crowded underground system, the madness of indiscriminate murder.
More than 3000 subway passengers were affected.
TRANSLATION: At 8:12am I was told there was a suspicious object on the
train which had just arrived, so I went up to the platform upstairs and
I saw a train stopped right there. Several people had been seen
plotting packages at stations and on a number of trains. I saw a package
wrapped in newspaper, it was leaking, said this man, then the
stinging fumes hit my eyes. TRANSLATION: My colleague was
communicating with headquarters from the driver's cab. Another colleague,
Mr Takahashi, was wiping the platform with newspaper. I saw a
trail of spots. It looked like oil spilt as it had been carried out of
the train onto the platform. I put the crumpled newspapers which had
been used to wipe the floor in a plastic bag. The three of us put all
the newspapers in the bag. I was worried that these things might
explode so I took the bag downstairs to the office. Then I heard Mr
Takahashi had collapsed. The unseen chemicals striking people
down in a matter of seconds. They tripped and vomited, some were
blinded and paralysed. One of the first confirmation is that a deadly
nerve gas had caused the poisoning was given by this Doctor. It is
sarin, he said, it is one of the worst of all poisons. TRANSLATION:
by then my body had started shivering. I tried to make a report
about the A12 a.m. Train but my hand was shaking and I couldn't even
write eight -- 8:12am. So I took of my cap and uniform and washed my
face. I guess I was trying to pull myself together. Then I collapsed.
When I woke up I was in hospital. My staff were there. Because I knew Mr
Takahashi had collapsed, I was wondering how he was doing. I wanted
to ask but I had to sit in my mouth, so I got a pen and paper and wrote
his name. One of the staff made a sign like this. Then I wrote Mr He
Zi Numa's name. The worker made the same sign. Out of the three of us
only I have survived. My colleagues told me after I collapsed they
carried me upstairs together and they evacuated all of the passengers
from Kasumigaseki Station. There were no passengers killed at that
station. The leader of a Japanese cult has
been sentenced to death for masterminding a gas attack in Tokyo
nine years ago. He ordered the release of sarin into the
underground system. TRANSLATION: The pain never stops coming after me
because two of my subordinates died and me, the supervisor, survived. I
wish I'd known about salary and how to deal with it. I could have made
them washed their hands and faces. I feel I simply wasn't good enough as
the person in charge. Speaking to us from his home in
Tokyo. And next, in the post-war era, this musician developed a new
method of teaching the violin. The system would later catch on around
the world. The brothers were two of his first students.
I started the violin at the age of ten. I'm one of the first teachers
of the Suzuki method. I studied at the age of four. My brother was
already listening to my practice. The idea here is that from the age
of three, Japanese children can be taught to play simple tunes by ear.
As the Japanese teacher Suzuki says himself, they learn to speak with
the violin at the same time as they learn to speak their mother tongue.
Hideya and Toshiya there, still playing the violin 50 years later.
In 1956 reports came to urge about what became known as Japan's worst
case of industrial pollution in the town. These two were among those
devastated by the disaster. TRANSLATION: I can't tell you just
how much I hate a chemical factory. The corporation devastated the ocean
and our people. I just hate it. People used to say that life in the
town was wonderful. The corporation was the only company
in the town. We are still frightened by the awfulness of the mercury that
was leaked from the factory. It poisoned the fish and then people
who ate the seafood got disease. There had been no poisoning before a
chemical factory was built in the Bay. But the company denied all
responsibility and continued to pump its waste into the sea. TRANSLATION:
People went blind and danced round and round like crazy. Soon it was
clear that people were suffering as well.
TRANSLATION: She was my first daughter.
She couldn't eat fish well because she was only three years old, but
she could eat prawns by herself, so I let her eat a lot of prawns. We
thought something might be wrong with her. We thought she might have
the disease when her hand started shaking. I realised she had the
disease. She became unable to walk properly, unable to speak.
Doctors from the local university filmed the shaking fits. They
suspected metal poisoning. TRANSLATION: When I visited her in
hospital she had lost her sight, but she could still hear. I said to her,
your mum is here, you don't have to cry any more.
She gave me a sweet smile. It was her last smile. On January the third
of 1958, she died. By 1958 win you it was caused by the
company, by waste water pumped into the bay by the factory. They tried
to hide it. My second child is Shinovu. She contracted the disease
in the room. I didn't think it was possible. But three months after she
was born I noticed something was wrong with her. Shinobu is now 59
years old. In 1959, the corporation offered some consolation money.
Human life cannot be