Video Transcript

The episode opens on a bustling street in Japan. A clip plays of two geishas stand before a group of school girls in uniform, a samurai riding a horse and unleashing an arrow, snow falling on top of a shogun castle, and men hammering away at a construction site.

Narrator says GEISHAS, SAMURAI
WARRIORS, SHOGUN'S CASTLES.
A LIVING MUSEUM FOR 1000 YEARS.
KYOTO, JAPAN.
BUT OLD WAYS ARE DYING OUT.

A clip plays of a teenage boy wearing a helmet with two sensors attached to the front.

A caption reads "We’re checking the direction of his gaze."

Masafumi Yamasaki says THERE HAS
BEEN NEXT TO NO RESPECT FOR
JAPAN'S ANCIENT CULTURE.

Narrator says SOME BELIEVE THE
VERY SOUL OF JAPAN IS AT RISK.

A clip plays of a tractor moving rubble.

Shigenori Uoya says WHEN I WALK
AROUND THE CITY, I NOTICE
BUILDINGS BEING TORN DOWN ALL
AROUND ME.

Narrator says CAN ANCIENT KYOTO
SURVIVE?

A clip plays of a samurai falling off his horse.

The scene changes to an image of the globe. Highlighted on its surface are famous landmarks. A close-up reveals the Statue of Liberty and its longitudinal coordinates. The image zooms out from New York City and focuses on an image of the Palace of Versailles, followed by a temple in Kyoto, and, finally, the Taj Mahal. The globe spins as the name of the show appears. It reads "Access 360. World Heritage. Kyoto."

The scene changes to an aerial view of Kyoto Japan. The landscape is filled with trees adjacent to a thriving city scape. A moment later, clips play of people walking down busy streets and praying in front of temples.

Narrator says KYOTO TODAY IS A BUSTLING CITY
OF 1.5 MILLION.
FEW WOULD RECOGNIZE ITS CENTRE
AS THE SEAT OF IMPERIAL JAPAN
FOR A THOUSAND YEARS.
ANCIENT KYOTO DOES STILL EXIST.
NO FEWER THAN 17 OF ITS
HISTORIC MONUMENTS HAVE BEEN
DECLARED UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE
SITES.
GEISHAS STILL ENTERTAIN BEHIND
CLOSED DOORS...
AND PERFORMERS STILL MASTER
THE ARTS THAT ENTERTAINED THE
SHOGUNS.
The scene changes to Masafumi Yamasaki sitting in bare, wood-paneled room. He is in his fifties, clean-shaven, with salt-and-pepper hair combed back. He wears a blue button-down shirt and grey slacks. A caption reads "Masafumi Yamasaki. Professor of Architecture and Urban Design."

Masafumi Yamasaki says SOME
PEOPLE SAY THAT THE JAPANESE
HAVE THE ABILITY TO
'SELF-CENSOR' UGLY PARTS OF THE
TOWN FROM THEIR MINDS AND ONLY
SEE THE GOOD PARTS.
BUT I BELIEVE WE ACTUALLY DO
REGISTER THE UGLY PARTS, AND IT
GETS IN THE WAY WHEN WE TRY TO
APPRECIATE BEAUTIFUL SCENERY.
THAT'S WHY I STARTED THE
EXPERIMENT.

A clip plays of a teenage boy wearing a helmet with sensors attached. He is standing outside midst a crowd of his peers.

Narrator says KYOTO-BORN
MASAFUMI YAMASAKI IS A
PROFESSOR OF ARCHITECTURE AND
URBAN DESIGN.
HE'S GOT HIGH-TECH TOOLS TO
TRY TO UNDERSTAND HOW KYOTO'S
PEOPLE REACT PSYCHOLOGICALLY
TO THEIR CITY.
A SPECIAL CAMERA TRACKS THEIR
EYE MOVEMENTS.

Masafumi Yamasaki says RIGHT NOW,
WE'RE CHECKING THE DIRECTION OF
HIS GAZE TO DETERMINE WHAT HIS
EYES ARE LOOKING AT WHEN HIS
PUPILS GO IN A PARTICULAR
DIRECTION.
THERE'S A CAMERA THAT FACES
FORWARD.
SO WE MATCH THAT IMAGE TO WHAT
HIS EYES ARE SEEING.

A view of the student’s eyes from the camera’s lens plays. His pupils are shown moving rapidly in different directions. A man in a suit appears waving a blue wand up and down. Blue circles mark the pupil’s movements as the teenage boy follows the direction of the wand.

Narrator says YAMASAKI BELIEVES
THAT OUR SURROUNDINGS INFLUENCE
WHERE WE LOOK... NOT
NECESSARILY FOR THE BETTER.

Masafumi Yamasaki says IT'S
INEVITABLE THAT THIS MAKES AN
IMPACT ON THE PSYCHOLOGY OF THE
PEOPLE AS THEY LOOK AROUND
THEIR ENVIRONMENT.

Now, Yamasaki and his student are standing next to a busy street. Yamasaki and the boy speak to each other in Japanese.

Yamasaki says FEEL FREE TO JUST
LOOK AROUND
THE STREET.

The student says CAN I MOVE AROUND?

Yamasaki says YES, JUST BE NATURAL.

Clips play of Junya Hashino, the student, gazing around the cityscape.

Junya Hashino says ELECTRICITY
POLES AND SIGNS ALWAYS GRAB MY
ATTENTION.
I READ THE SIGNS, AND THE POLES
DRAW MY GAZE UP AND DOWN,
VERTICALLY.

Narrator says MANY OF THESE
BUILDINGS WERE ERECTED IN
RECENT DECADES.

Masafumi Yamasaki says THERE'S
NO CONTINUITY TO THESE NEWER
BUILDINGS, AND THERE ARE MANY
SIGNS.
NOW LET'S SEE HOW EYE MOVEMENTS
HERE ARE DIFFERENT FROM
NEIGHBOURHOODS WITH A MORE
CONTINUOUS STREETSCAPE.

Narrator says DOES THE EYE "SEE."
HISTORIC NEIGHBOURHOODS
DIFFERENTLY?
YAMASAKI AND HIS TEAM MOVE TO
GION, KYOTO'S HISTORIC GEISHA
QUARTERS.
THE NEIGHBOURHOOD IS STILL
LINED WITH TRADITIONAL
ARCHITECTURE, MADE FROM
MATERIALS LIKE CEDAR AND
BAMBOO.

Now, Yamasaki and his students are walking among simple, wood-paneled buildings.

Yamasaki says LOOK AT THE STREETSCAPE, HERE.

A female student, Shiori Takashina, now wears the special camera.

She says CAN I MOVE MY EYES?

Yamasaki says YES, YOU CAN
MOVE YOUR EYES AND BODY.

Shiori Takashina says I LOOK
AT THE HOW THE UPPER FLOORS ARE
ALL LEVEL WITH EACH OTHER AND
HOW THE BAMBOO SCREENS HANG
DOWN FROM ABOVE.
I ALSO LOOK AT THE LATTICE ON
THE BOTTOM FLOOR AND THINK IT'S
BEAUTIFUL.

Masafumi Yamasaki says WHEN
THE SCENERY IS TRANQUIL, AND
THE BUILDINGS ARE CAREFULLY
MADE, YOUR EYE MOVEMENTS TEND
TO BE CALMER.
IN PLACES WHERE THE BUILDINGS
ARE MISMATCHED, THE EYE
MOVEMENTS ARE NOT AS CALM.
I THINK IT'S A LOT HARDER FOR
PEOPLE TO FEEL CALM IN THESE
SURROUNDINGS.

A recorded clip of Shiori’s eye movements plays. Blue circles track her slow eye movements as her gaze travels across the infrastructure.

Fast clips play of the Kyoto city-scape.

Narrator says MODERN KYOTO COULD
BE STRESSING PEOPLE OUT...
AND THE CITY IS FAST TURNING
INTO AN URBAN JUNGLE.
HUNDREDS OF OLD HOMES,
CALLED MACHIYA, ARE BULLDOZED
EACH YEAR...
ONLY TO BE REPLACED BY CAR
PARKS, CONDOS AND CONCRETE
OFFICE BUILDINGS.
WITH LITTLE OR NO ATTENTION
PAID TO THE HISTORIC LOOK OF
THE NEIGHBOURHOODS.

Now, clips play of traditional temples surrounded by blooming cherry blossoms.

Narrator continues
KYOTO'S 17 WORLD HERITAGE
SITES ARE SAFE FROM THE
BULLDOZERS, BUT ARE STILL IN
NEED OF PROTECTION.
ONE OF THE LARGEST IS NIJO
CASTLE.
ONCE THE HOME OF THE MIGHTY
SHOGUN, IT IS SUFFERING THE
RAVAGES OF WEATHER AND TIME.

The scene changes to Nijo Castle. A brick wall surrounds the castle. An aerial view shows the extent of land that the castle occupies.

Tamaki Goto says IN NIJO
CASTLE, THERE ARE 28 BUILDINGS
OFFICIALLY DESIGNATED AS
CULTURAL TREASURES.
AND MOST OF THESE HAVE A
HISTORY THAT GOES BACK 400
YEARS.

Narrator says TAMAKI GOTO IS
HEADING UP A RESTORATION OF
THE ENTIRE NIJO CASTLE COMPLEX.

The scene changes to Tamaki Goto, a clean-shaven man in his forties, on top of the castle’s rafters.

Tamaki Goto says HERE WE HAVE
A MURAL CARVED IN WOOD.
IT'S VIRTUALLY UNCHANGED FROM
400 YEARS AGO.
YOU CAN SEE THERE'S A DRAGON
HERE, AND A TIGER THAT'S BEEN
CARVED OUT.
BUT THE COLOURS ARE PRETTY BADLY
FADED, SO WE'RE PLANNING TO
RESTORE THE WHOLE THING.

A clip plays of intricate wood carvings of a dragon’s sinewy body wrapped around a tiger. There are faint hints of red and yellow paint on the wood.

Narrator says GOTO HAS DECIDED
TO REPAIR EVERYTHING JUST AS
THE ORIGINAL CRAFTSMEN WOULD
HAVE DONE IT.

A caption reads "Tamaki Goto. Restoration Expert."

Now, Tamaki is shown in a workshop full of building materials. He stands over a blueprint while conversing with his colleagues.

Tamaki says SO WE’RE RESTORING THE
BLUE PART..

His colleague says YES

Tamaki says THIS IS DIFFERENT, ISN’T IT?

His colleague says IT’S A PART OF THIS.

Tamaki says THIS IS WHAT CAME
OFF DURING THE REMOVAL?

His colleague says THAT’S RIGHT.

Narrator says GOTO HAS NO
BLUEPRINTS OR WRITTEN RECORDS
TO TELL HIM HOW THEY DID IT.

Images show sketches of the wood carving full of colour.

Tamaki Goto says THESE BLUE
SECTIONS HERE ARE THE MISSING
PIECES.
WE'RE CURRENTLY TRYING TO
FIGURE OUT HOW TO FIX THEM, AND
WE'RE KEEPING TRACK OF THE
PROCESS ON THIS PAPER HERE.
THE CRAFTSMAN AND I DISCUSS AND
DECIDE ON THE BEST WAY TO
REPAIR EACH PART.

Narrator says THE ENTIRE
RESTORATION IS SCHEDULED TO
TAKE 20 YEARS.
NIJO CASTLE WAS BUILT TO BE
IMPENETRABLE...
AND TO IMPRESS.

A clip plays of cars driving past the castle’s front gate. A 3D blueprint of the castle shows a large moat surrounding the periphery of the castle grounds and another moat surrounding the castle itself.

Narrator continues
WALLS AND MOATS PROTECT THE
INNER PALACE, RAISED ON A
9-METRE HIGH PLATFORM.
VISITORS PASS THROUGH SPECIFIC
GATES...
LIKE THE ELABORATE
TWO-STOREY TALL GATE BUILT
FOR THE EMPEROR...
WHERE GOTO'S TEAM IS GETTING
STARTED.

Tamaki stands on top of a raised platform as workers around him hammer wood into place.

Tamaki Goto says THIS GATE WAS
BUILT TO WELCOME THE EMPEROR TO
THE CASTLE.
IT'S MADE USING THE MOST
SPECTACULAR CRAFTSMANSHIP.

Narrator says THE EMPEROR'S
GATE IS MADE ENTIRELY OF WOOD.
CYPRESS BARK IS USED FOR
THE ROOF.
THE BARK GROWS BACK FOR
REPEATED HARVESTING, MAKING IT
A RENEWABLE RESOURCE.
THE TREES LIVE FOR OVER A
HUNDRED YEARS.

Tamaki Goto says THESE ARE ALL
ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY
MATERIALS.
THIS TRADITIONAL PROCESS MAKES
THE MOST OF NATURE'S GIFTS.

Narrator says THE CRAFTSMEN USE
THE EXACT SAME METHODS AS THEIR
ANCESTORS, EVEN DOWN TO THE
BAMBOO NAILS.

Tamaki Goto holds up a wooden nail and says THESE ARE THE
NAILS WE USE FOR THE ROOF.
ONE END IS STRAIGHT, AND THE
OTHER IS SLANTED.
YOU PUT A HANDFUL IN YOUR MOUTH
LIKE THIS...

He places several nails in his mouth and says THEN YOU CHANGE THEIR DIRECTION
IN YOUR MOUTH TAKING THE
STRAIGHT END OUT, LIKE THIS.
THEN YOU USE THIS HAMMER...
AND STICK THE NAIL IN.
THIS IS OLD WISDOM FROM THE
PAST.

He removes a nail from his mouth, places it in bamboo and hammers it down.

He continues
AS YOU CAN SEE, EVERYTHING IS
DONE BY HAND.
USING TRADITIONAL METHODS LIKE
THIS IS THE BEST WAY FOR THIS
STRUCTURE.

A clip plays of workers placing layer after layer of bamboo on top of one another.

Narrator says WITH NO WRITTEN
RECORDS, THE PLANS FOR NIJO
CASTLE EXIST SOLELY IN THE
HEADS OF ITS CRAFTSMEN.

Tamaki Goto says CRAFTSMEN
WOULD TRAIN THEIR YOUNG
APPRENTICES AND PASS ON THEIR
TECHNIQUES.
THAT CYCLE WAS REPEATED OVER
THE CENTURIES.
AS FOR ME, THERE'S NO WAY I CAN
BE HERE AT NIJO CASTLE UNTIL
THE END OF THE 20-YEAR
RESTORATION.
SO I'LL BE TRAINING A SUCCESSOR,
TOO.
TEACHING THE NEXT GENERATION,
JUST LIKE WITH THESE CRAFTSMEN
HERE.

Narrator says KYOTO MUST FIND
WAYS TO MAINTAIN ITS ANCIENT
PRACTICES AMIDST MODERN LIFE.
AND IF THAT PRACTICE IS A
TRADITIONAL SAMURAI MARTIAL
ART...
GETTING IT WRONG, CAN MEAN
SERIOUS INJURY.

A clip plays of spectators watching as a group of samurai ride by on horses. The scene changes to a group of men inside of a gymnasium performing, slow, controlled stretches.

Narrator continues
ON SATURDAY MORNINGS, A
KYOTO GYMNASIUM BECOMES THE
BACKDROP FOR A CENTURIES-OLD
RITUAL.
THESE WHITE COLLAR
SALARYMEN ARE LITERALLY WEEKEND
WARRIORS.
THIS MARTIAL ART MIGHT LOOK
LIKE A MILD-MANNERED PASTIME...
BUT IT'S NOT FOR THE FAINT OF
HEART.

Motoki Takabayashi says IT CAN
BE DANGEROUS IF YOU'RE
CARELESS.
I'D NEVER RECOMMEND IT TO
ANYONE.
LUCKILY, I'VE ONLY SUFFERED A
FEW BONE FRACTURES FROM THIS.

Motoki is in his thirties, clean-shaven, with straight, black hair parted to the side. He is wearing a light-blue, button-down. A caption reads "Motoki Takabayashi. Archer Trainee."

The scene changes to Motoki and his mentor practicing positions in the gymnasium

His mentor bends down slowly and says ONCE YOU’RE SET,
YOU BRING YOUR ARMS
TO YOUR CHEST.
THEN YOU OPEN UP
A LITTLE AND YOU’RE READY

Motoki bends down like his mentor and asks
SO LIKE THIS?

Narrator says FOR PUBLISHER
MOTOKI TAKABAYASHI, THIS IS
NO WEEKEND HOBBY.
IT'S A LIFETIME COMMITMENT.

Motoki Takabayashi says I
FIRST SAW MOUNTED ARCHERY WHEN
I WAS IN MIDDLE SCHOOL.
IT WAS MY FIRST TIME SEEING A
HORSE CLOSE UP.
THEY RODE THOSE HORSES WITHOUT
HOLDING ON, WITH THEIR BACKS
DEAD STRAIGHT AS THEY DREW
THEIR BOWS.
IT WAS EXTREMELY COOL.

Narrator says LESS "COOL" IS
THE TRAINING.
HORSES ARE HARD TO COME BY IN
URBAN KYOTO.
TRAINING TIME IS SPENT ON A
WOODEN HORSE...
DOING CHORES...
AND PRACTICING ON THE
SIDELINES.

Clips play of Motoki practicing balancing poses on a wooden horse.

Motoki Takabayashi says AT
FIRST, I WASN'T EVEN ALLOWED TO
GET ON THE WOODEN HORSE.
I HAD TO DO DRILLS, TO PRACTICE
PUTTING THE ARROWS IN AT MY
HIP, AND THEN PUTTING THEM ON
THE BOW.

Narrator says BUT IF YOU'RE A
MODERN SAMURAI...
THIS SHOULD TECHNICALLY
PREPARE YOU FOR THIS.

A clip plays of Motoki unleashing an arrow on the wooden horse followed by a clip of a rider unleashing an arrow while riding a moving horse.

Narrator continues
TOMORROW TAKABAYASHI AND
HIS FELLOW RIDERS COMPETE IN
A MOUNTED ARCHERY CONTEST,
AN ANNUAL EVENT THAT GOES BACK
900 YEARS.
BUT ACCORDING TO TRADITION,
THEY SHOULDN'T EVEN BE HERE.
FOR CENTURIES, MOUNTED
ARCHERY WAS THE DOMAIN OF A
CLAN OF WARRIORS:
THE OGASAWARAS.

Kiyomoto Ogasawara says MY
FAMILY ONLY EVER TAUGHT THIS
PRACTICE TO THE SHOGUNS.
WE NEVER REVEALED OUR WAYS TO
THE GENERAL PUBLIC.
THAT'S WHY THE TECHNIQUES OUR
FAMILY DEVELOPED NEVER GOT OUT
INTO THE WORLD.

Kiyomoto is in his late twenties, clean-shaven, with short black hair. He is wearing a long, flowing, shogun vestment and a traditional plated shogun hat.

Narrator says 31-YEAR OLD
KIYOMOTO OGASAWARA WILL LEAD
THE COMPETITION.
FOR EIGHT CENTURIES, HIS
FAMILY HAS KEPT THE ART ALIVE
BY PASSING IT DOWN...
TO THE FIRST BORN SON OF EVERY
GENERATION.
THE FAMED LINEAGE REMAINS
UNBROKEN TO THIS DAY.

Photographs of Kiyomoto’s family members participating in mounted archery.

Kiyomoto Ogasawara says MY
FATHER IS THE 31st GENERATION
OF THE OGASAWARAS, SO I'M THE
32nd IN LINE TO INHERIT OUR
FAMILY'S ART.

A clip plays of Kiyomoto watching a horse being loaded off a trailer.

Narrator says TODAY THE ART
SURVIVES THROUGH THESE ANNUAL
COMPETITIONS.
AND BECAUSE THE CLAN HAS MADE
A RADICAL BREAK FROM TRADITION,
IT HAS INVITED COMMONERS LIKE
TAKABAYASHI TO JOIN IN TO KEEP
MOUNTED ARCHERY FROM
DYING OUT.
IT'S A LONG WAY FROM THE DAYS
WHEN THE OGASAWARAS LIVED
SOLELY BY TEACHING THEIR ART
TO THE SHOGUNS.

Kiyomoto Ogasawara says ALL
OF US HAVE FULL-TIME JOBS.
NOWADAYS, PEOPLE HAVE LESS AND
LESS TIME TO PRACTICE COMPARED
TO THE PAST.
A LACK OF TRAINING MEANS NOT
BEING ABLE TO MASTER THE
TECHNIQUES, AND THERE'S THE
DANGER OF NOT BEING PHYSICALLY
FIT.
WHEN THAT HAPPENS, THE ART WILL
GO INTO DECLINE.

A clip plays of Kiyomoto leading a horse while a mounted archer balances on top. The scene changes to a group of men walking down a path with a horse in tow.

Narrator says THE SURVIVAL OF
THIS ANCIENT TRADITION HANGS
BY A THREAD.
TOMORROW, THESE MEN HAVE
MORE THAN JUST THEIR SKILLS TO
PROVE.
THOUSANDS WILL BE WATCHING TO
SEE IF JAPAN'S SAMURAI SPIRIT
SURVIVES.
KYOTO IS RENOWNED FOR ITS
ANCIENT RITUALS.
ITS AOI FESTIVAL BEGAN IN THE
SIXTH CENTURY.
ONE OF THE WORLD'S OLDEST
FESTIVALS, IT'S PERFORMED WITH
A DEEP REVERENCE FOR HISTORY
AND TRADITION.
BUT ANNUAL CELEBRATIONS ARE
NOT ENOUGH FOR PROFESSOR
YAMASAKI.

The scene changes to the bustling streets of Kyoto.

Narrator continues
HE FEARS HIS BELOVED
HOMETOWN IS TURNING INTO A CITY
DISCONNECTED FROM ITS PAST,
BECAUSE THE WAY PEOPLE LIVE IS
RADICALLY CHANGING.

The scene changes to Masafumi observing the architecture of city. Old buildings are intermixed with the new. He is in his sixties, clean-shaven, with grey hair combed neatly into place. He picks up a camera and shoots photographs of the buildings.

Masafumi Yamasaki says UNTIL
30-SOMETHING YEARS AGO, THIS
STREET HAD MANY OLD TOWNHOUSES,
AND IT WAS FAMOUS FOR BEING
PICTURESQUE.
BUT IT WASN'T DESIGNATED A
PRESERVATION ZONE, AND NEW
BUILDINGS LIKE THESE SPRUNG UP.
IT'S VERY DIFFERENT NOW.

Narrator says YAMASAKI SURVEYS
KYOTO'S REMAINING HISTORIC
NEIGHBOURHOODS TO SEE HOW THEY
CAN BE PRESERVED.
GEISHAS STILL WALK THESE
STREETS...
LINED WITH THE TRADITIONAL
WOODEN TOWNHOUSES, WHICH GAVE
ANCIENT KYOTO ITS DISTINCT
LOOK.

The scene changes to Masafumi sitting in a bare room. A caption reads "Masafumi Yamasaki. Professor of Architecture and Urban Design."

Masafumi Yamasaki says THESE
DAYS YOU GET BUILDINGS RIGHT UP
AGAINST EACH OTHER, BUT IN THE
PAST, YOU HAD TREES AND BAMBOO
SCREENS, WHICH WOULD SWAY WHEN
THE WIND BLEW.
YOU COULD SEE THE WIND MOVE
THROUGH THE CITY.
YOU COULD LITERALLY SEE THE
SEASONS CHANGE.

Narrator says BUT OTHERS SEE THE
TOWNHOUSES AS SOMETHING ELSE:
FIRE HAZARDS IN THE EVENT OF
AN EARTHQUAKE.
THE RING OF FIRE IS A HOTBED
OF NATURAL DISASTERS.
AND JAPAN SITS DIRECTLY ON IT.

The scene changes to a clip of the globe. A flaming red line is drawn along the outside border of every continent.

Narrator continues
AROUND EVERY ONE HUNDRED YEARS,
A MASSIVE QUAKE RATTLES THE
COUNTRY'S FOUNDATIONS...
AND THESE OLD NEIGHBOURHOODS
GO UP IN FLAMES.

Masafumi Yamasaki says MOST
MACHIYA WERE BUILT ABOUT A
HUNDRED YEARS AGO, SO A LOT OF
THEM ARE GETTING WORN DOWN.
JAPANESE LAW SAYS IT'S BETTER
TO ELIMINATE WOODEN HOUSES FROM
OUR CITIES.

Narrator says YAMASAKI FIGHTS
THIS ONE HOUSE AT A TIME...
CONVINCING MACHIYA OWNERS TO
KEEP THEIR HISTORIC HOMES
INTACT.

Outside an old wooden, Machiya, Masafumi says THIS
USED TO BE A TEAHOUSE FOR
GEISHA WHO ENTERTAINED THEIR
GUESTS UPSTAIRS.
THEY'VE DONE A GREAT JOB
PRESERVING IT.
IT SHOULD REALLY BE PROTECTED
AS A NATIONAL TREASURE.

Narrator says A STEP INSIDE IS
A STEP BACK IN TIME.
TEA CEREMONY CLASSES ARE STILL
TAUGHT IN THESE ROOMS WHERE
GEISHAS ONCE DANCED.

Inside the Machiya, Masafumi walks up a narrow wooden staircase and into a room where women dressed like geisha are serving tea.

Masafumi Yamasaki says THIS IS
THE MATRIARCH.
SHE WAS BORN AND RAISED IN THIS
HOUSE.
SHE'S A TEA CEREMONY TEACHER.

Narrator says THE SHIMOSATOS
HAVE LIVED HERE SINCE THE
1800s.
TODAY, THEIRS IS ONE OF THE
FEW TRADITIONAL BUILDINGS LEFT
ON THE BLOCK.

Tomoko Shimosato stands alongside Masafumi in an empty room. She is in her forties, with straight, shoulder length, black hair. She is wearing an orange sweater and khaki pants.

Tomoko Shimosato says IT'S
COMPLETELY DIFFERENT NOW.
I REMEMBER THAT WHEN I WAS A
CHILD, THERE WAS ONLY ONE
MODERN BUILDING ALONG THIS
STREET.

Narrator says DEVELOPERS PAY
NICE PRICES FOR THE LAND IN
THESE NEIGHBOURHOODS.
AND MAINTENANCE OF THESE OLD
HOUSES IS VERY EXPENSIVE.

Tomoko Shimosato says SOME OWNERS
PUT IN THE EFFORT
TO FIX UP THEIR
OLD MACHIYA.
BUT THAT ENDS UP
COSTING A LOT OF MONEY.
SO IT’S EASIER TO JUST PUT UP
A NEWBUILDING.

Masafumi says YOUR HOUSE IS DAZZLING.

Tomoko laughs and says NOT AT ALL.

Masafumi says ISN´T IT? IT’S LOVELY.
TOURISTS OFTEN TAKE PICTURES OF IT,
DON’T THEY?

Tomoko says YES, THEY DO. OUT FRONT.

Narrator says THE SHIMOSATOS
ARE STAYING PUT FOR NOW.
BUT AS COSTS KEEP MOUNTING FOR
HOMEOWNERS, YAMASAKI IS FACING
AN UPHILL BATTLE.
TO SAVE THE REMAINING MACHIYA
FROM THE WRECKING BALL, HE'LL
NEED HELP.
GREG SHAND, A NEW ZEALAND
BORN ARCHITECT, IS A JAPAN
JUNKIE.
HE LOOKS TO KYOTO FOR HIS FIX.

Gred Shand speeds through the streets of Japan on his motorcycle. A moment later is shown sitting amidst a vegetated area. A caption reads, Greg Shand." He is in his forties, clean-shaven, with salt-and-pepper hair styled fashionably. He is wearing a black shirt and jeans.

Greg Shand says IT'S LIKE AN
ADRENALINE SHOT, FOR AN
ARCHITECT TO COME BACK TO KYOTO
AND RELOOK AT THE OLD
ARCHITECTURE TO JUST COME BACK
TO BASICS, TO SEE HOW BEAUTIFUL
THE BUILDINGS CAN BE.

Narrator says SHAND IS SEARCHING
FOR WAYS TO SAVE KYOTO'S OLD
TOWNHOUSES WITH HIS FELLOW
ARCHITECT SHIGENORI UOYA.

Shigenori is in his forties, clean-shaven, with black, cropped hair. He is wearing a white button-down. A caption reads "Shigenori Uoya."

Shigenori Uoya says WHEN I
WALK AROUND THE CITY, I NOTICE
BUILDINGS BEING TORN DOWN ALL
AROUND ME.

A clip plays of Shand and Uoya walking around an empty machiya.

Narrator says THIS ABANDONED
MACHIYA HAS BEEN LEFT TO THE
BULLDOZERS.
BUT SHAND AND UOYA THINK THAT
EVEN IF OLD HOUSES ARE
DEMOLISHED, THE LOOK OF OLD
KYOTO CAN STILL BE PRESERVED.
BOTH ARCHITECTS BUILD NEW
HOUSES BASED ON OLD JAPANESE
PRINCIPLES.

Shigenori walks up to an old hand-written note taped to a door. He reads
ABACUS CLASSES ON
MONDAY, WEDNESDAY, AND FRIDAY.
THIS MUST HAVE BEEN A KID’S ROOM.

He laughs.

Shigenori Uoya says THESE GET
TORN DOWN, BUT THEY'RE ACTUALLY
TREASURE TROVES.
I OFTEN GO AND GRAB FIXTURES I
MIGHT BE ABLE TO USE AT OTHER
SITES.
IT'S A REAL WASTE TO TEAR THEM
DOWN WITHOUT MAKING THE MOST OF
WHAT'S LEFT.

Narrator says UOYA SALVAGES
PARTS FROM THESE BUILDINGS
TO USE IN NEW PROJECTS.

Shigenori Uoya says THE
WINDOWS AND DOORS IN KYOTO'S
MACHIYA ALL HAVE THE SAME
DIMENSIONS.
SO I CAN TAKE THESE PARTS TO
OTHER MACHIYA, INCLUDING THOSE
THAT I'M RENOVATING, AND I CAN
REUSE THEM THERE.

He moves a wooden grate and says THESE ARE INTERESTING.
THEY HAVE MOVING PARTS.
IN THE SUMMER IT’S OPEN.
IN THE WINTER IT’S CLOSED.

Narrator says IN KYOTO'S OLD
HOUSES, PEOPLE LIVE IN HARMONY
WITH NATURE.
THE ARCHITECTURE ALLOWS THE
OUTSIDE TO COME IN.

Shigenori Uoya says THE REASON
FOR LOWERING THE CEILING IS TO
KEEP IT COOL.

Greg Shand says TRADITIONALLY,
THE JAPANESE ARE VERY MUCH IN
TOUCH WITH NATURE AND THE
ENVIRONMENT.
THE OLD ARCHITECTURE WAS
DESIGNED TO OPERATE WITHOUT
LIGHT, ELECTRICITY.

Shigenori Uoya says YOU OPEN
UP THE HOUSE IN THE SUMMER FOR
CROSS BREEZES, AND YOU CLOSE IT
UP IN THE WINTER.
SO YOU REALLY FEEL THE SEASONS.
TODAY'S HOUSES ARE ALL CLOSED
UP.
YOU USE AIR CONDITIONING TO
ADJUST THE TEMPERATURE, SO YOU
DON'T FEEL THE CHANGES IN THE
SEASONS.

Greg and Shigenori find themselves in an old bathroom.

Greg Shand sits down on an old toilet and looks out the window.

He laughs and says SO I CAN JUST
SIT HERE AND CONTEMPLATE.

Shigenori says YOU’RE SUPPOSED
TO SIT THE OTHER WAY.

Greg Shand says I WANT THIS IN
MY HOUSE.
I KIND OF LIKE THIS FEELING.
NATURE, A BIT OF A BREEZE.
I CAN ACTUALLY SPEND TIME HERE
I THINK.

Narrator says TODAY YAMASAKI HAS
INVITED THE TWO ARCHITECTS TO
TOUR A HOUSE THAT IS STILL
OCCUPIED AND THAT YAMASAKI
HOPES TO SAVE.

The patriarch of the family shows the three men around the house. He leads them to an atrium-like area.

The man says IT’S MADE SO THE SMOKE CAN ESCAPE
FROM UP TO.

Narrator says THE INOUE FAMILY
HAS LIVED IN THIS HOUSE FOR
11 GENERATIONS, SINCE THE
1700s.
BUT THERE'S A PROBLEM.
THEY'RE CHILDLESS.
THEY HAVE NO ONE TO LEAVE THE
HOUSE TO.

Mr. Inoue says I’VE BEEN LIVING HERE
SINCE I WAS BORN.
NOW, I’M RACKING
MY BRAIN BECAUSE I DON’T KNOW
HOW THIS HOUSE CAN BE SAVED.
WHAT DO YOU THINK I SHOULD DO?

Yamasaki says WE NEED TO THINK OF A WAY.
THERE’S NO GUARANTEE THAT THIS HOUSE
WILL REMAIN STANDING.
IT’LL MOST LIKELY
BECOME A CONDO.
WE NEED TO FIGURE OUT
HOW TO KEEP IT
FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS.

Narrator says YAMASAKI HOPES
THE ARCHITECTS WILL HAVE
IDEAS ABOUT HOW TO RENOVATE
THESE OLD HOMES TO MAKE THEM
ATTRACTIVE TO YOUNG BUYERS.
FOR THIS THREESOME, THE
PRESSURE IS ON.
AT THE RATE AT WHICH THESE
BUILDINGS ARE BEING DESTROYED,
THE CITY'S OLD NEIGHBOURHOODS
COULD DISAPPEAR COMPLETELY IN
DECADES.

The scene changes to a group of chefs seated in a kitchen. Glasses of wine sit before them.

Narrator continues
IN KYOTO THE OLD WAYS
HAVE TO STAY RELEVANT, OR
THEY'LL BE ABANDONED.
ONE INNOVATOR IS PUSHING FOR
A RADICAL SHAKE-UP TO SAVE A
KYOTO TRADITION.
ITS FOOD.
IT'S 9 PM IN A KYOTO
UNIVERSITY LAB.
AN ELITE GROUP OF CHEFS AND
SCIENTISTS ARE GATHERING TO
TEST NEW RECIPES.

Chef says TURTLE SOUP
FROM BIWA LAKE.
WHITE ASPARAGUS
WITH FRENCH FOIS GRAS.

Narrator says THREE MICHELIN
STAR CHEF YOSHIHIRO MURATA
HAS BROUGHT THIS GROUP
TOGETHER.
MURATA'S CONTRIBUTION IS A NEW
EGGPLANT DISH HE'S JUST COOKED
UP.

Yoshihiro is shown mixing a mixture of eggplant and other ingredients in a bowl.
He explains what he’s doing to the chefs nearby. He is in his late sixties, clean-shaven, with black hair combed back. He wears a white chef’s gown with a blue insignia.

Yoshihiro Murata says THIS IS
A NEW PRACTICE.
UP UNTIL NOW YOU NEVER HAD
ACADEMICS AND CHEFS MIXING WITH
EACH OTHER.

Narrator says KYOTO'S TOP CHEFS
ARE TRADITIONALLY VERY
SECRETIVE.
BUT MURATA IS CONVINCING AT
LEAST SOME OF THEM TO SHARE
THEIR IDEAS.

Yoshihiro Murata says KEEPING
TRADITIONAL TECHNIQUES WITHIN
THE FAMILY, AND TEACHING THEM
TO YOUR ONLY SON, WAS SEEN AS
THE WAY TO PROTECT YOUR
RESTAURANT.
IN THE PAST, IF YOU TAUGHT YOUR
TECHNIQUES TO OUTSIDERS, THEY
COULD USE THEM ELSEWHERE, AND
YOUR WORTH WOULD DROP.
THAT'S WHY PEOPLE USED TO HIDE
THINGS IN SECRET NOTEBOOKS.
BUT I THINK THAT'S OLD
FASHIONED.

Yoshihiro is shown serving his eggplant dish to a number of chefs.

A female chef asks
IS THIS RAW?

Yoshihiro says NO, IT’S NOT RAW.

The female chef says THE ONE IN FRONT
IS EXACTLY LIKE A REAL
EGGPLANT.

Yoshihiro says THERE IS MISO INSIDE.

The female chef says REALLY? THAT’S AMAZING!

Narrator says THE EGGPLANT
DISH IS ANOTHER RADICAL
DEPARTURE FROM TRADITION.
IT'S BASED ON PRINCIPLES MURATA
LEARNED IN THIS SCIENCE LAB.

The chefs are shown sampling the eggplant dish.

The female chef says IT’S PROBABLY BECAUSE
YOU’RE USING VERY CONCENTRATED LIQUID
HERE,
BUT IT TASTES
A BIT HARSH.

Yoshihiro says EACH ONE HAS ABOUT TEN EGGPLANT’S
WORTH OF CONCENTRATE IN IT.

The female chef says THE SKIN IS REALLY DARK.

Now, Yoshihiro is showing preparing a new dish.

He says THIS HAS ANTHOCYANIN,
WHICH IS WATER SOLUBLE,
SO THE COLOUR FOWS OUT
INTO THE WATER.
SO EVEN IF YOU BOIL IT,
THE COLOUR DOESN’T CHANGE.
WHEN YOU RAISE THE TEMPERATURE THE
COLOUR WILL CHANGE BUT ONCE IT’S COOLED
IT REVERSES BACK.

The chefs sample the dish.

Yoshihiro Murata says WE'RE
ENCOURAGING THE EVOLUTION OF
CUISINE.
IF WE DON'T KEEP DOING THIS,
WE CAN'T PROTECT TRADITION.
TRADITION ITSELF IS MADE UP
OF A CHAIN OF INNOVATIONS.

Narrator says MURATA IS A
DESCENDANT OF A LINE OF KYOTO
CHEFS SPECIALIZING IN A UNIQUE
CUISINE KNOWN AS KAISEKI.
KAISEKI BEGAN IN KYOTO'S ZEN
TEMPLES AND WAS REFINED FOR
ITS EMPERORS.

A clip shows a group of small bowls filled with small servings of different dishes.

Narrator continues
A MEAL IS MULTIPLE COURSES OF
LOCAL INGREDIENTS PICKED AT
THEIR PRIME AND PREPARED
USING METHODS PASSED DOWN THE
GENERATIONS.
IT'S A CULINARY TRADITION
THAT'S DEEPLY RESISTANT TO
CHANGE.
AT HIS RESTAURANT, MURATA
IS ALREADY INCORPORATING
SCIENCE INTO DISHES FOR HIS
CUSTOMERS.

Now Yoshihiro is shown conversing with a young chef.

He says IT TASTED GOOD,
BUT IT NEEDS SOMETHING MORE.

The young chef says YES, NEEDS MORE OOMPH.

Yoshihiro says SOMETHING EXTRA. IT’S
A BIT WEAK.

Narrator says HE'S DEVELOPING A
NEW MENU CENTERED ON THE
MYSTERIOUS 'FIFTH TASTE,'
KNOWN AS UMAMI.
LITERALLY TRANSLATED AS
'DELICIOUSNESS,' IT WAS POORLY
UNDERSTOOD.
MURATA AND HIS LAB TEAM SET
OUT TO GET A BETTER GRASP OF
IT.

A boiling pot of an orange-yellow substance flashes on the screen.

Yoshihiro Murata says UMAMI
IS MADE UP OF GLUTAMIC ACID,
INOSINIC ACID, GUANYLIC ACID,
AND SUCCINIC ACID.
IT'S NOT JUST A MYTH.
WE HAVE TO ACCEPT IT AS A
SCIENTIFIC REALITY.

Narrator says WHEN THOSE ACIDS
HIT THE TASTE BUDS, THE BRAIN
RELEASES DOPAMINE FOR AN
EFFECT THAT'S EVERY CHEF'S
DREAM COME TRUE.

Yoshihiro Murata WHEN
DOPAMINE IS RELEASED, YOU KEEP
WANTING TO EAT MORE OF IT.
THAT'S THE EFFECT IT HAS.

Narrator says MURATA IS EVEN
TRYING TO GET UMAMI INTO HIS
NEW EGGPLANT DISH.

Yoshihiro is shown cutting a green sliver of his eggplant dish.

He says THIS IS PEELED EGGPLANT
COOKED IN STOCK.
I’M DIPPING IT IN GELATIIN SOLUTION,
WHICH WILL BE ASBORBED.
THE GELATIN WILL HARDEN
AND FORM A JELLY.

Narrator says MURATA'S MOVES
ARE RAISING SOME EYEBROWS.

Yoshihiro Murata says THE
OLDER CHEFS ARE DIFFICULT TO
CONVINCE.
BUT I DON'T CARE WHAT THEY
THINK.
I'M SIXTY YEARS OLD ALREADY,
AND I WANT TO TEACH THE YOUNGER
GENERATION DIFFERENT WAYS OF
LOOKING AT THINGS.
AND NOW I HAVE TO SEE HOW WELL
IT'LL BE RECEIVED BY MY
CUSTOMERS.

He is shown placing a dark glaze on top of his dish.
The scene changes to a waitress serving a group of diners a number of dishes in small bowls.

Narrator says IT'S TIME FOR THE
ULTIMATE TEST.
UNKNOWN TO THESE DINERS,
MURATA HAS DONE DOUBLE DUTY IN
A SCIENCE LAB TO TICKLE THEIR
TASTE BUDS.
HE'S MAXIMIZED UMAMI...
THE SECRET INGREDIENT THAT
BRINGS TOGETHER KYOTO'S PAST
AND PRESENT.
UMAMI IS A HIT.

A diner says THIS MEAL REALLY
SHOWCASES KYOTO’S CHARACTER,
AND ITS SEASONAL INGREDIENTS.

Another diner says IT’S DELICIOUS.
THIS STOCK IS UNIQUE.
IT HAS THE DISTINCT TASTE OF KYOTO.

Yoshihiro Murata says THIS IS
THE KIND OF FOOD THAT PEOPLE
THINK IS FUN.
IT'S WHAT I WANT TO WORK ON.
THE MORE FUN, THE BETTER.

The scene changes to a building under renovation.

Narrator says THE REVERENCE FOR
NATURE THAT IS AT THE HEART
OF KAISEKI IS AT THE HEART
OF NEARLY EVERY KYOTO
TRADITION.
FROM ITS METICULOUS GARDENS...
TO ITS ARCHITECTURAL STYLE
THAT BRINGS THE OUTDOORS IN.
YAMASAKI'S ARCHITECT FRIENDS
HAVE SOME IDEAS ON HOW TO
SAVE KYOTO'S ARCHITECTURE.
THIS WILL SOON BE A 21st
CENTURY MACHIYA.

Shigenori is shown talking to a builder at the construction site.

He says IT WON’T HOLD,
SO YOU CAN USE A METAL SHEET,
A THICK ONE HERE...
THIS WILL HAVE TO STAY,
BUT WITH A METAL SHEET,
YOU CAN COVER IT UP.

Shigenori Uoya says HUMANS CAN
TECHNICALLY LIVE ANYWHERE...
IN A TENT OR EVEN IN A CAVE.
BUT WE PREFER TO HAVE HOMES IN
THE MOST LIVABLE SP ACES.
AND MACHIYA ARE A GREAT EXAMPLE
OF THAT.

Narrator says UOYA HAS A NEW
DESIGN THAT HE THINKS CAN
TRANSFORM OUTDATED MACHIYA
INTO THE IDEAL MODERN KYOTO
TOWNHOUSE.

Shigenori Uoya holds up a model replica of the building and says I'M
MOVING THE STAIRS TO THE ALLEY,
SO YOU GO UP TO THE ENTRANCE
HERE.
THERE ARE 1, 2, 3 ROOMS.
THIS IS THE PATIO.

Greg Shand says BEAUTIFUL.

Shigenori says YOU ENTER
AND SEE OUTSIDE.

Narrator says UOYA IS KEEPING
THE SKELETON OF THIS
DEMOLISHED MACHIYA INTACT.

Shigenori Uoya stands at an old wooden beam and says WE'LL CUT
THIS PART OFF, AND SUPPORT IT
WITH A NEW BEAM.
THERE WAS A DIRT WALL HERE,
BUT IT WAS CRUMBLING.
SO WE TOOK IT DOWN, AND WE'RE
KEEPING THE DIRT OVER THERE.

Narrator says HE'S EVEN
RECYCLING THE DIRT FROM THE
OLD WALLS TO RESHAPE INTO
NEW ONES.
IT'S NOT JUST ECO-FRIENDLY,
IT'S BETTER FOR THE BUILDINGS.

A man asks
SO THE OLD MUD WILL CRACK LESS?
WHAT IS THAT?

Shigenori says NEWER MUDS TENDS TO PULL TOGETHER,
SO IT SHRINKS
THE WALL AND CAUSES CRACKS.
OLD MUD WON’T DO THAT.

An aerial view of the house is shown.

Shigenori Uoya says I WANT TO
KEEP THE GOOD PARTS OF THE
ORIGINAL STYLE, BUT TURN IT
INTO A NEW TYPE OF HOME THAT
HASN'T BEEN SEEN BEFORE.
I WANT THIS NEW SPACE TO BE
SOMETHING THAT CAN ONLY BE DONE
WITH A MACHIYA.
I WANT IT TO BE A NEW MODEL
FOR MACHIYAS OF THE FUTURE.

Narrator says AND TODAY, HE'S
GIVING A SNEAK PEEK AT ONE OF
HIS NEW DESIGNS.

Greg and Shigenori walk into a black building with a brown, wooden paneled door.

Greg Shand says WOW.
THIS IS AMAZING!
THIS IS A BEAUTIFUL SPACE.
I NOTICE EVERYTHING IS DARK.
THE WALL IS DARK.
THE CEILING IS DARK.
THE FLOOR.
I CAN SEE THE REFLECTION
ACTUALLY.
SO WHEN IT'S LUSH THAT'LL BE
AMAZING.

Narrator says IN TRUE KYOTO
TRADITION THE HOUSE WELCOMES
THE OUTSIDE IN.
REFLECTIONS ON EVERY SURFACE
MAKE THE GARDEN A PART OF THE
HOME.
EVEN THE FLOOR SHINES WITH A
TRADITIONAL REFLECTIVE LACQUER
ITSELF A JAPANESE ART THAT'S
9000 YEARS OLD.

Shigenori Uoya says THIS
HOUSE CONNECTS THE CITY WITH
NATURE.
THE TWO WALLS FORM A CHANNEL,
BETWEEN NATURE AND THE CITY
STREETS.

Narrator says IF UOYA'S NEW
MACHIYA DESIGN TAKES OFF, IT
COULD ONCE AGAIN BRING CITY
LIFE BACK IN TOUCH WITH NATURE
AS THE JAPANESE ORIGINALLY
INTENDED.

The clip changes to Yamasaki walking down a sidewalk.

Narrator says WHILE THE ARCHITECTS LOOK
TO UPDATE THE PAST,
YAMASAKI IS NOT GIVING UP ON
HIS ORIGINAL MISSION... TO KEEP
THE BEST OF OLD KYOTO INTACT.
HE'S HEADED FOR THE RIVER.
JAPAN'S EMPERORS CHOSE
KYOTO AS THEIR CAPITAL PARTLY
BECAUSE OF THE RIVER ON ITS
EASTERN EDGE.
IT'S THE SITE OF ANOTHER
TRADITION THAT YAMASAKI WANTS
TO SAVE.
HE'S COME TO OFFER
ENCOURAGEMENT TO A FELLOW
TRADITIONALIST.

Yamasaki approaches the front door of a home.

He asks
EXCUSE ME. MAY I COME IN?

Jeff Berglund says IT’S BEEN AWHILE.

PROFESSOR YAMASAKI, GOOD TO SEE YOU.
HOW’S YOUR WIFE?

Yamasaki says SHE’S GOOD. THANK YOU.

Narrator says JEFF BERGLUND
LIVES IN 160-YEAR-OLD RIVERSIDE
MACHIYA.

Jeff leads Yamasaki to the backyard. The yard opens up to the river with a view of the city beyond.

Yamasaki says WHAT A BEAUTIFUL PLACE.

Jeff says THE CARPENTERS ARE JUST WORKING ON IT NOW.

Narrator says BERGLUND'S HOME
IS ABOUT TO UNDERGO AN ANNUAL
TRANSFORMATION.
HE'S HAVING A BALCONY ERECTED.
AND YAMASAKI IS EAGER TO
SEE THIS TRADITION UP CLOSE.

Jeff is in his fifties, clean-shaven, with black hair pulled back. He is wearing a green shirt, red tie, and slacks. A caption reads "Jeff Berglund. Professor of Foreign Studies."

Jeff Berglund says ON THE
FIRST OF JUNE, IT'S SORT OF
THE BEGINNING OF SUMMER.
AND I'M SURE FROM THE FIRST
PEOPLE WHO WERE LIVING HERE
WHEN THE SUMMER HEAT COMES
YOU WANT TO GET INTO THE
COOL WATER.

Narrator says AT THE START OF
SUMMER, RIVERSIDE HOMEOWNERS
BUILD BALCONIES REACHING OUT
TO THE BANKS.
THIS IS WHERE GEISHAS GATHERED
IN THE WARM MONTHS TO
ENTERTAIN.
THEIR THICK KIMONOS MORE
BEARABLE WITH THE RIVER'S COOL
BREEZES.

Black-and-white photographs of geishas flash on the screen.

Narrator says TODAY, BERGLUND INSISTS ON
STICKING TO THE TRADITION...
EXACTLY AS IT'S ALWAYS BEEN
DONE.

A group of construction workers are shown wading in the river. They stand over a wooden box.

One worker says THERE’S A HOLE HERE.
THIS ONE’S WRONG. THIS IS NOT IT.

Narrator says EVEN THIS IS
A CHALLENGE TO KEEP GOING.

Jeff says IT’S ONLY ONCE A YEAR,
SO WE’VE BEEN GETTING
THE SAME CONTRACTORS
EVERY YEAR
FOR THE PAST
TEN YEARS.
BUT SINCE THEY ONLY DO IT
ONCE A YEAR, THEY STRUGGLE
TO RECALL HOW
THEY DID IT THE YEAR BEFORE.
AND EVERY YEAR
THEY ARGUE ABOUT WHAT’S RIGHT AND WRONG.

Narrator says TO KEEP THE
BALCONY LEVEL, THE SAME ROCKS
ARE PLACED IN THE SAME SPOT,
EVERY YEAR.
WITH NO WRITTEN RECORDS,
THEY RELY ON MEMORY, SKILL...
AND TRIAL AND ERROR.

A worker attempts to place a rock in the river bank.

He says THE SHAPE OF THE ROCK
IS TOTALLY DIFFERENT.

A worker calls out
YOU DON’T HAVE ROCK E1 DO YOU?

A worker on the river back says WHICH ONE?
NO, E1 IS UPPOSED TO GO OVER THERE!

Yamasaki says LOOK HOW THEY’VE BEEN SO PRECISE IN CUTTING IT...
IT’S THE FIRST TIME IN MY LIFE
THAT I’VE SEEN THIS.
THIS IS A TRADITION THAT REALLY
REPRESENTS KYOTO,
ISN´T IT?

Narrator says THIS TRADITION
IS CHANGING.
MANY OF THE RIVERSIDE BUILDINGS
ARE NOW RESTAURANTS.
THEY BUILT THEIR BALCONIES
WEEKS EARLIER TO BRING IN
MORE CUSTOMERS.
A TRADITION THAT USED TO BE A
CELEBRATION OF THE SEASONS IS
GIVING WAY TO SPEED AND
CONVENIENCE.

An image shows a restaurant suspended over the river with wooden beams.

Back at his house, Jeff says NOW MOST PLACES USE CRANES.
THEY GET THE CRANES TO LIFT THE STEEL FRAMES.
THEY WEAR HARD HATS AND EVERYTHING!
OR THE GUYS COME AS THEY ARE.

The contractors are shown hammering beams into place.

Narrator says WITH LESS DEMAND
FOR THEIR HANDIWORK, THESE
CARPENTERS' TRADITIONAL SKILLS
MAY SOON BE LOST ALTOGETHER.

Fast clips play of citizens walking and sitting by the river bank.

Jeff Berglund says KYOTO IS A
PLACE WHERE IT'S VERY EASY TO
BE CLOSE TO NATURE, SURROUNDED
BY MOUNTAINS.
THERE'S NOT A PLACE IN KYOTO
THAT YOU CAN'T SEE THE
MOUNTAINS.
AND I THINK THIS KIND OF HOUSE
TEACHES US THAT WE NOT ONLY
ARE
LIVING WITH NATURE AND THAT
IT'S A FACT, BUT THAT WE
HAVE
TO BE IN HARMONY WITH NATURE.
I JUST CAN'T GIVE IT UP.

Narrator says BERGLUND'S CREW
WORKS ALL DAY.

Jeff says IT’S FINALLY COMPLETE.

Yamasaki says IT’S WONDERFUL!

Jeff says IN OUR HOUSE,
WE USE ALL WOOD FOR THE POSTS AND
THE BALCONY FLOOR.

He leads Yamasaki along the balcony.

Jeff says FROM THIS ANGLE, YOU SEE THE RIVER DIFFERENTLY.
BECAUSE YOU CAN COME
ALL THE WAY OUT HERE.

The clip changes to Motoki preparing his archery equipment in front of three female relatives.

Narrator says KEEPING TRADITIONS
ALIVE TAKES PASSION AND
COMMITMENT.
ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE RIVER,
MOUNTED ARCHER MOTOKI
TAKABAYASHI IS LEAVING HIS
FAMILY TO SPEND THE NIGHT
WITH HIS FELLOW ARCHERS.

Yukiko Takabayashi says I'M
MOST WORRIED ABOUT INJURY.
OTHER SPECTATORS WHO COME TO
WATCH WILL BE INTENT ON WHETHER
THE RIDER HITS THE MARK, BUT
I CAN'T WATCH WITH THE SAME
MINDSET AS THEM.

Narrator says WARRIORS USED TO
SPEND MONTHS PREPARING FOR
BATTLE.
BUT TAKABAYASHI CAN ONLY HOPE
THAT HIS WEEKEND TRAININGS ARE
ENOUGH.

The clip changes to a group of archers riding horses down a pathway.

Narrator continues
AT SHIMOGAMO SHRINE, THE
ANNUAL MOUNTED ARCHERY
COMPETITION IS SET TO BEGIN...
AGAINST THE BACKDROP OF AN
ANCIENT SACRED FOREST.
25 RIDERS ARE GEARING UP FOR
A SHOT AT PROVING THEMSELVES
MODERN-DAY WARRIORS.

Motoki Takabayashi says IN KYOTO
MOUNTED ARCHERY ONLY HAPPENS
ONCE A YEAR AT THE SHIMOGAMO
SHRINE.
IT'S PROBABLY ONLY IN JAPAN
THAT THIS ART DEVELOPED...
NOT JUST AS A FORM OF
WARFARE BUT AS A RITUAL FOR
THE GODS.

Narrator says FOR 1400 YEARS
THIS HAS BEEN THE SPOT WHERE
JAPAN'S MOUNTED ARCHERS PUT
THEIR SKILLS TO THE TEST.

Motoki Takabayashi says IN
MOUNTED ARCHERY YOU HAVE TO
HOLD A BOW AT A FULL GALLOP.
I MIGHT NOT EVEN BE ABLE TO
MASTER IT FOR AS LONG AS I
LIVE.

Narrator says 20,000 PEOPLE ARE
GATHERING TO WITNESS THE
ANCIENT SPECTACLE.
ARCHERS RIDE AT A FULL GALLOP
OF OVER 60 KILOMETRES AN HOUR,
ALL WHILE TRYING TO HIT
THREE TARGETS.
IT'S A TEST NOT ONLY OF SKILL,
BUT ALSO COURAGE.

Kiyomoto Ogasawara says YOU
HAVE TO HAVE GUTS, THE ABILITY
TO LET GO OF YOUR HANDS AS
YOU'RE RIDING.
YOU DON'T NEED ANYTHING ELSE.

Narrator says EACH RIDER'S
COSTUME IS BASED ON HIS RANK.
TAKABAYASHI WEARS THE SIMPLE
OUTFIT OF THE STUDENT.

Takabayashi is shown being fitted into a brown patterned kimono.

Narrator continues
THE CLAN LEADER WEARS A
NOBLEMAN'S KIMONO THAT WEIGHS
NEARLY 10 KILOGRAMS.
IT TAKES HIM AN HOUR TO GET
READY.

The clan leader is shown being fitted into a red kimono.

Narrator continues
A RITUAL GREETING MARKS THE
START OF THE COMPETITION...
A TRADITION THAT'S BEEN INTACT
FOR CENTURIES.

Two nobleman sit before each other in front of the crowd. They bow at each other and walk away.

Narrator continues
OGASAWARA, TOO, IS FEELING THE
PRESSURE.
HIS FATHER IS WATCHING HIS
EVERY MOVE.
IF ANYONE IS EXPECTED TO HIT
ALL 3 TARGETS, HE IS.

A clip plays of Kiyomoto’s father watching as Kiyomoto shoots an arrow at the target. He hits the mark. The audience applauds. Clips play of Kiyomoto’s second and third attempts. He hits the mark both times.

Kiyomoto Ogasawara says AS
WITH MOST CULTURAL TRADITIONS,
IT'S NOT SO MUCH ABOUT
MASTERING THE TECHNIQUE.
WHAT'S IMPORTANT IS HOW WE CAN
USE THE TECHNIQUES TO GROW AS
PEOPLE.

Narrator says MOUNTED ARCHERY
RUNS IN OGASAWARA'S BLOOD.
[applause]
FOR THE REST, IT TAKES ONLY
SECONDS FOR SAMURAI DREAMS TO
BE DASHED.

Several clips play of trainees whose arrows miss the mark.

Narrator continues
TAKABAYASHI IS NEXT.
AND HIS FAMILY IS WATCHING
ANXIOUSLY.

Motoki Takabayashi says YOU
HAVE TO BE ABLE TO RIDE WITHOUT
GETTING NERVOUS.
THAT BOILS DOWN TO HOW MUCH
YOU'VE PRACTICED.
THAT'S MY MAIN CONCERN.
EVEN IF I TELL MYSELF IT'LL BE
OKAY, IT'S HARD TO STAY CALM.
WHEN I GET READY TO RIDE, MY
PALMS GET SWEATY.

Takabayashi is shown riding down the pathway. He is unable to place the arrow in his quiver.

Narrator says SO, TAKABAYASHI
COULD HAVE USED A FEW MORE
SESSIONS ON THE WOODEN HORSE.
BUT PUTTING HIS PRIDE ON THE
LINE AND DARING TO CHASE HIS
DREAM IS TRUE SAMURAI SPIRIT.

Motoki Takabayashi says MOUNTED
ARCHERY HAS GIVEN ME A LOT.
IT'S ENRICHED MY LIFE.
EACH OF US IS DESTINED TO
DISCOVER SOMETHING THAT GIVES
US A SENSE OF MEANING AND
PURPOSE, AND GUIDES US IN LIFE.
FOR ME, ITS MOUNTED ARCHERY.

Narrator says TAKABAYASHI HAS
ANOTHER YEAR OF TRAINING BEFORE
GIVING IT ANOTHER SHOT.
AGAINST THE ODDS, KYOTO
REMAINS A CITY INSPIRED BY ITS
PAST.
OLD TRADITIONS HOLD PRECIOUS
WISDOM FOR LIVING WELL IN THE
21st CENTURY.

Clips play of Kyoto’s city scape and people.

Masafumi Yamasaki says PRESERVING
THE CITY'S HERITAGE ISN'T
ABOUT STOPPING DEVELOPMENT, OR
LIVING IN THE PAST.
IT'S ABOUT LEARNING FROM THE
PAST SO WE CAN CREATE A BETTER
CITY.

Narrator says KYOTO TREADS A
FINE LINE WHERE OLD WAYS MUST
COMPROMISE FOR THE SAKE OF
SURVIVAL... AND THE SECRET TO
SUCCESS LIES IN LOOKING TO THE
PAST, TO FIND THE WAY FORWARD.

Music plays as the end credits roll.

Director, Producer: Risa Okamoto.

Series Producer: Clare Nolan.

Editor: Genevieve Lee.

The Narrator says Craig Sechler.

Produced by INFOCUS ASIA PTE LTD for NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC CHANNELS.
Network International, LLC and NGC Network US, LLC, Copyright 2012. All rights reserved.