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May 18, Sun.*This program was first broadcast on Jun. 7, 2012

Aquariums

Japan is home to 20% of the world's public aquariums. And it has all kinds, from places specializing in one kind of sea life - like jellyfish or salmon - to theme parks offering splashy shows with marine animals. The first aquarium in Japan opened in 1882. It was located in Ueno Zoo, which, at that time, belonged to the Imperial Family. More recently, cutting-edge Japanese technology has made it possible to produce crystal-clear tanks of any shape or size, and to maintain saltwater tanks very far from the ocean. One aquarium has become a powerful symbol of Japan's recovery from the massive March 2011 earthquake. Another is run by high school students who not only catch and breed fish but also serve as friendly and knowledgeable guides.

On this edition of BEGIN Japanology, our theme is aquariums, which give us a glimpse into the Japanese love for creatures of the sea.