Broadcast on April 28, 2019
Available until April 28, 2020
In February 2019, several months before Emperor Akihito's abdication, a painting went on exhibit at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo. It was a portrait of the Emperor and Empress Michiko. The portrait was painted over the course of nearly 4 years by Hiroshi Noda, a master of realistic painting. During the final 6 months before the portrait was completed, our cameras visited Noda's studio and carefully documented his process. Noda has known the imperial couple for 3 decades, and he grappled with the challenge of depicting the humanity and sense of presence they have maintained, in close connection to the Japanese people as the symbol of the nation. The program depicts the completion of the first and only portrait of the imperial couple.