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Oct. 5, Wed.

The Unshakeable Shelf

In the aftermath of the two massive quakes in 2016, recovery efforts in Kumamoto Prefecture are ongoing. Amidst the turmoil, one product got a lot of attention: the amazing shelves we'll look at in our first "Special Report." Protecting books and priceless items from damage, they're proudly made in Kumamoto.

The Unshakeable Shelf

Kumamoto - an area once thought of as not particularly prone to earthquakes - was recently hit by two major seismic events in April of 2016; the strongest of which was 7.0 in magnitude. The damage caused was significant. However, the books at Kumamoto College were securely protected. It wasn't simply luck. The college uses shelves designed by Kumamoto-based manufacturer, Kongo. The first in the world to make handle-operated movable shelves, their designs also help to absorb the vibrations created by earthquakes. When shaking is detected, the locks on the shelves automatically disengage, allowing them to move freely, keeping books in place. Kongo also makes other quake resistant systems, including one that simply changes the tilt of the shelves to prevent books from falling, and an automated shelving system. Developed locally, this technology is having an impact on a global scale.

  • The Unshakeable Shelf
  • The Unshakeable Shelf
  • The Unshakeable Shelf
  • The Unshakeable Shelf
  • The Unshakeable Shelf
  • The Unshakeable Shelf
  • The Unshakeable Shelf

Further Info:

Please note that some of the products or services featured in this program may be prototypes and not be sold at stores. NHK is not responsible for any damages, losses or injuries caused by the usage of these products or services.

- KONGO Inc.
3-8-1 Kamikumamoto, Nishi-ku, Kumamoto City, Kumamoto Prefecture 860-8508 JAPAN

The All-Natural Wall Covering

Continuing our look at the great gear of Kumamoto, our second "Special Report" features yet another product from the region. Very functional and eco-friendly, it makes use of the unique properties of a certain plant that is commonly used to make something found in traditional Japanese rooms. But the way it's being used is all new.

The All-Natural Wall Covering

Rush grass is a traditional material commonly used to make the tatami mat flooring found in Japanese homes. But thanks to one Kumamoto resident, it's now used to make a new kind of wall covering. Junpei Kanazashi studied to be a scientist, but then became involved in making washi paper; which is how he first discovered the unique properties of the material. It has a sponge-like structure, with pores that are extremely fine, about 10 micrometers - a size that's only found in nature. In other words, this high-performance sponge can't be reproduced synthetically. The new wall covering has won the Monozukuri Nippon Grand Award, and is patented as high-performance chemical-free wallpaper. Called "Ai-b Wall," it takes advantage of the internal structure of rush grass to deodorize and help prevent "sick building syndrome." It's a breath of fresh air from Kumamoto!

  • The All-Natural Wall Covering
  • The All-Natural Wall Covering
  • The All-Natural Wall Covering
  • The All-Natural Wall Covering
  • The All-Natural Wall Covering
  • The All-Natural Wall Covering
  • The All-Natural Wall Covering
  • The All-Natural Wall Covering

Further Info:

Please note that some of the products or services featured in this program may be prototypes and not be sold at stores. NHK is not responsible for any damages, losses or injuries caused by the usage of these products or services.

- Minamata Haguregumo-Kobo Co., Ltd.
42 Hukuro, Minamata City, Kumamoto Prefecture 867-0034 JAPAN

SPORTEC

There's nothing more important than our health. Over the last few decades, our understanding of fitness has greatly increased. And the results of that advancement were on display at Sportec; an exhibition dedicated to the latest in exercise techniques and equipment. Join Akira Daniel Duncan for this super-fit "On Site" report.

SPORTEC

Schedule: Aug. 2 - 4, 2016
Location: Tokyo Big Sight

Sportec is Japan's largest sports and fitness expo, and it features the latest in sports and health equipment, exercise programs, and other tools. Just as you'd expect, this event is a big draw for sports professionals. The atmosphere is both full of energy and just plain fun, with a number of hands-on demos. Just coming here is a great way to get motivated. Fitness is surely a growing market, but just how many ways could there be to get in shape? The answer may just surprise you. Highlights from this year's coverage include a new machine designed to teach proper running technique, the latest weight training equipment featuring Made-in-Japan quality, body monitoring systems from a major maker of measuring equipment, super-stretchy exercise bands, creative ideas in climbing walls, a clever idea in cross training, and a gymnastics trainer that will literally make you flip your lid!

  • SPORTEC
  • SPORTEC
  • SPORTEC
  • SPORTEC
  • SPORTEC
  • SPORTEC
  • SPORTEC

Further Info:

Please note that some of the products or services featured in this program may be prototypes and not be sold at stores. NHK is not responsible for any damages, losses or injuries caused by the usage of these products or services.

- SPORTEC Co., Ltd.
18-7 Araki-cho, Shinjuku City, Tokyo 160-0007 JAPAN

- Club One.
2-2-31, Sakuragawa, Naniwa-ku, Osaka City, Osaka Prefecture 556-0022 JAPAN

- ZAOBA Corporation.
576-1 Hamanocho, Chuou-Ku, Chiba Prefecture 260-0824 JAPAN

- Dream Factory Co., Ltd.
1-12-17 Umeda, Kita-ku, Osaka City, Osaka Prefecture 530-0001 JAPAN

- TANITA Co., Ltd.
1-14-2 Maeno-cho, Itabashi City, Tokyo 174-8630 JAPAN

- D&M Co., Ltd.
1-5-2 Asakusabashi, Taito City, Tokyo 111-0053 JAPAN

- SAN-EI Corporation.
182-1 6-chome, Higashihatsuishi, Nagareyama City, Chiba Prefecture 270-0114 JAPAN

- Japan Stabilization Society
4-6-1 Hyakuninn-cho, Shinjuku City, Tokyo 169-0073 JAPAN

- Senoh Corporation.
250 Matsuhidai, Matsudo City, Chiba Prefecture 270-2214 JAPAN

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