21 Up : Japan

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  • Modeled on the Up series produced in the United Kingdom, which begins with a group of seven-year-olds and revisits them every seven years, the Up: Japan chronicle focuses on 13 youth living in different parts of Japan. In this program, which rejoins the participants at age 21, they are asked to talk about their lives, families, and future with the same honesty and frankness displayed in the original British production. Contradicting the perceived homogeneity of Japanese society, the circumstances of these young adults are vastly different from each other. Some, such as Eri and Maki, live in politically sensitive areas like Okinawa, near a U.S. military base. Sanae lives near the disputed Kuril Islands, while others like Yoshio and Mitsukatsu carry the heritage of two different ancestral cultures.


  • Encoded with permission for digital streaming by Films Media Group on January 16, 2013.
  • Films on Demand is distributed by Films Media Group for Films for the Humanities & Sciences, Cambridge Educational, Meridian Education, and Shopware.
  • Mode of access: Internet.
  • System requirements: FOD playback platform.
  • Closed-captioned.
  • Portions with English subtitles.


  • Young Adult Perspectives of Japan (2:01) -- Reaching a Milestone Towards Adulthood (4:51) -- Enjoying Life as a Young Adult (3:15) -- Gaining Career Knowledge and Confidence (3:20) -- Pottery Making: a Traditional Japanese Career (4:16) -- Coping with Adolescent Failure (3:12) -- Japanese Parent-Child Relationships (3:35) -- Japanese Agriculture: a Declining Industry (4:20) -- Personal Pressure to Succeed (4:25) -- Entering Adulthood in Japan (2:34) -- Personally Connected to Japan's Disputed Territory (5:57) -- Waiting for the Americans to Leave (2:22) -- Growing Indifferent to Occupation (1:52) -- Young Motherhood in Japan (2:47) -- Witnessing the Legacy of War in Japan (1:28) -- Pursuing a Childhood Dream (5:35) -- Dual National Identities (4:44) -- Working Hard and Dreaming Big in Japan (2:01) -- A Scholarly Young Woman in Japan (5:39) -- Desires Among Japanese Young Adults (1:55) -- A Bittersweet Entry to Adulthood (4:28) -- Gaining Life Perspective (3:12) -- A Traditional Japanese Theater Art (3:31) -- Honoring Japanese Theater and Family Heritage (4:29) -- Life Visions at Age 21 (3:10) -- Credits: 21 Up: Japan (0:27)
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