What touches your heart is the atmosphere of the city

Everyone from Hokkaido has seen the show “How do you like Wednesday?” at least once.
While being a local Hokkaido show, it gradually gained popularity with its rich content featuring mainly travel programs and currently has become a late-night show with passionate fans all across the country.
We sat down to talk with Tadahisa Fujimura, director of “How do you like Wednesday?” about his connection with Sapporo.

“After filming both abroad and in Japan, I have come to a deeper appreciation of the charm of Sapporo”

Mr. Fujimura, who is a Nagoya native, says that when he was a student attending Hokkaido University, he didn’t fully understand what was great about Sapporo. It was only after getting a job at HTB, working at the Tokyo branch office before returning to Sapporo, and visiting different countries and regions in the course of TV production that he really came to realize what a great a place Sapporo was to live. “In a metropolitan area of 1.9 million people, forests and mountains spread out in front of you. This proximity with nature isn’t possible anywhere else in the country, nor can it be found abroad either. Sapporo is blessed with a rich living environment like nowhere else in the world. To me, it is one of the best cities to live, and I want to keep living here.”

“What touches your heart is the atmosphere of the city”

Mr. Fujimura enjoys nature in various ways like running along the riverbank or shoveling snow, a chore he once hated. Meanwhile, he feels the charm of the city in other places as well.

“The starting point for making a TV program is a simple motivation. When filming in Australia, the motivation would be something like ‘I want to see Ayers Rock.’ After that it’s all about actually going there and breathing the air and cherishing the feeling of having come somewhere far from your daily routines. When you feel the atmosphere of a city you like, you think to yourself, ‘This is nice.’ It doesn’t matter what has happened, and it’s not like anyone was telling you, ‘This is a nice place.’ I think that special atmosphere isn’t just about the environment, but rather the people living in that city.

I mean, if you want to talk about Sapporo instead of Australia, there are tons of iconic reasons to come such as the clock tower or to eat crab, right? But the atmosphere that I am talking about is the feeling that is built up in between those icons by the people living here. I think that you are really able to feel the atmosphere of a city the best at the moment when you pass a local you don’t know and they go out of their way to say hello.”

“If the people living there are satisfied, there is no reason for them to go out of their way to advertise that to the outside world”

“This is also true for me. I think that generally people who live in a certain place are not seeking excitement by living there. They live there because they are satisfied. But when you find a new soup curry restaurant, you want to tell your friends, right? If you think ‘This is great!’ then you want to tell that even to your friends who live far away. By doing this, the things that you experienced directly should spread out to the people around you, even if only a little bit. Telling people directly about the excitement you feel is much more effective than promoting your city by exaggerating how great it is. Such snowballing by word of mouth is very important, although this might only apply to the scenario of finding delicious soup curry restaurants (laughs).”

Come to think of it, “How do you like Wednesday?” first became the talk of the town in Hokkaido, then its popularity spread out across the country as people told their friends about this show they liked. For Mr. Fujimura, this idea of “telling” is a method of TV production. Even without exaggerated PR campaigns, charming aspects and important points get passed from person to person. Mr. Fujimura’s words made us reconsider the charm of Sapporo.

The “How do you like Wednesday Festival” where Mr. Fujimura will appear on the main stage will be held from September 6 (Fri) to 8 (Sun) (sold out). On stage with Takayuki Suzui and Yo Oizumi, what will Mr. Fujimura be “telling” to the audience? The picture is from the previous “How do you like Wednesday Festival” in 2005.

How do you like Wednesday Festival UNITE 2013 in Sapporo

DateSeptember 6 (Fri) – 8 (Sun), 2013
VenueMakomanai Sekisui Heim Ice Arena (Makomanai Koen 1-1, Minami-ku, Sapporo) Makomanai Sekisui Heim Stadium (Makomanai Koen 3-1, Minami-ku, Sapporo)

Tadahisa Fujimura

Born in Nagoya in 1965, Tadahisa Fujimura serves as specialist and executive director at the content business office of HokkaidoTelevision Broadcasting (HTB). In 1990, Mr. Fujimura joined HTB after graduating from the School of Law of Hokkaido University. After five years at the Compiling and Business Division in the Tokyo branch office, he was transferred to the production unit at the Sapporo headquarters. In the following year (1996), he launched the show “How do you like Wednesday?” as the chief director. After finishing its regular broadcast in 2002, he worked on creating the DVD set for the show while appearing in a few TV dramas. He has won such awards as the Gold Award at Germany’s World Media Festival in 2008 for “Kanki no Uta (Song of Joy),” Excellence Award in the TV Section at the Galaxy Award in 2009 for “Mieruhi,” and the Hoso Bunka (Broadcasting Culture) Foundation Award.