“Japanese Television Focuses on Latter-day Saints,” Ensign, June 1985, 79
Several Latter-day Saints from Southern California have appeared in Japanese television programs recently as representatives of their age or peer group in the United States.
Couples who had just been married in the Los Angeles Temple, an LDS father, and an LDS schoolboy were filmed for programs which aired on January 26, April 14, and April 21 in Japan. The programs were developed through the efforts of Kozumi Hotai, a Japanese free-lance producer from Van Nuys, California.
The first segment, produced for “The Sunday Special,” a news magazine program, contrasted a Japanese Shinto wedding with a Catholic Brazilian ceremony and an American wedding at the Los Angeles Temple.
Three couples were interviewed as they came out of the temple. “We chose the Latter-day Saint temple because the Mormon Church is the most famous in Japan,” said Hiroyoshi Suzuki, the producer of the show. “You have the most fundamental and traditional approach to marriage.”
The other two segments, filmed in Orange County, were for the national program “World News.” They contrasted the role of a Japanese father with that of an American father, and the life of a Japanese schoolboy with that of an American boy. Featured in these segments were Todd Christensen, a father of four who serves as ward clerk in the Corona First Ward, Corona California Stake, and a member of the Los Angeles Raiders football team; and ten-year-old Eric Poole, one of six children of Bishop Dennis Poole of the Yorba Linda Second Ward, Placentia California Stake.
The Japanese were impressed with Brother Christensen’s involvement with his children. “The Japanese father is not involved with his family like his American counterpart,” Mr. Hotai said. “The Japanese will be surprised to see how he helps in the home.”
The television crew filmed Eric Poole’s “typical day,” from breakfast to an evening of planning a backpack trip with his family. Mr. Hotai commented that the Japanese producers were impressed “with the closeness and supportive attitude” of the family.