Picks and Pans Review: Japan

UPDATED 04/04/1988 at 01:00 AM EDT Originally published 04/04/1988 at 01:00 AM EDT

PBS (Mon., April 4, 9 p.m. ET)


Jane Seymour's better role of the week, by far, is her appearance as hostess of a fascinating four-part documentary series about Japan. This is not a twinkie travelogue or one of those shallow little movies you used to see in social studies class. Japan is an intelligent, sophisticated and entertaining view of a complex culture. The show is not afraid to look at the minuses as well as the pluses of Japanese lifeā€”at how such an ordered society produces little crime today but how it was responsible for terrible brutality in World War II. The show also does a wonderful job of explaining how Japan acquired some of its cultural traits: adherence to rules, group psychology and attention to detail. The first part may start slowly, but stick with it and you'll see one super series.

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