Working Lives Kyoto

Geisha in Kyoto street

Kyoto, in the west of Japan, is a city still steeped in tradition.

The former imperial capital, it is a city of temples and churches.

Umeka is a geiko, as geisha are known in Kyoto, who sees her job as upholding the traditions of the old Japan.

Yuzo Nakamura is a tatami mat maker like four generations of his family before him. Craftsmanship is in his blood.

Scientist Dr Taka-aki Sato works at one of Kyoto's most venerable companies which makes hi-tech instruments like medical scanners.

The Reverend Takafumi Kawakami is a monk. Educated in America, he returned to his family's centuries-old temple to follow in his father's footsteps.

Aikido is not just a job for martial arts instructor Yoko Okamoto but a path, a philosophy and a way of life.

And as Japan's economy stagnates Soichi Oka is struggling to even begin his working life. A 27-year-old graduate, he has never got beyond part time jobs.

Their lives help tell the story of Kyoto, a city of imperial power transformed into one of the world's hubs for hi-tech electronics.


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