Acting since she was 5 years old, Inoue Mao has reached a critical juncture, her 20th year in the profession. It was her wish to visit Africa and so she left for a 10 day journey. Her aim was to be a simple person.
She first encountered Tingatinga, a pop art that depicts animals in bright, vivid colours. In junior high, Inoue was in the Art Club and did oil painting. Here, she took lessons from a pro and at the end of the trip, she drew freely of the memories and experiences of her journey. She also visited a Masai elementary school, located at an elevation of 2400m and played soccer with them.
The highlight of part one is when she looks back at the past 20 years. She reveals,"I did not want my classmates to look down on me...". During her child actor days, she worked to make sure she kept up her top grades and she also talks of the difficulties she faced before securing leading roles in her career.
In part two, she discusses why she aspires to be stronger. She talks of her worries and insecurities, laying bare her weaknesses in front of the camera. "I do sometimes feel insignificant. Someone as uninteresting as me... I want to be seen as someone who can do anything but there are parts of me that are afraid of failure."
The highlight of part two is her encounter with a shaman. The shaman whom the Masai people call divine makes a prediction about Inoue's future. And finally the climax, what does the painting at the end of her journey look like?
NHK BS Premium will air part one of Kagayaku Onna on Saturday, 9th June 2012 from 23:15 to 23:59. Part two will air on Saturday, 16th June 2012 at the same time slot.