Journalist, Line Producer & Filmmaker based in Japan
One of the center pieces at the Omiya Bonsai Art Museum © Sonja Blaschke
One of the center pieces at the Omiya Bonsai Art Museum © Sonja Blaschke

ZDF “heute journal” premiere:
Bonsai trees and the Tokyo Olympics

As a result of the pandemic, the Japanese government has to cut back the Olympic Games in Tokyo. Will their core still remain? My first report as co-author for ZDF’s iconic news program “heute journal”.

Alongside kanji characters, bonsai trees are one of the things that sparked my interest in Japan back in my teenage days. So I was all the more pleased that the little trees were allowed to play a leading role in my first contribution as co-author for German national broadcaster ZDF’s flagship news program “heute journal” in collaboration with Ulf-Jensen Röller, ZDF studio director covering Asia based in Beijing. The report was broadcast on June 22, 2021 under the title “Trimmed Games in Tokyo”.

For this report, I went to Omiya Bonsai Village in Saitama Prefecture and filmed with the curator at the bonsai museum. Really impressive and definitely worth a visit! Pro-tip straight from the curator: Look at bonsai trees directly, standing right in front of them, or at a slight angle from below – then they look like a giant tree. We were also out and about in Tokyo, “collecting” Olympic signs and talking to people about what they thought – four weeks before the Games – about the sports competition taking place despite the Covid-19 pandemic.

Another report, with additional pictures from a vaccination center in the Ota district, was broadcast as part of the ZDF midday news show “heute Sendung um 12 Uhr”.