Children Full of Life

Children Full of Life

Tokyo's Toshiro Kanamori teaches his fourth-grade class unconventional lessons in cooperation, compassion and sharing powerful emotions. (KarmaTube)

In the award-winning documentary , a fourth-grade class in a primary school in Kanazawa, northwest of Tokyo, learns lessons about compassion from their homeroom teacher, Toshiro Kanamori. He instructs each to write their true inner feelings in a letter, and read it aloud in front of the class. By sharing their lives, the children begin to realize the importance of caring for their classmates.

Their class goal is to understand how to be happy and care for other people. It sounds like the sort of class a stressed or overworked adult would find, long after they graduated school. Instead, it is a different teaching approach taken by an elementary school teacher. This Japanese Broadcasting Corporation (NHK) film, broadcast by the CBC, follows the class through the course of a school year. The video appears in five parts on YouTube, and is featured on KarmaTube.

Capturing the intimate moments of the students’ laughter and tears, the film explores one teacher’s approach to allowing children the opportunity to discover the value of sharing powerful emotions. Classroom discussions include difficult issues such as the death of a parent or being the victim of bullying. In this “school of life,” the simple message is learning to look after one another.

Following Mr. Kanamori’s class for a whole school year, the cameras were kept at the children’s eye-level, giving their view of the world as they cope with troubled relationships and the loss of loved ones. Through their daily experiences, viewers see how they develop together a spirit of cooperation and compassion.

Children Full of Life was awarded the Global Television Grand Prize at the 25th Anniversary Banff Television Festival, the festival’s highest honour and the first time Japan took the top prize.

CHANNEL: KarmaTube / Canadian Broadcasting Corporation

Directed by Noboru Kaetsu
Produced by Japan Broadcasting Corporation (NHK)

Length: 40:03