As in his previous films, Dr. Merry brings more than his expertise as an archaeologist/anthropologist to this video. He was stationed in Japan, and his wife, Telse, who speaks fluently Japanese, lived there for several years. By driving the length and breadth of the country, they captured on film the traditions and the pageantry that are inseparable from everyday life in Japan.
In Tokyo, Dr. Merry had the rare privilege of being invited to film the Sumo wrestlers in training and he mingles with the crowds in the Asakusa temple and participates in a wedding ceremony at the Meiji Shrine. He rides along with the Cormorant fishermen in Gifu, who have been employed by the emperor for over 1,200 years. In Hokkaido, he visits the mysterious Ainu. These first inhabitants of Japan are seen dancing in their traditional costumes against the backdrop of active volcanoes.
In addition to the famous gardens, parks and beautiful temples, Dr. Dwayne L. Merry also goes to places where very few tourists have gone. Dr. Merry and Telse hike the old Tokaido road that connected the ancient capitals of Tokyo and Kyoto. The couple discovers giant rocks along the way where statues were carved more than 1,500 years ago. On Shikoku they travel along with pilgrims who are visiting the 88 temples of the island. The final scenes of the film show Kobe recovering from the devastating earthquake of 1995 and Nagasaki and Hiroshima today, symbols of hope for world peace.