Photo: Ryosuke Sono

Konno Tsutomu

Born in Akita, 1936. Konno Tsutomu moved to Yubari, Hokkaido when he was four years old, and graduated from Yubari Minami High School. After graduating from Tohoku University in 1959, he entered Radio Tokyo (today’s Tokyo Broadcasting System (TBS)), and was assigned to the TV production department. With the drama series Doyo to Getsuyo no Aida (lit. Between Saturday and Monday), he became the first Japanese to win the Prix Italia in the category of Drama. He also produced the drama series, Shichinin no Keiji (lit. Seven Detectives). In 1970, he left TBS and founded TV Man Union, Japan’s first independent TV production company. He has since produced documentaries including Tokuhe Ikitai (lit. Want to Go Far Away) (Yomiuri TV), Tenno no Seiki (lit. Emperor’s Century) (TBS) and Chinosokoheno Shoryoka (lit. Spiritual to the Depth of the Earth) (NHK), as well as Umi ha Yomigaeru (lit. The Sea Revives) (TBS) and other dramas, and Oshukara Aiokomete (lit. With Love from Europe) (Nippon TV) and other docudramas. He is a recipient of the Ministry of Education’s Award for Fine Arts and many other awards. He also received the Yubari Honor Award in 1996. He was in charge of stage direction for the opening and closing ceremonies of the Nagano Olympics in 1998. He is the chief adviser to TV Man Union, the chair of the Broadcast Creators Association of Japan, and the chair of the Tokyo Yubari Association.