World Radio and TV

Working Lives Kyoto

Dr Taka-aki Sato leads a team of researchers at one of Kyoto's most venerable companies, Shimadzu.

They are looking for new ways to detect cancers.

He came to the company after working as an academic in the United States and still has connections to universities.

Shimadzu was founded in the late 19th century as Kyoto industrialised after the emperor and his court moved to Tokyo.

It was a concerted effort by the city fathers to find a new role in a modernising world. Among the company's products are medical scanners and hi-tech machinery for laboratories.

A global organisation, it employs 3,000 people in Kyoto working in a highly disciplined environment. In the factory the day begins with an exercise routine. All the staff eat lunch together during a 45-minute-long noon break.

Dr Sato likes the traditional culture of Kyoto but says he rarely takes a day off. It is not unusual for him to work through the night.