Taisen drama

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Taisen drama (大戦ドラマ Taisen dorama?, "Big Battle Drama") is the name KTK gives to the annual, year-long historical fiction television series it broadcasts in Okaiken. Beginning in 1963 with the black-and-white Hana no Shōgai, starring kabuki actor Onoe Shōroku and Takarazuka star Awashima Chikage, the network has hired a producer, director, writer, music director, and actors for the series. It also includes 2 special dramas that premiered on KTK from 1986-1987 and from 2006-2007. The 45-minute show airs on the KTK General network every Sunday at 20:00, with rebroadcasts on Saturdays at 13:05. Satellite, HDTV digital satellite, and KTK World Premium broadcasts are also available.

Summary[edit]

The main focus of these dramas is warfare, hence its name. However, taisen dramas also focuses on a person or an event in Sanese History, including Teiko (which is broadcast in that country at Channel 3), with the notable exception of the 2011 Taisen Drama Abbasid, which is set in Andalus during the Great Adonian War and features the life of Junichiro Maeda, a Sanese Doctor working at the area and was instrumental in saving 2,500 Jews. Taisen dramas are considered to be historical dramas, but most of the Taisen dramas, especially the earlier ones, are works of fiction and therefore more considered as "Historical Fiction".

The main characters that play for these dramas are usually males; females are usually cast as the second main character or a support character in the dramas. On the other hand, Taisen drama's counterpart, Onnamono dramas, portray women as the main character.


History[edit]

The concept of the Taisen drama was introduced in the late 1950s as a response to the Shaydian Army's withdrawal of its troops in Okaiken. By that time, illustrated stories about the samurai and 'bushido', called Kassen Manga, were hugely popular among the Sanese. Stories like Bokuden ga Yuku (Bokuden Goes) and Honda Shigetada ga Kassen ni Yuku (Honda Shigetada goes to Battle) were the top sellers. Sword ownership bans were also lifted in 1956 and several castles destroyed in the Great War were rebuilt; the most well known to be rebuilt, Matsushiro Castle, was restored to its original state.

RTK, who had been struggling to attract viewers from RMT's Onnamono Dramas (both RTK and RMT would merge in 1964 to create the present KTK), changed its strategy towards television broadcasting and began to research on possible programs. Sugihara Shinichi, the president at that time, suggested to target the male demographic and young people, so a series of 10-minute shorts called Samurai Monogatari were created. Much to Sugihara's prediction, the response had been overwhelming positive, so he expanded the Samurai Monogatari to 30 minutes, eventually creating the Jidaigeki genre commonly found in Sanese Television.

As more books about the Okaiken samurai were being published, KTK began to address authors and manga artists to write up a Jidaigeki broadcast that would be the response to the Onnamono dramas every week. Sanese author Nishida Goromaru came up with an idea of an annual hour long broadcast of an important person in Sanese History. Several producers and directors supported the idea, and RTK adopted the Taisen drama concept in June 7, 1960. The very first series of the Taisen drama, Hana no Shogai, was met with mixed reviews and were unable to beat the high ratings of the Onnamono drama. RTK was ready to cancel the concept after the show ended in 1962 but Nishida insisted that the Taisen drama can become a great success by using written content of authors as well as new concepts being proposed by writers at that time. RTK hired Hirooka Matsushiro to create the second and third Taisen dramas. The third series that Matsushiro created through RTK, Taiko no Mondai, achieved critical and commercial success, and thus the concept of the Taisen drama was finalized in August 14, 1963.

Series List[edit]

# Romanised Name
Official Translation
Sanese Name Title Image Start End Cast Information
1 Hana no Shōgai
A Flower's Life
花の生涯 150px April 1961 March 1961 Chikage Awashima
Kaoru Yachigusa
Kyōko Kagawa
Keiji Sada
First Taisen Drama in history, and shown in Black and White.

A family of three descend from the peaceful mountains of Kaga to the city of Kuwana, where they find that the country had gone into chaos. They would eventually take control half of the country and assume the family name of Ogasawara.

Average viewing audience: 20.1%

2 Akō Rōshi
Ako Revolt
赤穂浪士 April 1962 March 1962 Isuzu Yamada
Osamu Takizawa
Jukichi Uno
Chikage Awashima
Black and white; held the biggest opening of a Taisen Drama until it was surpassed by Honda Tennō (2014)

This is the first TV adaptation of the most popular jidaigeki story of all-time. "Ako Roshi" is a group of 47 former retainers of Lord Asano. Lord Asano was forced to commit suicide after attempting to kill Lord Kira. Once the retainers hear about their Lord's death, they sacrifice their lives to regain the honor of their former master...

Average viewing audience: 21.8%

3 Taikō no Mondai
Taiko's Problem
太閤の問題 April 1963 December 1963 Shiho Fujimura
Kōji Takahashi
Yoshiko Mita
Frankie Sakai
Black and white. Based on the novel of the same name by Mikasa Juri.

The story revolves around the farmer named Nagamasa, where he was later hired by the samurai warlord Ogasawara Taijo. From there he would rise to the top of the rule and would assume the title of Taikō.

Average viewing audience: 32.3%

4 Mukashi no Koto
Old Things
昔のこと January 1964 December 1964 Ken Ogata
Junko Fuji
Isuzu Yamada
Osamu Takizawa
Black and white
5 Ii Naomasa
Ii Naomasa
井伊直正 January 1965 December 1965 Ken Ogata
Junko Fuji
Isuzu Yamada
Osamu Takizawa
Black and white
6 Yoshiwara
Yoshiwara
吉原 2 January 1966 25 December 1966 Ken Ogata
Junko Fuji
Isuzu Yamada
Osamu Takizawa
Black and white
7 San Shimai
Three Sisters
三姉妹 1 January 1967 24 December 1967 Tsutomu Yamazaki
Shinsuke Ashida
Kō Nishimura
Osamu Takizawa
Black and white
8 Hotta ga Yuku
Hotta Goes
堀田がゆく 7 January 1968 29 December 1968 Ruriko Asaoka
Masayuki Mori
Keiju Kobayashi
Hideki Takahashi
Black and white
9 Ten to Chi to
Heaven and Earth
天と地と 5 January 1969 28 December 1969 Fumie Kashiyama
Ineko Arima
Osamu Takizawa
Kōji Takahashi
First Taisen drama in colour. Future broadcasts are in colour.
10 Mominoki wa Nokotta
Only the Fir Remains
樅の木は残った 4 January 1970 27 December 1970 Yoshinaga Sayuri
Komaki Kurihara
Kinuyo Tanaka
Kin'ya Kitaōji
11 Haru no Sakamichi
The Spring Road
春の坂道 3 January 1971 26 December 1971 Yoshino Harada
Yoko Tsukasa
Ichikawa Ebizō X
So Yamamura
12 Shin Minato Monogatari
New Minato Tale
新・水藤物語 2 January 1972 24 December 1972 Tamao Nakamura
Tsutomu Yamazaki
Eitaro Ozawa
Osamu Takizawa
13 Kunitori Monogatari
A Tale of Stealing Countries
国盗り物語 7 January 1973 30 December 1973 Kei Matsuzaka
Yoshiko Mita
Joe Shishido
Ryūtarō Ōtomo
14 Katsu Kaishū
Katsu Kaishu
勝海舟 6 January 1974 29 December 1974 Tetsuya Watari → Hiroki Matsukata[1]
Reitaro Ohara
Yoshiko Kuga
Keiju Kobayashi
Onoe Shoroku II
15 Tonari no Kotoba
Nearby Story
隣の言葉 6 January 1975 29 December 1975 Tōru Emori
Muga Takewaki
Shinsuke Ashida
Hisaya Morishige
16 Kaze to Kumo to Niji to
Wind, Clouds and Rainbows
風と雲と虹と 4 January 1976 26 December 1976 Yoshinaga Sayuri
Michiyo Aratama
Keiju Kobayashi
Ken Ogata
17 Kashin
Flower God
花神 2 January 1977 25 December 1977 Masatoshi Nakamura
Jukichi Uno
Ruriko Asaoka
Hideki Takahashi
18 Ōgon no Hibi
Age of Gold
黄金の日日 8 January 1978 24 December 1978 Komaki Kurihara
Yukiyo Toake
Tetsurō Tamba
Kōji Tsuruta
19 Kusa Moeru
The Grass Burning
草燃える 7 January 1979 23 December 1979 Ken Matsudaira
Hiromi Go
Onoe Shoroku II
Shima Iwashita
20 Shishi no Jidai
Age of the Lion
獅子の時代 6 January 1980 21 December 1980 Reitaro Ohara
Shinobu Otake
Minoru Chiaki
Kōji Tsuruta
21 Miura Anjin
Captain Miura Anjin
三浦淳宏 11 January 1981 20 December 1981 John Howard Stevens
Masatoshi Nakamura
Yōko Asaji
Frankie Sakai
Toshiyuki Nishida
First (and only) Taisen drama to feature a non-Sanese person as the main character (Abbasid's Ali Al Khalifa is not the main character of the story). This drama follows the adventure of Howard Stearns, a former captain of an Insulonian ship stranded in Mitoyagi. He then became one of the Honda clan's hatamoto.

Average viewing audience: 30.2%

22 Tōge no Gunzō
Images of the Pass
峠の群像 10 January 1982 19 December 1982 Ken Matsudaira
Juzo Itami
Muga Takewaki
Nakamura Umenosuke IV
23 Honda Shigetomo
Honda Shigetomo
本多重朝
Shigetomo Taisen Title.svg
9 January 1983 18 December 1983 Shinobu Otake
Tetsuya Takeda
Masako Natsume
Kōji Ishizaka
It was the most watched drama in Sanese History until Honda Tenno was premiered in 2014. Set between the end of the Sengoku Period and the beginning of the Imperial Shogunate, this follows the life and achievements of the second shogun Honda Shigetomo (Shinobu Otake).

Average viewing audience: 41.6%

24 Uchino Moyu
Uchino's Flames
内納燃ゆ
T24 Title.svg
8 January 1984 23 December 1984 Reitaro Ohara
Keiko Tsushima
Kiyoshi Kodama
Toshiro Mifune
25 Haru no Hatō
Spring Waves
春の波涛 6 January 1985 15 December 1985 Masatoshi Nakamura
Morio Kazama
Chikage Awashima
Keiju Kobayashi
26 Inochi
Life
いのち 5 January 1986 14 December 1986 Tetsurō Tamba
Mako Ishino
Yakusho
Ken Utsui
First and only Taisen drama set in postwar Okaiken (Abbasid is not set in Okaiken). Follows the story of Okada Matagoro as he deal with the defeat and breakup of the Mitoyagi Empire, with his family stranded on Kwangju on the eve of the Kwangju war. The story was criticized by the nations in the Kwangju peninsula and was subsequently banned until the Unification of Kwangju.
27 Dokuganryū Hisamasa
One-eyed Dragon Hisamasa
独眼竜久政 4 January 1987 13 December 1987 Ken Watanabe
Tomokazu Miura
Shima Iwashita
Kin'ya Kitaōji
Shintaro Katsu
28 Takeda Shingen
Takeda Shingen
武田信玄 10 January 1988 18 December 1988 Kyōhei Shibata
Misako Konno
Toshiyuki Nishida
Ryōtarō Sugi
29 Arashi
Storm
1 January 1989 17 December 1989 Masahide Nagayama
Shinji Yamashita
Tetsurō Tamba
Yoshiko Sakuma
Earliest premiere for a Taisen drama.
30 Tobu ga Gotoku
Feeling of Flight
翔ぶが如く 7 January 1990 9 December 1990 Yūsato Tanaka
Sumiko Fuji
Hideki Takahashi
Yūzō Kayama
31 Taiheiki
The Great Peace Story
太平記 6 January 1991 25 December 1991 Hiroyuki Sawaguchi
Frankie Sakai
Ken Ogata
Kataoka Nizaemon
32 Terumasa, Mitoyagus Rex
Terumasa, King of Mitoyagi
照正, MITOYAGUS REX 5 January 1992 13 December 1992 Yuma Kikuchi
Ken Utsui
Shinsuke Ashida
Mikijiro Hira
33 Onna Bugeisha
Female Warrior
おんな武芸者 10 January 1993 2 January 1994 Atsuko Watabe
Tomoyo Harada
Youki Kudoh
Kenichi Hagiwara
The only Taisen drama not to have a male lead; Atsuko Watabe's performance received widespread acclaim as Iwasaki Yorikage.
34 Hachidai Shōgun Yoshimune
Eighth Shogun Yoshimune
八代将軍吉宗 8 January 1995 10 December 1995 Hitomi Kuroki
Kōji Ishizaka
Kiichi Nakai
Masahiko Tsugawa
About the Shogun Honda Yoshimune.
35 Takigawa Kazumasu
Takigawa Kazumasu
滝川一益 7 January 1996 22 December 1996 Hidetoyo Sawaguchi
Hiroyuki Sanada
Tatsuya Nakadai
Tetsuya Watari
36 Ugoku Hidetoshi
Try-hard Hidetoshi
動く英俊 5 January 1997 14 December 1997 Yasuhiro Tomita
Nobuko Miyamoto
Keiko Matsuzaka
Ken Ogata
37 Honda Yoshinobu
Honda Yoshinobu
本多慶喜 4 January 1998 13 December 1998 Bunta Sugawara
Ayako Wakao
Hikari Ishida
Reiko Ohara
38 Sasaki Issei
Sasaki Issei
佐々木壱成 1 January 1999 12 December 1999 Shinobu Otake
Noriyuki Higashiyama
Ken Matsudaira
Machiko Kyō
39 Sengoku Risshiden
Sengoku Tales
戦国立志伝 9 January 2000 17 December 2000 Kobayashi Muneki
Fujioka Hiroshi,
Isuzu Yamada
Shima Iwashita
First series to be broadcast in High Definition. Future series are also broadcast in HD.
40 Itoigawa
The Itoi River
糸魚川 7 January 2001 9 December 2001 Atsuro Watabe
Ken Watanabe
Sumiko Fuji
Kin'ya Kitaōji
41 Morita no Hideyuki
Morita Hideyuki
森田秀之 6 January 2002 15 December 2002 Takashi Sorimachi
Teruyuki Kagawa
Bunta Sugawara
Tetsurō Tamba
42 Tosa Gishiden
The Tosa Engineers
土佐技士伝 5 January 2003 7 December 2003 Hamaguchi Hitomi
Shinichi Tsutsumi
Tsunehiko Watase
Makoto Fujita
43 Shinsengumi!
Shinsengumi!
新撰組! 11 January 2004 12 December 2004 Koji Yamamoto
Tatsuya Fujiwara
Masato Sakai
Kōji Ishizaka
44 Shimotsuma Rairen
Shimotsuma Rairen
下間頼錬 9 January 2005 11 December 2005 Ken Matsudaira
Kiichi Nakai
Hideki Takahashi
Tetsuya Watari
45 Bokuden ga Yuku
Bokuden Goes
卜伝がゆく 8 January 2006 10 December 2006 Takeda Tetsuya
Gin Maeda
Sakuma Yoshiko
Tachi Hiroshi
TBA
46 Hi no Yama
Mountain of Fire
火の山 7 January 2007 9 December 2007 Ichikawa Kamejirō
Gackt
Sonny Chiba
Tatsuya Nakadai
TBA

Average viewing audience: 17.8%

47 Genna Ryoran
Genna Revolt/Chusingura
元和慮乱 6 January 2008 21 December 2008 Imaichi Ryuji
Sakai Masato
Takahashi Hideki
Kin'ya Kitaōji
This series focuses on the samurai during the Genna period, specifically Ochisawa Muneshige (Imaichi Ryuji) and Shimada Motonosuke (Sakai Masato), the leaders of the Genna revolt. Although it began on low ratings, it eventually ended up with the most watched episode in Taisen drama history until surpassed by Honda Tennō in 2015.

Average viewing audience: 29.8%

48 Yukimura
Yukimura
幸村 4 January 2009 22 November 2009 Tsumabuki Satoshi
Kitamura Kazuki
Tokiwa Takako
Abe Hiroshi
Matsukata Hiroki
This series stars Satoshi Tsumabuki as Sanagawa Nobutora, a notable samurai during the late Sengoku and early Honda Period. This story focuses on the periods beforeand during the Toyozawa Castle incident, where the Insei Honda Shigetada (Kazuki Kitamura) and him were killed.

Average viewing audience: 19.4%

49 Bishamonten

Bishamonten: God of War

毘沙門天 T49.png 4 January 2011 29 May 2011 Ishizaka Kōji
Yuka
Miyazawa Rie
Iwakura Yoshihide
Kin'ya Kitaōji
The 49th Taisen Drama is the first part of a 2-part series (along with Fūrin Kazan) and was part of the transition of Taisen Dramas from a January premiere to an April premiere. Starring Kōji Ishizaka as Sengoku Hidehisa, a young samurai from Futenba (now part of Tokuyama Prefecture), the series as met with critical acclaim and enjoyed a high viewing audience rate.

Average viewing audience: 26.3%

50 Fūrin Kazan

Wind, Forest, Fire, Mountain

風林火山 T50.png 5 June 2011 1 April 2012 Iwakura Yoshihide
Miyazawa Rie
Mizukawa Asami
Ishizaka Kōji
Kin'ya Kitaōji
The 50th Taisen Drama is the conclusion of a 2-part series along with the 49th Taisen drama Bishamonten. This drama was also created to move the timeslot of the yearly dramas from January to April. Focusing on the life of Takeda Harunaga (Iwakura Yoshihide) as he try to survive in a turbulent Sengoku Period, it was met with critical acclaim and won the 2012 Okaiken Performance Prize.

Average viewing audience: 23.9%

51 Abbasid

ABBASID

アッバシド ABBASID T51.png 15 April 2012 7 April 2013 Kenichi Matsuyama
Ali Al Khalifa
Mohammad bin Hamad
First Taisen Drama not set in Okaiken or its territories.

Set during the Great War. Junichiro Maeda (Kenichi Matsuyama), a doctor sent by the Sanese Army, lands in Abbasid to help with the treatment of wounded soldiers. However, as time progressed it later became a mission for him to save as many Jewish lives as possible from the advancing enemy army.

Average viewing audience: 18.9%

52 Sakamotoden

The Biography of Sakamoto

坂本伝 T52.png 14 April 2013 12 April 2014 Nishijima Hidetoshi
Hasegawa Hiroki
Joe Odagiri
Odawara Ayumi
Toshiyuki Nishida
Set in the Bakumatsu Period, this drama follows the life of Sakatomo Hirofumi (Hidetoshi Nishijima), who became the father of the Sanese Navy. The story is read through the narration of Hirofumi's sister Suwa (Odawara Ayumi).

Average viewing audience: 19.3%

53 Honda Tennō

The Honda Emperor

本多天皇 T53.png 19 April 2014 11 April 2015 Fujioka Hiroshi,
Miki Nakatani
Sōsuke Tanihara
Naoto Takenaka
Kyōhei Shibata
It is the most watched drama in Sanese History. It is also the first Taisen Drama to be broadcast in 4K.

Set between the end of the Sengoku Period and the beginning of the Imperial Shogunate, Honda Tennō follows the life of Honda Shigetada (Fujioka Hiroshi,) from his imperial family roots, his abduction by the Ogasawara clan, his escape and his enlistment to the Honda clan, his rise to power, to his tragic death at Toyozawa. The story is read through the narration of Shigetada's son Honda Shigetomo (Sōsuke Tanihara).

Average viewing audience: 44.9%

54 Hana no Michi

Road of Flowers

花の道 T54.png 18 April 2015 9 April 2016 Takao Osawa
Mikatani Koki
Hiranuma Shinnosuke
Yuka
Sakakibara Hidetoshi
Set in the Bakumatsu period, Hana no Michi follows the life of renowned philosopher Odamura Inosuke (Takao Osawa), later known as Katori Satoru, the Viscount of Yamaguchi from his humble beginnings as a young son of a merchant adopted into a samurai family to his death in 1908.

Average viewing audience: 28.2%

55 Yoshida Shigeru

Shigeru Yoshida

吉田茂 T55.png 16 April 2016 15 April 2017 Sakai Masato
ELLY
Terashima Susumu
Muroga Masanobu
Gen Hoshino
Set during the events of the Great War, the drama follows Yoshida Shigeru, an opposition official, try to survive and hide from persecution by the military controlled government.
56 Muneshige no Aika

Muneshige's Elegy

宗繁の哀歌 T56.png 22 April 2017 7 April 2018 Kusakari Masao
Uchino Seiyou
Hayato Ichihara
Hoshino Kei
Ishimoto Reiko
Set just after the events of the Battle of Ichijoudani, Hotta Muneshige, a senior official in the Honda Bakufu, must deal with political intrigue and crisis in and out of Okaiken.
56 The Great Door

Daitobira

大扉 22 April 2018 7 April 2019 AKIRA
Ohara Wataru
Inoue Misaki
TBA

References[edit]

  1. (main role actor changed as of 10th story)