ベイカー寮221B/Baker House 221B

パペットホームズ、大河ドラマなどの好きなテレビ番組やラグビーについて書いています。アフィリエイトはやっていません。/Welcome to my blog. I write about some Japanese TV programmes including NHK puppetry and Taiga Drama, Sherlock Holmes and rugby. I don't do affiliate marketing.
ベイカー寮221B/Baker House 221B TOP  >  Taiga Drama

Wife and Concubine

In the 21st episode of "Kirin ga Kuru", Nobunaga apoligises to his wife Kichō for having a son Kimyō Maru (later ODA Nobutada) between his concubine (sokushitsu) called Kitsuno secretly. But I think it's strange because having concubine(s) was COMMON among the samurais at that time especially those who were high in status.They are required to have many children to strengthen their families or clans. In this case, not the concubines but their wives brought up the children instead of their real mothers. Concubines were usually waiting maids but Kitsuno was a widow of a samurai and was so beloved by Nobunaga. Some say that her former husband was not dead but AKECHI Hidemitsu, cousin of Mitsuhide. She gave birth to three children and died in 1566.
Kichō (Haruna Kawaguchi, far right) sees Kimyō Maru (the second from the left) and says "Who is this baby?"
 (From the video of the episode 21)

There is another strange point in the series. A wife of shogun, daimyo or their senior vassals was required to give birth to children and take care of family matters besides. But in the series, Kichō seems to take part in her husband's business and occasionally stay away from the castle where she lives. If she had devoted herself to control the family matters, she would have known the birth of Kimyō Maru earlier and also learned her husband had a concubine. And if Shunsaku Ikehata, the scenario writer hoped to describe Kichō as an active wife of Nobunaga, Erika Sawajiri should have played the role as scheduled but she was arrested for possessing illegal medicines.

In the 35th episode of "Fūrin Kazan", Sanjō Fujin (Chizuru Ikewaki, left) meets Yū hime (Miyuki Shibamoto, centre) when she visits Harunobu
(From the DVD series of "Fūrin Kazan")

Needless to say, wife and concubine don't get along together often. In "Furin Kazan", Sanjō Fujin, wife of TAKEDA Harunobu (Shingen) meets his concubine Yū hime who is shocked at O-Goto hime, another concubine of Harunobu and persuades her what she should do to deal with the new rival. Recently male main characters of Taiga Drama series are usually single or have no concubine though they are married. However, I don't always agree with producing historical dramas in such way. From the 14th of June, special programmes on the series set in the Sengoku period will be broadcast for a while because "Kirin ga Kuru" is forced to stop shooting because of the spread of COVID-19. Some of them, especially "Dokuganryū Masamune " and "Kuni-tori Monogatari" are the series that are relatively authentic (more authentic than this year's one) so I want to enjoy them.
[ 2020/06/10 23:15 ] Taiga Drama | TB(-) | CM(0)

TOKUGAWA Ieyasu in His Youth

At the setout, I tell you that the broadcast of "Kirin ga Kuru" will be suspended for a short while because the spread of COVID-19 prevented the cast and the crew from shooting. During the time, the famous scenes and short stories about shooting of the series set in he Sengoku period will be broadcast instead. The broadcast schedule of NHK is as below.

"Dokugan-ryū Masamune" 14th June, 2020 PM 8:00~8:45
"Kuni-tori MOnogatari" 21st June, 2020 PM 8:00~8:45
"Toshiie to Matsu" 28th June, 2020 PM 8:00~8:45  (JST)

Seiyō Uchino as Tokugawa Ieyasu in "Sanada Maru"

TOKUGAWA Ieyasu is known as a samurai who established the Edo Bakufu (Tokugawa shogunate) not only in Japan but in foreign countries also. He is one of the remarkable figures in the Sengoku period is acted by various actors in Taiga Drama series. However, he went through a lot of hardships when he was young. His father MATSUDAIRA Hirotada was killed or died of illness when he was a child who was called Takechiyo. Little Takechiyo became a hostage of the ODA clan when he was 3 years old. After that he was taken hostage by IMAGAWA Yoshimoto who ruled Suruga as daimyo. He was educated by TAIGEN Sessai and Yoshimoto found him useful. 

Sadao Abe as Tokugawa Ieyasu in "Onna Joshu Naotora"

In 1555, he celebrated his genpuku (coming of age) and called himself MATSUDAIRA Motoyasu. He was granted to use the portion of ”Yoshimoto". In the same year, he married Sena (Tsukiyama dono*), relative of Yoshimoto. But after the Battle of Okehazama in 1560, he returned to Okazaki Castle in Mikawa, the province where he was born. It is said that he betrayed the Imagawa clan but recent research has shown that he returned to Mikawa to prepare the battle against the army of ODA Nobunaga as an officer of Yoshimoto's army. And it is also said he who was chased by Nobunaga's army tried to commit suicide but the enemies didn't chase and attack him. (It may be true that he tried to kill himself but was stopped by a priest and persuaded to survive)

Shunsuke Kazama as Tokugawa Ieyasu (Matsudaira Motoyasu) in "Kirin ga Kuru"

After that he formed an alliance with ODA Nobunaga and made his son Nobuyasu marry Toku hime who was born between Nobunaga and his concubine. Before it, he changed his name into TOKUGAWA Ieyasu. But there were still lots of difficulties lying ahead. He came into collision with his son Nobuyasu and his clan was troubled with internal strife. Nobuyasu was finally ordered to commit hara-kiri and his mother Tsukiyama-dono was executed in 1579. Moreover, he had more bitter experiences to govern Japan as shogun.

(*) She is said to have been a niece of Yoshimoto. "Tsukiyama dono" means Lady or Madame Tsukiyama. The name comes from Tsukiyama, a place in Okazaki.

[ 2020/06/04 01:15 ] Taiga Drama | TB(-) | CM(0)

The Characters of "Kirin ga Kuru" 10

TOKUGAWA Ieyasu (Shunsuke Kazama)

A samurai who was born in Mikawa (eastern part of present Aichi) , served ODA Nobunaga and TOYOTOMI Hideyoshi and finally became the first shogun of Edo Bakufu (Tokugawa Shogunate). He was a hostage of the Imagawa clan who governed Sunpu but could returned to Okazaki Castle in Mikawa after IMAGAWA Yoshimoto died in the Battle of Okehazama. Then he formed an alliance with Nobunaga and distinguished himself as daimyo.

MATSUDAIIRA Motoyasu, later TOKUGAWA Ieyasu

Young Motoyasu (Yūto Ikeda)

Takechiyo, Motoyasu in his childhood (Ryusei Iwata)

IMAGAWA Yoshimoto (KATAOKA Ainosuke)

A daimyo of Suruga (eastern part of present Shizuoka) who was called "Tōkai ichi no Yumitori", the strongest warrior in the provinces along Tōkaidō. He later became ambitious to occupy neighbouring provinces but was killed in the Battle of Okehazama before his dream came true and it allowed Nobunaga conquer Mino.


TAIGEN Sessai (Gorō Ibuki*)

A Buddhism priest and a strategist of Yoshimoto and was called "Kokui no Saishō", a councilor in black robe. He was also a tutor of Ieyasu but suddenly died in 1555 and some say that his death declined the Imagawa clan.


(*) He plays the role of HOSOKAWA Fujitaka in "Kuni-tori Monogatari".

[ 2020/06/01 23:00 ] Taiga Drama | TB(-) | CM(0)

The Characters of "Kirin ga Kuru" 9

Iroha Dayū (Machiko Ono)

She is a fictional character who leads a troupe of travelling entertainers. Thanks to it, she has connections with the influential persons in various areas. Koma was once a member of the troupe so she knows her well. Before the Battle of Nagaragawa, she is told to let SAITŌ Dōsan escape to Echizen (eastern part of present Fukui) by Kichō but Dōsan refuses it. Then she takes Mitsuhide and his family to the same place after the fall of Akechi Castle.


FUJITA Dengo (Satoshi Tokushige)

A samurai who served Mitsuhide and one of the few vassals who was told about the attack on ODA nobunaga before the Honnoji Incident. However, he committed suicide during the battle against HASHIBA Hideyoshi. His another name is Yukimasa.


ASAKURA Yoshikage (Yūsuke Santamaria)

A lord of Echizen and uses Mitsuhide to contact with Muromachi Bakufu in the series. The Asakura clan ruled the province for many years. He opposed ODA Nobunaga and won Asai (Azai) Nagamasa, a brother-in-law of Nobunaga over to his side but killed himself after the betrayal of his cousin Kageakira (*). He is said to have preferred art to battle maybe because of the deaths of his family members and the estrangement by his vassals.


(*) It is said that the skulls of him and Nagamasa were lacquered and gilded under the orders of Nobunaga. Then he compelled his vassals to drink sake from them but some say it's groundless. In "Komyō ga Tsuji", such behaviour of Nobunaga is blamed by his sister O-Ichi. 
[ 2020/05/24 23:15 ] Taiga Drama | TB(-) | CM(0)

The Characters of "Kirin ga Kuru" 8

Hiroko  (Fumino Kimura)

A wife of Mitsuhide. She was born as a daughter of TSUMAKI Norihiro, one of the powerful samurais of Mino Province. When the Akechi family ruined after the Battle of Nagara-gawa in 1556, she supported her husband who experienced difficulties to realise reestablishing Muromachi Bakufu and converted her hair into money to help him. She is said to have died in 1576 or in 1582 when Sakamoto Castle fell after the Honnoji Incident and the Battle of Yamazaki.


Maki  (Sayuri Ishikawa*)

A mother of Mitsuhide and a wife of AKECHI Mitsutsuna. Instead of her husband who died young, she brought up Mitsuhide. In the series, she tells young Mitsuhide how a samurai should be and makes him visit Tsumaki Castle to meet Hiroko that is a marriage interview in fact.


AKECHI Samanosuke  (Shōtarō Mamiya)

A cousin of Mitsuhide and a son of AKECHI Mitsuyasu. Like Hiroko, he supported Mitsuhide and married Mitsuhide's daughter. After the Honnoji Incident, he defended Sakamoto Castle against the army of HORI Hidemasa. On the 14th of June 1582, he killed the damily of Mitsuhide and his wife, he commits suicide and burned the castle.


(*) She is an experienced singer who is famous for her smash hit "Tsugaru Kaikyō Fuyugeshiki" and acts a Christian woman in a Taiga Drama series "Kōmyō ga Tsuji".

The images are from the official website of "Kirin ga Kuru".
[ 2020/05/16 23:30 ] Taiga Drama | TB(-) | CM(0)

Kuni-tori Monogatari

The Taiga Drama series was produced and broadcast in 1973. Like "Kirin ga Kuru", the main characters of the series are SAITŌ Dōsan, ODA Nobunaga, AKECHI Mitsuhide, Kichō (Nō hime) and KINOSHITA Tōkichirō (later TOYOTOMI Hideyoshi). It's based on a novel by Ryōtarō Shiba of the same title. The leading character of the first half of the series is Dōsan acted by Mikijirō Hira and that of the second half is Nobunaga whose role is played by Hideki Takahashi. And Masaomi Kondō plays Mitsuhide.

In the series, Dōsan seizes the real power of Mino Province by himself and Nobunaga is described as a man who destroys the medieval order. Therefore he is opposed by Mitsuhide who is a man of culture and values traditional views. He finally kills his lord Nobunaga in revenge for the pressure and the humiliation caused by the chastisement by him. However he feels that what he did against Nobunaga is a failure and on the way to Sakamoto Castle and is killed by local farmers.

To tell the truth, I prefer this series to "Kirin ga Kuru" because it's excellent in various respects.  Especially, the psychological depiction of the characters is so good.

The title calligraphy of "Kuni-tori Monogatari"

[ 2020/05/13 00:30 ] Taiga Drama | TB(-) | CM(0)

The Characters of "Kirin ga Kuru" 7 (Fictional Characters)

MOCHIZUKI Tōan (Masaaki Sakai)

A physician who lives in Kyoto but has connections with many aristocrats and daimyos. He likes gambling and always suffers poverty so his assistant Koma has to go to pawnshop often. In the episode 2, he is required by Mitsuhide to see his aunt Omi-no-kata (wife of SAITŌ Dōsan) to earn money.


Koma (Mugi Kadowaki)

A woman who assists Tōan. She lost her parents in the war in her childhood but she was saved by a samurai who wore a kimono with the crest of balloon flower, the family crest of the Toki clan (*). When she gets to know Mitsuhide in the episode 1, she tells him that the samurai said Kirin (Qilin) would appear someday to put an end to the troublesome period. Later she makes friends with Kichō and secretly loves Mitsuhide.


Kikumaru (Takashi Okamura)

A farmer who is saved by Mitsuhide when he is taken by bandits. He appears in unexpected places and at unexpected moments to help Mitsuhide and sometimes works as spy. He sells miso but the business is not doing well and then works at an apothecary in Sunpu.


(*) Mitsuhide is descended from the clan.

The images are from the official website of "Kirin ga Kuru".
[ 2020/05/07 23:45 ] Taiga Drama | TB(-) | CM(0)

ASHIKAGA Yoshiteru

I write about ASHIKAGA Yoshiteru briefly. He who formerly named himself Yoshifuji was a 13rd shogun of Muromachi Bakufu (Muromachi Government) and took his office when he was 10 years old (11 years old according to the East Asian age reckoning). His father Yoshiharu, the 12th shogun planned to make his son become shogun while young and take care of him. However, Kyoto where the bakufu was established turned into a scene of deadly strife so he and his father were obliged to move to Ōmi Province for safety often.

After his father's death in 1550, he tried to fight against MIYOSHI Nagayoshi who plotted to rule Kinki region includes Kyoto and made peace with Nagayoshi. But there was another discord around him and he then moved to Kutsuki in Ōmi. There he changed his name into Yoshiteru and took up arms against Nagayoshi and the end was put on the discord between them. Then he recovered the power of the bakufu and ruled Japan directly. In 1564, Nagayoshi died and it encouraged him.

But there was another enemy who was called MATSUNAGA Hisahide who serverd Nagayoshi and watched for an opportunity to rule Japan. He planned making ASHIKAGA Yoshihide, cousin of Yoshiteru as next shogun who was a puppet ruler in realuty. In May 1565, Hisahide's son Hisamichi and MIYOSHI Yoshitsugu, heir of Nagayoshi forced their way to the residence of Yoshiteru and assassinated him. Yoshiteru who was a master of swordplay crossed swords with his enemies but was killed at last. In "Kuni-tori Monogatari", a Taiga Drama series in 1973, it shocks AKECHI Mitsuhide who expects and pays his respects to him.

ASHIKAGA Yoshiteru (Muga Takewaki) unsheathes his sword to fight against assassins
(From the DVD series of "Kuni-tori Monogatari")

[ 2020/05/05 00:00 ] Taiga Drama | TB(-) | CM(0)

Sego-don Review 9 Kichinosuke and Aikana

I'm sorry for not having posted an entry about Sego-don for a few months. Though Gesshō dies, Kichinocuke survives and is sent into exile to Amami Oshima and changes his name into KIKUCHI Gengo. The purpose of his exile is evading the search of the shogunate so he is not a criminal and receives his stipend in rice in the island. There he meets a girl called Tuma but he keeps closing his mind in the environment that he cannot get used to. And he blames the tattoos on the back of Tuma's hand and tells her that SHIMAZU Nariakira was a good lord. But she opposes him and tells him that it's Nariakira who squeezed the island's people to develop the domain's system so they celebrated his death. 

Kichinosuke (Ryōhei Suzuki,left) meets a girl called Tuma (Fumi Nikaidō)

In addition to it, Kichinosuke receives a letter from ŌKUBO Shōsuke that HASHIMOTO Sanai was executed. Kichinosuke sheds tears of indignation and runs into a storm. On the following day, Tuma finds Kichinosuke has a high fever and falls down senseless on the ground. She, her relatives and Yuta, a shrine maiden of the island try to save him and then he recovers his health. After that Kichinosuke blends in with the local people.But TANAKA Yūnosuke, a magistrate of Satsuma domain prompts to trap RYŪ Samin, uncle of Tuma who is in charge of Kichinosuke and his nephew (brother of Tuma) Tomiken. TANAKA then tries to rape Tuma who visits him to make a direct appeal but Kichinosuke saves her.

The wedding ceremony of Kichinosuke and Tuma

Kichinosuke marries Tuma and names her Aikana following the tradition of the island. They have a son called Kikujirō. Then Kichinosuke asks Ōkubo Shōsuke to bring him steel wheels to make the people make sugar easier and he visits Amami Oshima with the wheels at last. But there is another reason why he who changes his name into Ichizō visits his friend. He approaches SHIMAZU Hisamitsu, father of the present lord Mochihisa and gains his confidence despite the criticism from his old friends who are against Hisamitsu. Satsuma domain now has Western style armaments and Kichinosuke is needed to return to Satsuma again. Tuma hopes to go to Satsuma with him but is stopped by Samin who knows that he will return to Satsuma someday. Kichinosuke leaves her a house and fields and departs for Satsuma after all. While Kichinosuke spent time in Amami Oshima, the times changed and both Shimazu Narioki, father of Nariakira who treated his son coldly and II Naosuke who led the Anse Purge passed away. 

Kichinosuke returns to Satsuma and the people of Amami Oshima give him a good send-off

[ 2020/04/28 23:00 ] Taiga Drama Sego-don | TB(-) | CM(0)

The Characters of "Kirin ga Kuru" 5

ODA Nobunaga (Shōta Sometani*)

Asamurai who governed Japan after the troublesome period during the 15th to 16th centuries. He is said to have been wild when he was young but a kind of revolutionist. Though he tried to unite a whole country, he was attacked and killed by AKECHI Mitsuhide at Honnoji Temple in 1582. In the series, he is described as an eccentric man who is warned by his father Nobuhide and meets Mitsuhide unexpectedly. 


ODA Nobuhide (Katsunori Takahashi)

A father of Nobunaga and a husband of Dota Gozen. He was a simple samurai who was battlewise though he could not beat SAITŌ Dōsan. Though his wife Dota Gozen disliked Nobunaga, he thought that he should succeed him. In the series, he was badly wounded in a battle and tells his daughter-in-law Kichō that Nobunaga should succeed him in his dying bed.


Dota Gozen (Rei Dan)

A second wife of Nobuhide and a mother of Nobunaga but she is said to have neglected him. In the series, she loves Nobukatsu (younger brother of Nobunaga) who is decent than Nobunaga and dislikes Takechiyo (later TOKUGAWA Ieyasu, hostage of the ODA family) who is precocious.  


(*) Personally, I think he is suitable for the role of KINOSHITA Tōkichirō (later TOYOTOMI Hideyoshi) rather than that of Nobunaga.

[ 2020/04/17 23:30 ] Taiga Drama | TB(-) | CM(0)