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Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Production press conference of 2019 NHK Taiga drama "Idaten ~ Tokyo Olympic Hanashi ~"

The production press conference of 2019 NHK Taiga drama "Idaten ~ Tokyo Olympic Hanashi ~" (Fast Runner ~ The story of the Tokyo Olympics) was held at the TV station's HQ in Shibuya, Tokyo, on 3 April which was attended by the scriptwriter Kudo Kankuro and the double leads Nakamura Kankuro and Abe Sadao. The Taiga relay-style drama spans 52 years and covers three editions of the Olympics i.e. 1912 Stockholm Olympics, 1936 Berlin Olympics and 1964 Tokyo Olympics where it features the two lead characters Kanakuri Shisou (Nakamura) as the first Japanese man to participate in the Stockholm Olympics' and achieved a world record. The second half of the drama will feature Tabata Masaji (Abe) who was credited with bringing the Olympics to Japan. This drama will be the first Taiga filmed in 4K format and the title "Idaten" means someone who is a quick runner.

Nakamura whose last appearance in a Taiga drama was "Shinsengumi!", said during the press conference that he hopes to be able to live up to the famous line left behind by Kanakuri to have endless smiles, energy, vigour and hard work while acting in this drama. One of the things he needs to start preparing is to train his body to look like a marathoner and he also has to learn how to speak the Kumamoto dialect. On the other hand, Abe who has not appeared in a Kudo work for more than 10 years, is looking forward to participating in this drama and commented that he did not expect to get the lead role. Currently, Abe is playing Tokugawa Ieyasu in the ongoing NHK Taiga "Onna Joshu Naotora".

Coincidentally, Nakamura's late father Kanzaburo was the lead in the 1999 NHK Taiga drama "Genroku Ryoran" which was also the first Taiga which Abe appeared in. As such, the two actors felt that it was a great coincidence that they are appearing in the same Taiga as joint leads. When asked about what kind of advice he felt that Kanzaburo would give him if he was still alive, Nakamura said smilingly that his father would probably go straight to Kudo and ask to be given a role in the drama.

Sources: Oricon 1 / Oricon 2 / Eiga.com

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