The Ooku series began in 2003 and had three drama series by 2005 about the harlem of the Tokugawa generals to which access by men were banned. The drama SPs will be the first sequel to the series in 11 years. Sawajiri will be playing two concubines of Tokugawa Ienari, the 11th general of the Edo Bakufu who had more than 10 concubines and fathered more than 50 children with them.
In the first story to be shown on 22 January titled "Saikyo no Onna" (The Strongest Woman), Sawajiri will play Omiyo who was known as the most powerful concubine in history and seduced Ienari with her looks and intelligence which allowed her to rise to the top of the Ooku. In the second story showing on 29 January titled "Higeki no Shimai" (The Tragic Sisters), Sawajiri will play the fictitious character Ume who is a favourite of Ienari and must contend with jealousy from her younger sister Uta who is also a concubine.
For the filming of the drama SPs, Sawajiri had to stay in Kyoto between October and November this year and learn about how period dramas are made. In addition, the 30 Kyoto-made costumes she wore in the drama SPs cost a whooping JPY 40m. With regard to her first attempt in a period drama and taking on two characters at the same time, she commented that she was not used to the actions and indirect speech in those days so she felt that she might not have expressed herself as well as she wanted. Nonetheless, she said that she had tried her best in managing the two characters.