Arimura Kasumi will be the lead in the upcoming NHK morning drama "Hiyokko" (Young Bird) which will begin its run from 3 April 2017 at 9pm from Mondays to Saturdays. This will be her second appearance in a NHK morning drama since "Ama-chan" in 2013. During the announcement press conference on 29 June, Arimura commented that she hopes to bring in a fresh feeling to the morning drama timeslot and that she is feeling differently now as compared to "Ama-chan" where she played a supporting role. When first told of the offer in the middle of March, Arimura was very surprised and speechless but she is eagerly anticipating the start of the filming. It was also revealed that Arimura didn't have to go through an audition and was picked directly to play the heroine in this drama. She was the second to be handpicked after Yoshitaka Yuriko who played the heroine in 2014's "Hanako to Anne". Filming is due to begin this autumn.
"Hiyokko" is written by Okada Yoshikazu which is set in 1964 i.e. the year when the Tokyo Olympics was held. Arimura plays the role of a young woman named Yatabe Mineko from Ibaraki Prefecture whose father disappears after she graduates from high school. In a bid to find him, Mineko joins the mass wave of youngsters leaving their hometowns to work in Tokyo. While working at a factory, Mineko overcomes various difficulties and grows as an adult. The drama will feature Mineko's life from the age of 18 to 30 so there will be no child actor playing her role thus Arimura will appear from the first episode.
Sources: Nikkansports / Sanspo