Monday, June 26, 2017

Supporting cast line-up announced for new NHK morning drama "Warotenka"

The supporting cast line-up for new NHK morning "Warotenka" starring Aoi Wakana was announced during a press conference at NHK Osaka on 16 June which was attended by Aoi, Matsuzaka Toori, Suzuki Kyoka, Hirose Arisu, Ohno Takuro, Maeno Tomoya and Fujii Takashi. The drama will begin its run from 2 October at 8am on Mondays to Saturdays where the Osaka arc will follow the Kyoto arc from week 4 (23 October onwards). Filming for the Osaka arc will begin in early July.

The drama is set during the late Meiji era to post-World War II period at Osaka featuring the lead character Fujioka Ten (Aoi) who is modelled on Yoshimoto Sei, the founder of Yoshimoto Kogyo and a female show promoter. Fujioka was born into a family managing a drug wholesale business in Kyoto and meets Kitamura Fujiyoshi (Matsuzaka)who is the son of a family in the rice dealing business at Osaka. When they fall in love, Fujioka goes against her parents' wishes to marry Kitamura who is a big lover of comedy. Subsequently, after her husband's family goes bust, she unwittingly becomes the owner of a vaudeville theater with her husband. This then leads to her becoming the first person in Japan to make comedy into a business and transforming Osaka into a capital of comedy.

Suzuki will be playing the role of Kitamura Tsueko who is Fujiyoshi's mother and Ten's mother-in-law. After her husband passed away, she had to take on the family's rice dealing business while being troubled over her son's passion for comedy. When Ten enters the Kitamura family, Tsueko is bent on being harsh and demanding towards Ten thus making the latter's life very different. With regard to her character, Suzuki said that this is the first time that she is playing a mother-in-law and to make things worse, Tsueko is very calculating and very much a miser. However, she also sees this as an interesting trait in Tsueko's character although her young daughter-in-law will probably not feel the same way. As such, she will try her best to play this character especially since she had not appeared in a morning drama after being the heroine in the 1991 work "Kimi no na wa".

As for the other characters, Hirose will play Ririko, Ten's rival in love while Ohno will play a comedian modelled after Yokoyama Entatsu and Maeno will play his comedic duo partner Kiisu. Fujii will play Manjoume Kichizo, a struggling comedian who is reputed to be not funny at all. The child actors featured in the childhood arc of the story will feature Arai Miu, Suzuki Fuku and Maeda Oushiro.

Sources: Nikkansports / Yomiuri Hochi / Sponichi / Oricon

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