Saturday, July 22, 2017

Yamamoto Koji to star in new NHK drama series "Ueki Hitoshi to Nobosemon"

Yamamoto Koji will be starring in the new NHK drama series "Ueki Hitoshi to Nobosemon" which consists of 8 episodes and will begin its run from 2 September in the Saturdays 8.15pm timeslot. The story is based on the book "Nobosemon yaken" written by Komatsu Masao about the late Ueki Hitoshi who was a big star during the Showa era. Komatsu was Ueki's assistant and driver for 4 years before he himself became an actor and comedian. The word "nobosemon" is a Hakata dialect word which refers to people who are easily passionate about and absorbed in the things they love.

Yamamoto will be playing Ueki while Komatsu (Matsuzaki Masaomi) will be played by Shison Jun. Yamauchi Takaya will be playing Hana Hajime who was the leader of jazz band The Crazy Cats and Tani Kei will be played by Hamano Kenta. Yuka will be acting as Ueki's wife Tomiko and Ito Shiro will be acting as Ueki's father Tetsujou. Other co-stars include Takeda Reina, Nakajima Ayumu, Denden, Sakai Maki, Tomita Yasuko and Katsumura Masanobu.

Back in 1962, Ueki's song "Sudarabushi" became a smashing hit which led to himself and The Crazy Cats to become very much sought-after performers on TV and in movies. Due to his increasingly busy schedule, Ueki hired Matsuzaki, a young man who came from Hakata to Tokyo, to be his driver and assistant. While following Ueki around, Matsuzaki observed up close how the big stars of that era were passionate about their work where they gave their all and were not afraid to look stupid as comedians and created cool music when they were musicians. However, Ueki himself was having doubts about doing such work which required him to fool around and wondered if there was any value in doing this. At the same time, Matsuzaki was treated very nicely by Ueki's family and even called Ueki "Otousan" as his own father had passed away when he was young. Matsuzaki then aspired to become a performer himself as he worked with his teacher Ueki over the years.

Sources: Oricon / Sanspo

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