|Created by||Mieko Osanai|
|Country of origin||Japan|
|No. of seasons||8|
|Original run||October 26, 1979– March 27, 2011|
Kinpachi-sensei is the story of a 3rd year junior high school class in Japan; its teacher is Kinpachi Sakamoto (坂本金八 Sakamoto Kinpachi), played by Tetsuya Takeda. Kinpachi-sensei has a lot of social commentary on issues such as homosexuality, gender identity disorder, and psychological pregnancy--as well as bullying (of both students and teachers), teenage pregnancy, teenage suicide, hikikomori, and the extreme pressure to do well in school.
The series began in 1979, a pivotal year when issues such as delinquency and on campus violence reached a fever-pitch amongst the educational spectrum; "Kinpachi Sensei," portrayed by former singer Tetsuya Takeda of Kaientai fame, attempts to resolve such problems using a blend of charisma, honesty, humor and wit.
Over the span of 32 years, it has spawned 8 series.
In 2001, the series helped to rocket Aya Ueto to greater national attention after she portrayed a student with gender identity disorder; Kinpachi made it his mission to teach the class about issues relating to gender identity so as to stop Ueto's character from feeling consistently alienated from his peers.
Part of Kinpachi sensei's enduring appeal is the fact that the character's energy and idealism help to steer him through all of life's difficulties; there never seems to be a single time in the show's history in which Kinpachi is not beset by a host of social or personal problems: teen bullying, Kinpachi's son developing cancer, violence directed against teachers. Another reason for Kinpachi's long running popularity is the frank and open way he discusses these societal problems, never "sugar-coating" anything or sweeping hard issues under the rug.
In popular culture
- In the TV anime Gintama there is a segment which sometimes appears after the ending theme where Sakata Gintoki, the series' main protagonist, portrays a lollipop-smoking teacher called "Ginpachi-sensei," teaching class 3-Z.
- Author Koushun Takami's Battle Royale contains a character named Kinpatsu Sakamochi, a satirical reference to Kinpachi. In Takami's text, Sakamochi is a sadistic individual who seems to gleefully delight in the exploits of the 42 students forced to kill each other in "The Program." Some critics see Sakamochi's sadism as a sardonic attack on the idealized Kinpachi. The manga version of Battle Royale has an evil teacher named Yonemi Kamon, while the film has Kitano.
- In the Live-action version of the manga Great Teacher Onizuka (GTO), Onizuka makes a few mentions of Kinpachi-sensei, implying that he is a fan of the series, since his complete collection gets stolen in one of the beginning episodes.