Taiga drama (大河ドラマ Taiga dorama , "Big River Drama") is the name NHK gives to the annual, year-long historical fiction television series it broadcasts in Japan. Beginning in 1963 with the black-and-white Hana no Shōgai, starring kabuki actor Onoe Shōroku and Takarazuka star Awashima Chikage, the network has hired a producer, director, writer, music director, and actors for the series. The 45-minute show airs on the NHK General network every Sunday at 20:00, with rebroadcasts on Saturdays at 13:05. Satellite, HDTV digital satellite, and NHK World Premium broadcasts are also available.
- Yae no Sakura (2013) – set in the late 19th century period, about Yamamoto Yaeko, a daughter of the armourer of the Aizu Domain who participated in the Boshin War as a part of the Aizu Clan.
- Taira no Kiyomori (2012) – about Taira no Kiyomori, head of the Taira clan in the mid-12th century, who dominated the Court for a time, but whose clan was then defeated and destroyed in the Genpei War (1180–1185).
- Gō (2011) – about Ogō, niece of Oda Nobunaga, wife of Tokugawa Hidetada and sister of Toyotomi Hideyoshi's second wife Yodo-Dono
- Gunshi Kanbee (Kanbee strategist) (2014) – about Kuroda Yoshitaka (1546–1604), a Japanese daimyo of the late Sengoku through early Edo periods, who was a chief strategist under Toyotomi Hideyoshi.
List of series
|#||Romanised Name||Kanji (or Kana) Name||Start||End||Cast||Additional Notes|
|1||Hana no Shōgai||花の生涯||7 April 1963||29 December 1963||Shoroku Onoe (尾上松緑)
|Black and white|
|2||Akō Rōshi||赤穂浪士||1 January 1964||27 December 1964||Kazuo Hasegawa (長谷川一夫)
|Black and white. Also the most viewed taiga drama in its history.|
|3||Taikōki||太閤記||3 January 1965||26 December 1965||Ken Ogata(緒形拳)
|Black and white|
|4||Minamoto no Yoshitsune||源義経||2 January 1966||25 December 1966||Onoe Kikunosuke VII (尾上菊之助)
Junko Fuji (藤純子)
|Black and white|
|5||San Shimai||三姉妹||1 January 1967||24 December 1967||Mariko Okada (岡田茉莉子)
|Black and white|
|6||Ryōma ga Yuku||竜馬がゆく||7 January 1968||29 December 1968||Kin'ya Kitaōji(北大路欣也)
|Black and white|
|7||Ten to Chi to||天と地と||5 January 1969||28 December 1969||Koji Ishizaka (石坂浩二)
|Colour. Future broadcasts are in colour.|
|8||Mominoki wa Nokotta||樅の木は残った||4 January 1970||27 December 1970||Mikijiro Hira (平幹二朗)
|9||Haru no Sakamichi||春の坂道||3 January 1971||26 December 1971||Kinnosuke Nakamura(萬屋錦之介)|
|10||Shin Heike Monogatari||新・平家物語||2 January 1972||24 December 1972||Tatsuya Nakadai(仲代達矢)
|11||Kunitori Monogatari||国盗り物語||7 January 1973||30 December 1973||Mikijirō Hira(平幹二朗)
|12||Katsu Kaishū||勝海舟||6 January 1974||29 December 1974||Tetsuya Watari (渡哲也)→Hiroki Matsukata|
|13||Genroku Taiheiki||元禄太平記||6 January 1975||29 December 1975||Kōji Ishizaka(石坂浩二)
|14||Kaze to Kumo to Niji to||風と雲と虹と||4 January 1976||26 December 1976||Ken Ogata
Go Kato (加藤剛)
|15||Kashin||花神||2 January 1977||25 December 1977||Umenosuke Nakamura (中村梅之助)
Masatoshi Nakamura (中村雅俊)
|16||Ōgon no Hibi||黄金の日日||8 January 1978||24 December 1978||Ichikawa Somegorō VI (六代目市川染五郎)|
|17||Kusa Moeru||草燃える||7 January 1979||23 December 1979||Koji Ishizaka (石坂浩二)
|18||Shishi no Jidai||獅子の時代||6 January 1980||21 December 1980||Bunta Sugawara
Go Kato (加藤剛)
|19||Onna Taikōki||おんな太閤記||11 January 1981||20 December 1981||Yoshiko Sakuma(佐久間良子)
|Based on the novel Taikōki (which formed the basis of the 3rd Taiga Drama of the same title), with the story told from a feminist perspective.|
|20||Tōge no Gunzō||峠の群像||10 January 1982||19 December 1982||Ken Ogata(緒形拳)
|21||Tokugawa Ieyasu||徳川家康||9 January 1983||18 December 1983||Sakae Takita (滝田栄)
Tetsuya Takeda (武田鉄矢)
|22||Sanga Moyu||山河燃ゆ||8 January 1984||23 December 1984||Matsumoto Kōshirō IX(松本幸四郎)
|First (and so far) only Taiga drama set in the Shōwa period of World War II|
|23||Haruno Hatō||春の波涛||6 January 1985||15 December 1985||Masatoshi Nakamura(中村雅俊)
|24||Inochi||いのち||5 January 1986||14 December 1986||Yoshiko Mita(三田佳子)
|First (and so far) only Taiga drama set in postwar Japan.|
|25||Dokuganryū Masamune||独眼竜政宗||4 January 1987||13 December 1987||Ken Watanabe(渡辺謙)
Kumiko Gotō (後藤久美子)
|26||Takeda Shingen||武田信玄||10 January 1988||18 December 1988||Kiichi Nakai(中井貴一)
|27||Kasuga no Tsubone||春日局||1 January 1989||17 December 1989||Reiko Ōhara (大原麗子)
Shinji Yamashita (山下真司)
|Earliest premiere for a Taiga drama.|
|28||Tobu ga Gotoku||翔ぶが如く||7 January 1990||9 December 1990||Toshiyuki Nishida(西田敏行)
|29||Taiheiki||太平記||6 January 1991||25 December 1991||Hiroyuki Sanada(真田広之)
|30||Nobunaga||信長 KING OF ZIPANGU||5 January 1992||13 December 1992||Naoto Ogata (緒形直人)
Momoko Kikuchi (菊池桃子)
|31||Ryūkyū no Kaze||琉球の風||10 January 1993||13 June 1993||Noriyuki Higashiyama (東山紀之)
Atsuro Watabe (渡部篤郎)
|First part of a 3-part series.|
|32||Homura Tatsu||炎立つ||4 July 1993||13 March 1994||Ken Watanabe(渡辺謙)
|Second part of a 3-part series. Also had the latest premiere for a Taiga drama.|
|33||Hana no Ran||花の乱||3 April 1994||25 December 1994||Yoshiko Mita(三田佳子)
Ichikawa Danjūrō XII
|Conclusion of the 3-part series. Also the least viewed Taiga Drama in NHK history.|
|34||Hachidai Shōgun Yoshimune||八代将軍吉宗||8 January 1995||10 December 1995||Toshiyuki Nishida(西田敏行)
Nenji Kobayashi (小林稔侍)
|About the Shogun Tokugawa Yoshimune.|
|35||Hideyoshi||秀吉||7 January 1996||22 December 1996||Naoto Takenaka(竹中直人)
|49 episodes about the life of Hideyoshi.|
|36||Mōri Motonari||毛利元就||5 January 1997||14 December 1997||Hashinosuke Nakamura (中村橋之助)
Yasuko Tomita (富田靖子)
|37||Tokugawa Yoshinobu||徳川慶喜||4 January 1998||13 December 1998||Masahiro Motoki(本木雅弘)
|38||Genroku Ryōran||元禄繚乱||1 January 1999||12 December 1999||Nakamura Kanzaburo(中村勘九郎)
|39||Aoi ~Tokugawa Sandai~||葵徳川三代||9 January 2000||17 December 2000||Masahiko Tsugawa(津川雅彦)
|First series to be broadcast in High Definition. Future series are also broadcast in HD.|
|40||Hōjō Tokimune||北条時宗||7 January 2001||9 December 2001||Motoya Izumi(和泉元彌)
|41||Toshiie to Matsu||利家とまつ～加賀百万石物語～||6 January 2002||15 December 2002||Toshiaki Karasawa(唐沢寿明)
|42||Musashi||武蔵 MUSASHI||5 January 2003||7 December 2003||Shinnosuke Ichikawa (市川新之助)
|43||Shinsengumi!||新撰組!||11 January 2004||12 December 2004||Shingo Katori(香取慎吾)
|44||Yoshitsune||義経||9 January 2005||11 December 2005||Hideaki Takizawa(滝沢秀明)
|45||Kōmyō ga Tsuji||功名が辻||8 January 2006||10 December 2006||Yukie Nakama
Takaya Kamikawa (上川隆也)
|46||Fūrin Kazan||風林火山||7 January 2007||9 December 2007||Masaaki Uchino (内野聖陽)
|47||Atsuhime||篤姫||6 January 2008||21 December 2008||Aoi Miyazaki(宮﨑あおい)
|48||Tenchijin||天地人||4 January 2009||22 November 2009||Satoshi Tsumabuki(妻夫木聡)|
|49||Ryōmaden||龍馬伝||3 January 2010||28 November 2010||Masaharu Fukuyama(福山雅治)
|50||Gō||江〜姫たちの戦国〜||9 January 2011||27 November 2011||Juri Ueno(上野樹里)|
|51||Taira no Kiyomori||平清盛||2012||2012||Kenichi Matsuyama(松山ケンイチ)
|52||Yae no Sakura||八重の桜||2013||2013||Haruka Ayase|
NHK Special Drama
Saka no Ue no Kumo was originally set for a 2006 broadcast as "21st Century Taiga Drama". However, the scriptwriter of the series committed suicide, causing a delay in production. The series will air as "NHK Special Drama" in three parts, each part airing from late November to late December of each year.
|Saka no Ue no Kumo pt1
|5 eps||29 November 2009||27 December 2009||Masahiro Motoki
|Saka no Ue no Kumo pt2||4 eps||5 December 2010||26 December 2010|
|Saka no Ue no Kumo pt3||4 eps||Late November or early December 2011||Late December 2011|
- (main role actor changed as of 10th story
- Ryomaden (2010) – Covering the life of Ryoma Sakamoto, who played a pivotal role in the end of the Tokugawa rule of Japan in the mid-nineteenth century.
- Tenchijin (2009) – The storyline focuses on Naoe Kanetsugu, who during the 16th and 17th centuries served two generations of the Uesugi clan.
- Atsuhime (2008) – Starring Aoi Miyazaki. Aoi plays the role of Tenshōin, the wife of Tokugawa Iesada (1824–1858), the 13th Shogun. She is also the youngest lead artist in taiga drama history, beating Hideaki Takizawa's record when he starred in Yoshitsune.
- Fūrin Kazan (2007). Based on Inoue Yasushi's best-selling historical novel, this drama is the story of Yamamoto Kansuke, a warrior who has achieved high rank in warlord Takeda Shingen's army by not-so-honorable means.
- Kōmyō-ga-tsuji: Yamauchi Kazutoyo no Tsuma. Takaya Kamikawa plays the role of Yamauchi Kazutoyo, the military commander and daimyo who took over the Tosa han and built Kochi Castle. Nakama Yukie plays the role of Chiyo, the ever-supporting wife of Kazutoyo. The story by Shiba Ryotaro spans the closing years of the Sengoku period, the Azuchi-Momoyama period, and the beginning of the Edo period.
- Yoshitsune (2005). Takizawa Hideaki stars in the title role as Minamoto no Yoshitsune; Matsudaira Ken plays Musashibō Benkei. The screenplay is by Kaneko Naruto, based on the original by Miyao Tomiko. Vladimir Ashkenazy conducted the NHK Symphony Orchestra in the theme music by Iwashiro Tarō. NHK's first Taiga drama on the subject was in 1966.
- Shinsengumi! (2004). Katori Shingo appeared as Kondō Isami; Yamamoto Kōji played Hijikata Toshizō; Fujiwara Tatsuya played the tragic young Okita Sōji.
- 武蔵 MUSASHI (2003). Kabuki actor Ichikawa Shinnosuke VII (now Ichikawa Ebizō XI) held the lead role as the swordsman Miyamoto Musashi, whose lives spanned the end of the sengoku and the beginning of the Edo periods. The series was based on the Yoshikawa Eiji novel that forms the basis for most modern fiction based on the events of Musashi's life. This was the first Taiga Drama to have its title in both kanji and the Latin alphabet.
- Toshiie and Matsu (2002). Karasawa Toshiaki as Maeda Toshiie and Matsushima Nanako as Matsu recounted the establishment of the Tokugawa shogunate from the point of view of an outside daimyo.
- Hōjō Tokimune (2001). Kyōgen actor Izumi Motoya played the lead character, heading a cast that included Watanabe Ken. Major events in the series included the Mongol Invasions of Japan.
- Aoi Tokugawa Sandai (2000). Veteran actor Tsugawa Masahiko, who turned sixty in the year 2000, reprised the role of Tokugawa Ieyasu, which he had assumed in the 1987 Taiga drama and has played on other occasions. Nishida Toshiyuki played his son Hidetada. Nishida has nine other roles in Taiga dramas to his credit, including the lead in Hachidai Shogun Yoshimune. Charles Dutoit conducted the NHK Symphony Orchestra in the performance of the title music.
- Genroku Ryōran (1999). Kabuki actor Nakamura Kankurō V played Oishi Kuranosuke in this sweeping story of the Genroku period during which the events of the Forty-seven Ronin occurred.