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.
- Gunshi Kanbei (Kanbei 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.
- Hanamoyu (2015) –
List of series
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.