Asa ga Kita

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Asa ga Kita
Also known as
GenreDrama
Written byMika Ōmori
Directed by
  • Shinichi Nishitani
  • Shinzō Nitta
  • Yoshiharu Sasaki
  • Hirokazu Ozaki
  • Ryōhei Nakano
  • Kō Suzuki
Starring
Narrated byKeiko Sugiura
Opening theme"365 nichi no Kamihikouki" by AKB48
Composer(s)Yuki Hayashi
Country of originJapan
Original language(s)Japanese
No. of episodes156
Production
Executive producer(s)Motohiko Sano
Producer(s)
  • Toshitake Fukuoka
  • Kumano Ritsuji
Production location(s)Osaka, Japan
Running time15 minutes
Production company(s)NHK
Release
Original networkNHK
Picture formatHDTV
Original releaseSeptember 28, 2015 (2015-09-28) – April 2, 2016 (2016-04-02)
External links
Website

Asa ga Kita (あさが来た, Here Comes Asa!)[1] is a Japanese television drama series which was broadcast by the 93rd Asadora (morning drama) six days a week on NHK between September 28, 2015 and April 2, 2016. It is based on the life of Asako Hirooka.[2][3] It was followed by Toto Neechan on April 4.

A period drama, Asa ga Kita is set during the Bakumatsu and Meiji period, when Japan was undergoing rapid sociopolitical change.

Plot[edit]

Undaunted by Repeated Setbacks (weeks 1–13)[edit]

Asa is a naughty and curious daughter of a Kyoto merchant who wants to pursue studies in business, and is displeased with her father's arrangement for her marriage into the Shirooka merchant family in Osaka. However, her fiance Shinjirō gives her an abacus and encourages her to act on her own will, and her family agree to let her learn accounting.

Years later, Asa marries into the Shirooka family, and her in-laws allow her to study and work. Asa bravely stands up when the Shinsengumi force the family to lend them money, earning respect from them, her new family and its employees. Meanwhile, her older sister Hatsu has married into another family which strictly controls her.

In 1868, a financial crisis strikes. Asa helps her family survive by reassuring creditors and starting a new venture into coal mining. Hatsu's family goes bankrupt and are forced to hide from their creditors. With the help of Shinjirō, Asa finds them living in poverty; Hatsu has a boy after being abandoned by her husband. A samurai friend, Saisuke Godai (later Tomoatsu Godai), is able to find the husband and reunite the family.

Asa is pressured by her mother-in-law to have a child, and when Hatsu becomes pregnant again it is suggested that Shinjirō take a concubine. The couple struggles with the pressures and responsibilities before confessing their feelings and deciding to be faithful to each other.

Hatsu and her family leave to become tangerine farmers, on a plot of land in Wakayama provided by her father. Asa travels to the coal mine in Kyushu to attend to the business and discovers that she is pregnant. Shinjirō escorts her back to Osaka where she has a girl, Chiyo. There is sabotage at the coal mine by a worker who had been Shinjirō's childhood friend, seeking revenge for his family falling into poverty after Shinjirō's family refused to support them. Shinjirō withdraws further from the Shirooka business, giving power to Asa.

In 1878, Godai invites Asa to Tokyo to witness its advanced development; her parents and younger brother return from overseas. Godai introduces Asa to notable figures, including his friend Ōkubo Toshimichi. Later, after Ōkubo is assassinated, Asa comforts Godai who swears to finish his friend's dreams.

The Soft Heart (weeks 14–26)[edit]

The servant Fuyu confesses her love for Shinjirō and willingness to be his concubine (as had previously been discussed) but is rejected. The man her father intended her to marry sees them together, and declines the arrangement. Kisuke, a Shirooka business manager who has loved Fuyu for a long time, proposes to her. Fuyu is touched and accepts, and the couple later go to the coal mine to monitor the workers for Asa.

Shinjirō's younger brother Eizaburō marries Sachi. Asa wants to reorganize the family business as a bank, which frustrates Eizaburō and head manager Gansuke as Asa gains control of the business.

Inn hostess Miwa provides a place for business people to socialise, and starts to serve foreign food. Shinjirō begins managing social affairs for Osaka business people, finding an important role to support Asa in the family business. At this time, Chiyo becomes discontented with her workaholic mother. In 1885, Godai dies in poor health, exhausted due to his devotion to the development of Japan.

Hatsu's first son, Ainosuke, begs to work in the Shirooka family business, and he is welcomed as part of the family. By 1891, the family's comprehensive shop for goods transactions and their investments in the textile industry have gained profit. Eizaburō has a daughter and moves his family to a separate residence. Chiyo becomes more displeased with her busy mother and fonder of her gentle aunt Hatsu.

Later, Asa decides to hire female staff for the bank, to give young girls a chance to work. Izumi Narusawa seeks Asa's help to create a women's university, and Asa begins to drum up support from notable people.

(to be added)

Characters[edit]

Cast[edit]

Shirooka family
Shirooka family's employees
Mayuyama family
Imai family
Coal miners
Historical figures
Others

Family Tree[edit]

Tadamasa Imai
Shōkichi ShirookaYonoEtatsuKiku MayuyamaTadaoki ImaiRie
Shōtarō ShirookaEizaburō ShirookaSachiSōbei MayuyamaHatsuShinjirō ShirookaAsaTadatsugu ImaiTowa
Sae ShirookaMasa ShirookaAinosuke MayuyamaYōnosuke MayuyamaSetsuChiyo ShirookaKeisukeThe Imai Children
Tatsuo MayuyamaThe unborn second childTatsuko ShirookaEtsuko ShirookaSatsuko ShirookaThe unborn fourth child

Note: Those who don't have a surname displayed in tree means he/she change his/her surname upon marrying someone. Characters without name were mentioned but did not appear in the drama.

Role Models[edit]

Character Model Differences
Asa Shirooka Asako Hirooka
  • Asako is a child of concubine.
  • Asako submitted to Christianity while Asa remained agnostic.
Hatsu Mayuyama Haru Mitsui
  • Asako's half-sister born to another concubine.
  • She died at age 25, while Hatsu lived for a long time and had grandchildren.
Shinjirō Shirooka Shingorō Hirooka
  • He is 8 years older than Asako while Shinjirō is 11 years older than Asa.
  • He took Asako's handmaid Mume after Asako lost her fertility, and had 3 daughters and a son with her.
Ume and Fuyu Mume (Ofuji)
  • Asako's handmaid and Shingorō's concubine. She gave birth to 4 of Shingorō's children.
Tadaoki Imai Takayoshi Mtsui
  • Asako's father, who had her at age of 50. He died at age 59.
Chiyo Shirooka Kameko Hirooka
  • Asako's only daughter. She had 4 daughters and a son.
Eizaburō Shirooka Masaaki Hirooka
  • Shingorō's younger brother.
Keisuke Shirooka Ezou Hirooka
  • Son of Suenori Hidoriyanagi, a viscount
  • Kameko's husband, married into Hirooka family.

Reception[edit]

Asa ga Kita was a ratings success, averaging 23.5% over the length of the series, the highest rating for an Asadora since the year 2000.[4]

Spin-off drama Warenabe ni Tojibuta[edit]

The main character is Kisuke. It was broadcast starting April 23, 2016.

Cast

Awards[edit]

Award Category Nominees Result
9th Tokyo Drama Awards The Grand Prix Asa ga Kita Won
Best Actress Haru Won
Best Supporting Actor Dean Fujioka Won

References[edit]

  1. ^ https://www.nhkint.or.jp/en/catalog/drama/detail/dr_here-comes-asa.html
  2. ^ "新・朝ドラ『あさが来た』王道回帰". Asahi Shimbun. Retrieved 3 October 2015.
  3. ^ "NHK's Asa ga Kita and Sojitz". Sojitz Corporation. Retrieved 12 January 2016.
  4. ^ "『あさが来た』最終回は27.0% "今世紀最高"の朝ドラに波瑠感謝". ORICON NEWS (in Japanese). Retrieved 20 April 2018.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Mare
Asadora
September 28, 2015 – April 2, 2016
Succeeded by
Toto Neechan