Taiga drama (Japanese: 大河ドラマ, Hepburn: Taiga dorama, "Big River Drama") is the name NHK gives to the annual year-long historical drama television series it broadcasts in Japan. Beginning in 1963 with the black-and-white Hana no Shōgai, starring kabuki actor Onoe Shoroku II and Awashima Chikage, the network regularly hires different writers, directors, and other creative staff for each taiga drama. The 45-minute show airs on the NHK General TV network every Sunday at 20:00, with rebroadcasts on Saturdays at 13:05. NHK BS Premium and NHK World Premium broadcasts are also available.
Taiga dramas are very costly to produce. The usual procedure of a taiga drama production would have one-third of the total number of scripts finished before shooting begins. Afterwards, audience reception is taken into account as the rest of the series is written. Many times, the dramas are adapted from a novel (e.g. Fūrin Kazan is based on The Samurai Banner of Furin Kazan). Though taiga dramas have been regarded by Japanese viewers as the most prestigious among dramas in Japan, viewership ratings have considerably declined in recent years.
- Seiten wo Tsuke (2021)
- Kamakura-dono no 13-nin (2022)
- Dōsuru Ieyasu (2023)
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 was aired as "NHK Special Drama" in three parts, each part airing from late November to late December of each year.
|Saka no Ue no Kumo||1||5 eps||29 November 2009||27 December 2009||Masahiro Motoki
|2||4 eps||5 December 2010||26 December 2010|
|3||4 eps||4 December 2011||25 December 2011|
Fantasy taiga drama
|Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit||1||4 eps||26 March 2016||9 April 2016||Haruka Ayase||Masahiro Higashide|
|2||9 eps||21 January 2017||25 March 2017|
|3||9 eps||25 November 2017||27 January 2018|
New Big Jidaigeki
|#||Romanised Name||Kanji Name||Episodes||Start||End||Starring||Supporting cast|
|1||Miyamoto Musashi||宮本武蔵||45 eps||4 April 1984||13 March 1985||Kōji Yakusho||Yūko Kotegawa|
|2||Sanada Taiheiki||真田太平記||45 eps||3 April 1985||19 March 1986||Tsunehiko Watase||Masao Kusakari|
|3||Musashibō Benkei||武蔵坊弁慶||34 eps||9 April 1986||12 December 1986||Nakamura Kichiemon II||Tarō Kawano|
- Kōmyō-ga-tsuji: Yamauchi Kazutoyo no Tsuma. Takaya Kamikawa plays the role of Yamauchi Kazutoyo, the military commander and daimyō who took over the Tosa han and built Kōchi Castle. Nakama Yukie plays the role of Chiyo, the ever-supporting wife of Kazutoyo. The story by Shiba Ryōtarō spans the closing years of the Sengoku period, the Azuchi–Momoyama period, and the beginning of the Edo period.
- 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). Toshiaki Karasawa as Maeda Toshiie and Nanako Matsushima as Matsu recounted the establishment of the Tokugawa shogunate from the point of view of an outside daimyō.
- 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.
- Genroku Ryōran (1999). Kabuki actor Nakamura Kankurō V played Ōishi Kuranosuke in this story set in the Genroku period, during which the events of the Forty-seven rōnin occurred.
- Mainichi Japan (8 May 2019). "NHK historical drama series 'Idaten' posts record low ratings". The Mainichi. Tokyo: The Mainichi Newspapers. Retrieved 11 August 2019.
- Shinozuka, Jun, ed. (January 2011). "Feature 1: JQR Interview – Yoshiko Nishimura". Japan Quality Review Vol. 0-1.
- "大河ドラマ一覧". NHK.
- "過去の視聴率データ NHK大河ドラマ". Video Research Ltd.
- Clements, Jonathan; Tamamuro, Motoko (November 2003). The Dorama Encyclopedia: A Guide to Japanese TV Drama Since 1953. Berkeley, California: Stone Bridge Press. ISBN 1-880656-81-7.
- (main role actor changed as of 10th story
- "大河ドラマ 葵 徳川三代". NHK名作選 (in Japanese). NHK. Retrieved 12 November 2019.
- "風林火山". NHK. Archived from the original on 15 January 2007. Retrieved 20 January 2020.
- "江～姫たち戦国～". NHK. Archived from the original on 6 January 2012. Retrieved 20 January 2020.
- "平清盛". NHK. Archived from the original on 9 January 2012. Retrieved 20 January 2020.
- "Yae's Sakura". International Emmy Awards. International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. Retrieved 12 October 2019.
- Hawaii Herald (23 February 2017). "TV Guide Revision". The Hawai'i Herald.
- Official Site (in Japanese)