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Renzoku Terebi Shōsetsu (連続テレビ小説?, "serial TV novel") also known as Asadora (朝ドラ?, "Morning Drama") is a serialized television series broadcast in the mornings by Japanese broadcaster NHK. The asadora started in 1961 with the black-and-white Musume to Watashi (娘と私?), starring Takeshi Kitazawa. Today, works in the first half of the year are produced by the NHK Tokyo Broadcasting station and works in the second half of the year are produced by the NHK Osaka Broadcasting station.

Asadora currently airs in Japan Monday through Saturday morning on NHK General TV from 8:00 to 8:15, with a rebroadcast the same day from 12:45 to 13:00. The asadora have become some of the most popular shows on Japanese television, with series such as Oshin, earning an overall 52.6-percent ratings for the series.[1]

Virtually all of the storylines center on the life of a female heroine who faces challenges while working to achieve her dreams. The heroine is chosen by NHK through an audition that involves interviews with several thousand applicants. The winning actress not only stars in an asadora, but also becomes a spokeswoman for NHK, and is usually involved in NHK-sponsored events - including the annual Kōhaku Uta Gassen New Year's Eve event. Often, the asadora serves as a springboard for the actress to bigger and better opportunities within the Japanese entertainment industry.

The current series is Gochisōsan (2013).

Series

Title Debut Ending Notes
6Ohanahan (おはなはん?) 1966 1967 Starring Fumie Kashiyama
11Mayuko hitori (繭子ひとり?) 1971 1972 Starring Karin Yamaguchi. Second highest rated Asadora with an average rating of 47.4%.[2]
12Ai yori aoku (藍より青く?) 1972 1973 Starring Hiroko Maki. Screenplay by Taiichi Yamada. Third highest rated Asadora at 47.3%.[2]
15Mizuiro no toki (水色の時?) 1975 1975 Starring Shinobu Otake. The first six-month Asadora. About a young woman aiming to become a doctor. Average rating of 40.1%.[2]
31Oshin (おしん?) 1983 1984 Starring Ayako Kobayashi, Yūko Tanaka, and Nobuko Otowa – Oshin's perseverance pulls her through various challenges during her life. Episode on November 12, 1983 is the highest rated in Japanese television drama history, with 62.9 percent.[3]
34Miotsukushi (澪つくし?) 1985 1985 Starring Yasuko Sawaguchi. Average rating of 44.3%.[2]
35Ichiban-daiko (いちばん太鼓?) 1985 1986 Starring Shin'ichirō Okano. About a man who enters the world of popular theatre.
36Hanekonma (はね駒?) 1986 1986 Starring Yuki Saito. Average rating of 41.7%.[2]
37Miyako no kaze (都の風?) 1986 1987 Starring Miyuki Kanō. A woman from Kyoto moves to Nara and runs a ryokan and then enters the fashion industry.
38Chotchan (チョッちゃん?) 1987 1987 Starring Hiro Komura. Based on the autobiography of Tetsuko Kuroyanagi's mother.
39Hassai Sensei (はっさい先生?) 1987 1988 Starring Mayumi Wakamura. About a woman from Tokyo who goes to teach at an all-boys school.
40Non-chan no yume (ノンちゃんの夢?) 1988 1988 Starring Tomoko Fujita. About a woman who struggles to survive after World War II and starts a magazine. Average rating of 39.1%.[2]
41Jun-chan no ōenka (純ちゃんの応援歌?) 1988 1989 Starring Tomoko Yamaguchi in her acting debut. Average rating of 38.6%.[2]
42Seishun kazoku (青春家族?) 1989 1989 Stars Misa Shimizu and Ayumi Ishida. Average rating of 37.8%.[2]
43Wakko no kin medaru (和っこの金メダル?) 1989 1990 About a female volleyball player who helps out the local community. Starring Azusa Watanabe.
44Rinrin to (凛凛と?) 1990 1990 About a man who developed an early television system. Starring Minoru Tanaka.
45Kyō, futari (京、ふたり?) 1990 1991 Set in an old Kyoto tsukemono store, this series depicted the conflicts between a woman, her daughter and her father-in-law.
46Kimi no na wa (君の名は?) 1991 1992 The first year-long series since Oshin. Starred Kyoka Suzuki, but ended up being the first Asadora with an average rating under 30%.[2]
47Onna wa dokyō (おんなは度胸?) 1992 1992 Chronicles the conflicts between a woman and her step-daughter in a hot springs town. Starring Pinko Izumi and Sachiko Sakurai.
48Hirari (ひらり?) 1992 1993 Starring Hikari Ishida. Screenplay by Makiko Uchidate, who is a member of the Japan Sumo Association, and is involved in sumo matters, such as advancing rikishi to the rank of Yokozuna. The storyline evolves around sumo - as the heroine become a nutritionist and works within the sumo system. Average rating of 36.9%.[2]
49Ee Nyobo (ええにょぼ?) 1993 1993 A woman works hard to become a good doctor even though she is separated from her husband. Starring Naho Toda.
50Karin (かりん?) 1993 1994 A young woman, whose family runs an old miso company in Nagano Prefecture, lives through the hardships of postwar Japan. Starring Naomi Hosokawa. Last Asadora to top 30% in ratings.[2]
51Piano (ぴあの?) 1994 1994 About the youngest of four sisters, all raised solely by their father, who wants to write children's books. Starring Risa Junna.
52Haru yo, koi (春よ、来い?) 1994 1995 A successful screenwriter looks back on her life when she learns her husband has cancer. A year-long series, starring Narumi Yasuda.
53Hashiran ka! (走らんか!?) 1995 1996 Set in Hakata, the series is about a young man who wants to play rock music even though his father expects him to follow him in making Hakata ningyō. One of the few Asadora starring a male character.
54Himawari (ひまわり?) 1996 1996 About a woman, played by Nanako Matsushima, striving to become a lawyer.
55Futarikko (ふたりっこ?) 1996 1997 About a female professional shogi player and her twin sister. Starring Hiromi Iwasaki and Maiko Kikuchi, with Kana Mikura and Mana Mikura (ManaKana) playing them as children. Average rating of 29.0%
56Aguri (あぐり?) 1997 1997 Based on the life of the beauty stylist Aguri Yoshiyuki, who married the novelist Eisuke Yoshiyuki and became the mother of the novelist Junnosuke Yoshiyuki and the actress Kazuko Yoshiyuki. Starring Misato Tanaka and Mansai Nomura.
57Amakarashan (甘辛しゃん?) 1997 1998 About a young woman who hopes to become a sake brewer. Starring Yumiko Sato.
58Ten Urara (天うらら?) 1998 1998 About a young woman training to be a carpenter who, through her own family situation, learns about the need for a barrier-free world. Starring Risa Sudo.
59Yanchakure (やんちゃくれ?) 1998 1999 About a young woman in Osaka who helps resurrect a shipbuilding company. Starring Miho Konishi.
60Suzuran (すずらん?) 1999 1999 Follows the life of a woman, raised in a coal town in Hokkaido by a father who worked on the railroad, from the 1920s to the 1930s. Starring Nagiko Tōno and Chieko Baisho.
61Asuka (あすか?) 1999 2000 Asuka learns to become a wagashi maker, even though wagashi is a heavily male-dominated field. Starring Yūko Takeuchi.
62Watashi no aozora (私の青空?) 2000 2000 About a young woman whose fiancé leaves her, pregnant, at the altar. With her son, she leaves for Tsukiji to make it on her own. Starring Tomoko Tabata.
63Ōdorī (Audrey オードリー?) 2000 2001 About a young woman involved in the Japanese film industry in Kyoto. Starring Aya Okamoto.
64Churasan (ちゅらさん?) 2001 2001 The first Asadora set in Okinawa. Starring Ryōko Kuninaka.
65Honmamon (ほんまもん?) 2001 2002 About a young woman striving to become a chef in Wakayama Prefecture. Starring Chizuru Ikewaki.
66Sakura (さくら?) 2002 2002 Sakura Matsushita is a third-generation Japanese-American, living in Honolulu, Hawaii. Her dream is to become an ESL teacher in Japan, and moves there to achieve her dream.
67Manten (まんてん?) 2002 2003 Starring Mao Miyaji. About a woman who studies to be a meteorologist.
68Kokoro (こころ?) 2003 2003 Starring Noriko Nakagoshi. Set in Asakusa, Tokyo.
69Teruteru Kazoku (てるてる家族?) 2003 2004 Starring Satomi Ishihara and based on a novel by Rei Nakanishi. First Asadora to average under 20% in ratings.[2]
70Tenka (天花?) 2004 2004 Starring Ema Fujisawa as a young woman from Sendai, Miyagi
71Wakaba (わかば?) 2004 2005 Starring Natsuki Harada as a young woman who becomes a landscaper
72Fight (ファイト?) 2005 2005 Yuika Motokariya stars as 15-year old Kido Yū, living with her family in Takasaki, Gunma Prefecture. Yū faces tough times, and relies on the friendship of a horse to keep her spirits up.
73Kaze no Haruka (風のハルカ?) 2005 2006 Starring Eri Murakawa. Takes place in Yufuin, Ōita Prefecture. Haruka's goal is to become a travel agent, and moves to Osaka, leaving her father and sister behind, to achieve her dream.
74Junjō Kirari (純情きらり?) 2006 2006 Starring Aoi Miyazaki. Sakurako's dream is to become a jazz pianist. Events take place in Okazaki, Aichi Prefecture.
75Imo Tako Nankin (芋たこなんきん?) 2006 2007 Based on a true story, Naomi Fujiyama plays the heroine role of Machiko Hanaoka - a 37-year old woman who dreams of becoming a novelist. She marries into an extended family. Events take place in the city of Osaka.
76Dondo Hare (どんど晴れ?)[4][5] 2007 2007 Stars Manami Higa. Screenplay by Eriko Komatsu. Natsumi marries an heir of a high class ryokan, located in Morioka, Iwate Prefecture. She then becomes the ryokan's okami or manager.
77Chiritotechin (ちりとてちん?) 2007 2008 Starring Shihori Kanjiya. The storyline focuses on the art of rakugo. Kiyomi's dream is to become a rakugoka, despite rakugo being a male-dominated field.
78Hitomi (?) 2008 2008 Starring Nana Eikura. Hitomi's dream is to become a dancer of modern music.
79Dandan (だんだん?) 2008 2009 Starring identical twins Mana and Kana Mikura (of Futarikko fame.) Finding each years after being separated as children, together they work at reaching their dreams as signers.
80Tsubasa (つばさ?) 2009 2009 Starring Mikako Tabe as Tsubasa who works at a local radio station, and eventually becomes a disc jockey.
81Wel-kame (ウェルかめ?) 2009 2010 About a girl from Minami-cho, Tokushima who, inspired by seeing a sea turtle when she was six, strives to become a magazine editor. Lowest rated Asadora at 13.5%.[2]
82Gegege no Nyobo (ゲゲゲの女房?) 2010 2010 Starring Nao Matsushita. Fumie is the wife of manga artist Shigeru Mizuki. The screen play and based on her rags to riches biography.
83Teppan (てっぱん?) 2010 2011 Starring Miori Takimoto and Sumiko Fuji. Akari's natural mother is originally from Osaka. She moves to Osaka to live with her grandmother to learn more about her mother. She learns that her grandmother closed the okonomiyaki restaurant after Akari's teenage mother ran away. Akari then re-opens the restaurant.
84Ohisama (おひさま?) 2011 2011 Starring Mao Inoue. Yoko, the heroine's name, means "child of the sun," thus the title of the series Ohisama, which also meaning sun. Yoko's dream is to become a school teacher. But, she also experiences tough times during the Pacific War.
85Carnation (カーネーション?) 2011 2012 Starring Machiko Ono. Based on the life of fashion designer Ayako Koshino. Her three daughters would eventually all become fashion designers.
86Umechan Sensei (梅ちゃん先生?) 2012 2012 Starring Maki Horikita, who plays a young woman striving to become a physician in post-World War II Tokyo.
87Jun to Ai (純と愛?) 2012 2013 Starring Natsuna Watanabe as a young woman who wants to start her ideal hotel. Set in Osaka and Miyakojima.
88Amachan (あまちゃん?) 2013 2013 Starring Rena Nōnen as a young woman who becomes an ama and then an idol before returning to Tohoku to help revive the area after the earthquake.
89Gochisōsan (ごちそうさん?) 2013 2014 Starring Anne Watanabe as a young woman trying to learn how to cook Japanese cuisine during the Taisho and Shōwa periods
90Hanako to Anne (花子とアン?) 2014 2014 Starring Yuriko Yoshitaka as Hanako Muraoka, the woman who first translated Anne of Green Gables into Japanese
91Massan (マッサン?) 2014 Starring Charlotte Kate Fox as Ellie Kameyama, wife of Masaharu Kameyama, portrayed by Tetsuji Tamayama, a man who brings whisky to Japan. It is based on the life of Rita Cowen, a Scotswoman who married the Japanese man Masataka Taketsuru, the father of Japan's whisky industry. The title comes from Cowen's nickname for Taketsuru.[6][7][8]

External links

References

  1. Men and Women of Character. 50 Years of NHK Television. NHK. Retrieved on 8 October 2011.
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 NHK asa no renzoku terebi shōsetsu. Bideo Risāchi. Retrieved on 4 May 2012.
  3. 視聴率ハンドブック - ビデオリサーチ
  4. NHK Information - Comment from the Top. Japan Broadcasting Corporation. Accessed April 3, 2008.
  5. NHK Information - Comment from the Top: Summary of Press Conference (October, 2007). Japan Broadcasting Corporation. Accessed April 3, 2008,
  6. 朝ドラ史上初 外国人ヒロイン…国籍問わず/芸能速報/デイリースポーツ online. Daily.co.jp (2013-11-18). Retrieved on 2014-04-05.
  7. NHK朝ドラのヒロインに初の外国人 - 芸能社会 - SANSPO.COM(サンスポ). Sanspo.com (2014-03-04). Retrieved on 2014-03-20.
  8. NHKテレビ小説で史上初外国人ヒロイン - 芸能ニュース. nikkansports.com (2014-03-04). Retrieved on 2014-03-20.


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