Wednesday, December 10, 2008

NHK to air "Hana no hokori" a same-sex historical romance this month

by Chris MaGee

Here's one for the "It's about time" file: Japan's national public broadcaster NHK is set to air the historical mini-series "Hana no hokori (Flower’s Pride)" starting on December 20th. Based on a novel by Japanese author Shuhei Fujisawa, whose work formed the basis of Yoji Yamada's critically praised Samurai Trilogy, "Hana no hokori" tells the story of a woman, played by Asaka Seto (above left) who falls in love with a female sword master, played by Miki Sakai (above right). That's right, folks... a same-sex jidai-geki romance.

Except for film versions of popular TV programs I don't normally report on Japanese TV, but this was a special case. Imagine if, just in time for the holidays, NBC decided to air a TV mini-series about a same-sex romance taking place in the wild west. The proverbial shit would hit the fan, no? So, I have to applaud NHK for their forward thinking on this. The fact that "Hana no hokori" comes from the same man who created "The Twilight Samurai" and "The Hidden Blade" is an added bonus as well.

Thanks to Japan Today for the report.

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