by Chris MaGee
Major actors in Japan don't tend to adhere to the strict boundaries of movies, television and commercials that talent here in North America does. On my recent trip to Tokyo I saw a plethora of stars in advertisements for everything from McDonalds sandwiches to electric razors. It's this malleability that make the news of the star-studded NHK drama series "Saka no Ue no Kumo" interesting, but not unique... that is unless you count a major director in the cast as well.
"Saka no Ue no Kumo" is based on the epic 8-volume novel by author Ryotaro Shiba that follows the lives of two brothers through the Meiji Era and ultimately to the Russo-Japanese War in 1904. NHK's adaptation of Shiba's novel has been airing since late 2009, but in the episodes airing December 19th and 26th none other than Shinya Tsukamoto (above left) will be joining the cast in the role of Genjiro Akashi alongside actors such as Masahiro Motoki (above center) and Teruyuki Kagawa (above right). Very interesting indeed...
You can check out NHK's official website for "Saka no Ue no Kumo" here, and thanks goes to good friend Keiko Kusakabe at Makotoya Co. Ltd. for the news.