by Chris MaGee
The annual NHK taiga drama series has been an entertainment institution in Japan since the first, "Hana no Shōgai", was produced and broadcast back in 1963. Each taiga drama will premiere on Japan's national network in January of each year and episodes will air every Sunday night at 8:00PM until year's end. The list of actors who have appeared in the taiga dramas during their 48-year history reads like a who's who of Japanese cinema: Juzo Itami, Bunta Sugawara, Ken Ogata, Ken Watanabe, Hiroyuki Sanada, Naoto Takenaka, Masahiro Motoki, Aoi Miyazaki, Juri Ueno, and the list goes on and on. Now even more stars will appear on small screens across Japan in NHK's 2012 taiga drama "Taira no kiyomori".
At a press conference held in Tokyo on Tuesday NHK introduced the cast of its 51st taiga drama to the media. Heading up the cast is 26-year-old actor Ken'ichi Matsuyama (Detroit Metal City, GANTZ). Matsuyama will portray the titular 12th century Heian Period general who in 1153 became the head of the Taira clan and eventually established the first samurai-based government in Japan's history. Joining Matsuyama will be Anne, Koji Kato, Go Morita, Kosuke Toyohara, Atsuo Nakamura, Kazue Fukiishi Kazue and Shiro Ito. NHK has scheduled shooting for the 50-episode drama to begin on August 18th
Thanks to Tokyo Hive for this news.