Thursday, June 13, 2013

Themes In The Fabulous Japanese TV Series, Ryomaden

A few years ago I started watching the NHK Japanese series, Ryomaden. It is based on the true story of the historical Japanese figure, Ryoma Sakamoto (or, in Japanese convention: Sakamoto Ryoma).

If you are not familiar with Sakamoto, first read this fabulous essay that already explains his life, times, and biography really well.

Sakamoto Ryoma: The Indispensable “Nobody”, By Romulus Hillsborough

Ryomaden is an epic TV series. It ran for 48 episodes over four seasons! I don't know any TV story in the US or Canada that ran that many episodes! It goes to show, is how important Ryoma Sakamoto was to the history of Japan and to the Japanese. 

Part of the Ryomaden soundtrack is the incredible choral singing by the jazz vocalist, Yucca!

The story is told through the eyes of Iwasaki Yataro, who, in real life, rises from abject poverty, to help found Mitsubishi Corporation and become its president. Interestingly, these two very famous and influential historical figures, grew up in the same village, and knew each other. They took very different roads, but crossed paths many times. 

Fabulous Acting and Direction: