2007's Japanese NHK Taiga drama Furin Kazan (meaning 'Wind, Forest, Fire & Mountain' NOT The Trusted Confidant as stated above) contains everything you could want in this type of series- ... See full synopsis »
The year is 1614 AD. Two warring ninja clans, each supporting a son of Hidetada Tokugawa as the next shogun, send ten representatives each to fight to the death for the possession Tokugawa ... See full summary »
A yakuza enforcer is ordered to secretly drive his beloved colleague to be assassinated. But when the colleague unceremoniously disappears en route, the trip that follows is a twisted, surreal and horrifying experience.
Atsuhime (Princess Atsu) is the story of the real life Princess Atsu of the Satsuma Domain of Japan during the final years of the Tokugawa Shogunate. In a move to influence the Shogunate ... See full summary »
1880's Meiji Japan. It is almost twenty years since the end of the Samurai Era in Japan, one time Tosa Clansman, successful business industrialist, mogul, & founder of Mitsubishi ... See full summary »
During the time of change of the mid-19th Century, Yaichiro is bid farewell by his fellow samurai friends Munezo and Samon as he leaves their clan's fiefdom on the northwest coast of Japan ... See full summary »
Gunshi Kanbei (Strategist Kanbei) is a-year long taiga drama by NHK in 2014. This fictional series consists of 50 episodes and follows the journey of Kuroda Kanbei, a historical figure who ... See full summary »
Japan, July 1853. Scores of people lined the beaches at Uraga Harbor near the Shogunate Capitol of Edo. They came to get a glimpse of the American Fleet of Commodore Perry's infamous Black ... See full summary »
This series aired on Japanese TV in 2005, and set high marks for production design and its captivating story of a failed warrior. While certainly a broad dramatic treatment of actual events, Yoshitshune tells of two brothers separated in wars and feuding, who find that their reconciliation is being used as a political tool.
The supporting roles are what make Yoshitsune work, and given the long list of said roles, this serial is continually fascinating. Watch for pop stars Aya Ueto and Goto Maki in prominent spots, as well as a laundry list of Japanese TV and movie favorites. Mikijiro Hira is wonderfully comical and sinister as the emperor who schemes to use Yoshitsune to further his own taltering grip on power. This serial has been shown to be consistently intriguing - even those who don't feel they'd have much interest in this kind of saga. The battle scenes have been presented with particular care, since the historical Yoshitsune was a master at winning "impossible" battles.
At times, the title character seems almost impossibly virtuous, so it would have been preferable to give the hero subtler shadings of good and evil. Despite this, Yoshitsune refuses to let go of your attention, and nearly every episode has something that gives you a palpable feeling of a Japan long-gone.
With some research, subtitled versions of this drama can be located; it would be worth your time.
9 of 9 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?