Aragaki Yui “Gakky” will appear in NHK’s 2022 Taiga DramaKamakura 13. She will play the role of Yae, who is the main character’s first crush. In her 20+ years as an actress, this marks her first appearance in a Taiga Drama.
Speaking of Taiga dramas, there was one called Ryūkyū no Kaze from 1993 that wasn’t directed by, starred by, or had music composed by anyone from Okinawa. The first actor/actress to appear (in this case star) in a Taiga Drama was Nakama Yukie in 2006’s Kōmyō ga Tsuji, followed by Gackt in 2007’s Fūrin Kazan, and Nikaidō Fumi making an appearance in 2018’s Segodon.
NHK announced its 2022 morning drama (asadora) and it’s an Okinawan series called Chimudondon (ちむどんどん)! The 106th edition of the series follows 2001’s “Churasan (ちゅらさん)” (can you believe it’s 20 years ago?!) as the second asadora with an Okinawan theme. Chimudondon stars Okinawan-born actress Kuroshima Yuina (黒島結菜) and will tell the story of chef Higa Nobuko (比嘉暢子) with Okinawa of the 1960s and beyond as the backdrop. Other than Yuina and Jon Kabira (ジョン・カビラ) who is handling the narrating, the rest of the cast hasn’t been announced yet so there’s hope that we’ll see more actresses and actors from Okinawa. We’re also interested to find out who will be handling the theme song — perhaps Miura Daichi? Kuroshima Yuina will follow in the footsteps of asadora alumni from Okinawa Kuninaka Ryoko (2001’s Churasan) and Higa Manami (2007’s Dondo Hare) both who have gone on to have prosperous careers.
We look forward to hearing more news about Chimudondon and to watching it in 2022.
Yes, it was a very different NHK Kouhaku Uta-Gassen (the 71st) with the ongoing pandemic performances were done without an audience. But for those that are fans of Okinawan pop culture, we can celebrate that popular actress Nikaido Fumi (Naha, Okinawa) was one of the announcers for the annual song battle. She currently starts in NHK’s asadoraYell.
If you’re looking for an amazing anime to binge on before the year ends, look no further than Carole & Tuesday which is streaming on Netflix (US). It has a great story, great music, and a great message. Voice actor Shimabukuro Miyuri (島袋美由利) from Okinawa voices Carole (singing is done by Nai Br.XX) and although she’s only been active since 2017, her filmography is already impressive. We look forward to seeing (rather, hearing) more of her in 2021!
Aya Ueto does it again. She remains—for the last few years—the actress with the most official wallpapers for the many times a company has made her their image girl. This time, she’s the image girl for Lotte’s ice vanilla snack. You’ll have to answer a question (really, they shouldn’t have gone through the trouble) to win the wallpaper. Try your luck here and be sure to check out the CM on the site too.
Actually, two wallpapers featuring Yui Aragaki as the image girl for Meiji’s Almond Choco snack. The website also has CMs and the all-important making of clips starring Yui. Download the wallpapers here.
Cameras are already rolling for the live-action movie adaptation of Yamazaki Mari’s “Thermae Romae” manga, but the main cast has just been revealed. Abe Hiroshi (46) will star, while Ueto Aya (25) will play the female lead.
The manga, which won the Manga Taisho and a Tezuka Osamu Cultural Prize last year, is a comedy about Lucius (Abe), an ancient Roman bath house architect who travels through time to modern Japan and finds inspiration in its bath houses. Ueto will play the part of Mami, a young Japanese woman aiming to become a manga artist. […]