The first time I visited Japan I was surprised at the amount of advertising in public places. One thing I noticed was the availability of information about the Taiga dramas in the train stations. When we went to Shikoku I had expected to see flyers about "Go: Himetachi no Sengoku," but there weren't any. What I did see was a poster of two handsome men - one of them Abe Hiroshi. I could not read the text, so my daughter translated: "Cloud(s) Above the Slope." Throughout our time in Japan we saw many more posters for this drama. What could it be about?
Recently, Amanda and I were watching the newest Taiga drama "Taira no Kiyomori" and during a commercial break we saw a promo for a new show which would shortly begin airing. Suddenly I realized I recognized these actors from the posters we saw in Matsuyama. "It's that show!" I exclaimed. "Clouds Above the Slope!" We watched the first episode and learned that the story starts in the city of Matsuyama, where we had traveled, and we were drawn into this intriguing drama.
I think Japan is amazing because the networks broadcast these historical dramas. It makes one realize that the past is real, and I think it fosters respect for the people who have gone before us. In the US it is rare to see a historical dramatization on network television that is longer than three episodes. I have never forgotten the television miniseries about George Washington and how the actor Barry Bostwick made the first President seem like a fellow human being, albeit a remarkable one.