Just got the news that yes, Ryoma-Den is airing in HK, in spring. But when, where, what time? Don't know.
UPDATES - 29.11.2010
Oh my! I didn't even notice! Ryoma-Den already airing in Taiwan right? Anyone from Taiwan? Is it dubbed or subtitled?
UPDATES - 16.10.2010
i-CABLE posted a video of the interview or press conference which was conducted in Japanese but the narration was in Chinese. Basically it was a rundown on how Masha changed physically to suit the role of Ryoma as well as his long hair meant for the role. The media did introduced him as "Fukuyama Masaharu, the stylish handsome Japanese" went on further to say that Masha felt the most difficult part for the role is the fact that he had to play a teenager at the start of the role. I think all fans would know all that. Also mentioned the posted news in here as to which country is confirmed to broadcast the series whilst HK is still under negotiations. Interesting is, apart from that the narrator said and I quote literally "Fukuyama Masaharu is very eager to expand his musical career outside of Japan and wishes to fly to HK to perform if he could without much delay if he has the chance". Well just wishes but I have a feeling HK may be the first stop in the Asia Tour 2011, if there is one. He didn't say there is such a tour or HK is the first stop but he is looking towards a possibility. Anyway view the video here. For a full translation of what was presented in that video (including parts that were not included), go to the bottom of this post after Read More link.
Further to this news previously blogged about here, the following is the English translated news from Tokyohive on the same news which in turn was translated from Oricon where I took the pictures and which was posted today, 14.10.2010;
“Ryoma-den” set to air in Taiwan, Korea, Thailand
NHK Enterprises announced the international broadcast of the Taiga drama “Ryoma-den” at a press conference in Tokyo earlier today. The drama is currently set to air in Taiwan, Korea, and Thailand, with negotiations in China, Hong Kong, and Vietnam as well.
Fukuyama Masaharu (41), who portrays the drama’s main character, Sakamoto Ryoma, was there to address media affiliates from each country. “This is a story that crosses borders,” Fukuyama stated. “I hope you enjoy it.“ Fukuyama also expressed his wish to expand his work in the music industry and to perform concerts throughout Asia.
“Ryoma-den” is Fukuyama’s first Taiga drama. Shooting began in October 5th of last year, and only just finished earlier this month. “It’s neither a success story nor a hero’s tale, but rather a coming of age drama,” Fukuyama said at the press conference. “It’s the story of a young nobody growing to influence the whole country, but it incorporates his failures and setbacks as well as farewells and bitterness. It shows the bittersweet side of things.”
“From the beginning, Fukuyama gave a soulful performance and we struggled to keep up,” said producer Suzuki Kei. “I pray that this feeling will reach our audiences abroad as well.”
NHK VP Amagi Yukihiko also attended the conference, stating, “It is extremely rare that a drama begin foreign broadcasting before it finishes broadcasting in Japan. This shows our high aspirations for this drama.”
“Ryoma-den” began broadcasting January 3rd, 2010 with viewer ratings at 23.2%. The drama’s average high rating to date is 24.4% (Video Research, Ltd. ※Kanto Region), and it was rated as the most popular drama for the first half of the year in Japan.
“Ryoma-den” will air in Taiwan beginning on November 15th, every Monday~Friday from 10pm; in Korea starting next January (time and days TBA); and in Thailand starting next February on Thursdays and Fridays from 8:20pm.
PICTURES AT THE PRESS CONFERENCE
Japan to export hit samurai drama [Source]
TOKYO — Japan will soon export its popular samurai TV drama series "Ryomaden" to its Asian neighbours, public broadcaster NHK and the show's heart-throb star Masaharu Fukuyama said Thursday.
"Ryomaden" (Legend of Ryoma) is a year-long weekly drama series about Sakamoto Ryoma (1836-1867), the warrior behind the revolution that ended the country's period of feudal isolation in the 19th century.NHK said the drama will start showing in Taiwan in November and in South Korea and Thailand from early next year, while mainland China, Hong Kong and Vietnam are also planning to air it soon.
The show has been a huge hit in Japan and has sparked a popular craze about Ryoma, whose picture has since graced countless magazine covers and advertising posters for a range of products.
"Sakamoto Ryoma is one of the most famous figures in the history of Japan, whom many Japanese people still admire very much," Fukuyama said about his role at a Tokyo press conference.
"I think the drama will earn many people's sympathy overseas as it shows how dedicated he was to move on despite many losses and failures in life."
Sakamoto is revered for helping Japan avert a major civil war while under foreign pressure in the mid-1800s by forcing the military rulers of the Tokugawa Shogunate to return political power to the emperor.
This paved the way for the Meiji government that modernised Japan after Japan's 265 years of isolation from the outside world during the Edo era.
‘Ryomaden’ Brings Japan Together [Source]
WASHINGTON (Politically Illustrated) – Japan will soon export its popular television drama "Ryomaden" (Legend of Ryoma), a show about samurais, to bordering nations in Asia.
The popular Japanese show tells a story of Sakamoto Ryoma, who is a warrior responsible for ending the country’s period of feudal isolation in the 19th century.
“Everyone was talking about ‘Ryomaden’ when I visited Japan over the summer,” Doug Anzu, an entertainment blogger from Seattle, Washington, told Politically Illustrated. “His image was plastered on billboards, magazines and in shopping centers.”
Taiwan, South Korea, Thailand, China, Hong Kong and Vietnam will be among the countries to receive the show.“‘Ryomaden’ created buzz for Sakamoto,” Mr. Anzu told Politically Illustrated. “People relate to his image during a moment of uncertainty in Japan ... The current government in Japan is divided. Sakamoto’s image is bringing it together.”
Sakamoto averted a major civil war by forcing military rulers to return power to the emperor, which paved way for the Meiji government that modernized Japan.
C1 Headlines - Fukuyama Masaharu attended a news conference promoting his new drama. He hopes the recent issues in the China-Japan relationship will ease up soon.
MC1: Fukuyama Masaharu mentioned recently that he was worried he might not have enough fans. That's because his new drama will be shown in Taiwan and he wasn't sure if he should go to Taiwan, in case no-one turned up at the airport.
MC2: No! That couldn't happen! Fukuyama Masaharu is so popular. But if he's still worried, he can always come to Hong Kong!
Japan's most charming Fukuyama Masaharu has kept his long-hair image for over a year. All in order to keep to the image required for his role in the recent period drama Ryomaden. The series has taken a year to film and has been on air for a year as well. They wrapped up a few days ago, and has attracted TV stations from all over Asia to purchase their broadcasting rights. In order to play the historical figure Sakamoto Ryoma, Fukuyama Masaharu had to keep his hair long, work out and undergo action training. But according to Fukuyama, the greatest challenge was for the 40+ year old to play a teenager.
F: In episodes 1 and 2 of Ryomaden, my character was still a teenager. I'm 41 years old now. To play someone in his teens, is a bit difficult. Well, I couldn't change my look, so the only thing was to try and put myself into the mind of a teenager.
This histroical drama will be broadcast in Taiwan, Korea and Thailand. Even though the Hong Hong broadcast is still under negotiations, Fukuyama said he wishes he could come over to Hong Kong at once and he'd like to expand work outside of Japan.
CEN: Please come to Hong Kong again!F: Yes, I'd love to. I want to get going right now.....I'd like to engage in music activities overseas too.
Ryomaden may be broadcast in China as well. Despite issues in the China-Japan relationship, Fukuyama Masaharu hopes for more interaction in the entertainment industries in both countries.
F: For us working in the entertainment business, we'll leave political matters in the hands of the leaders we elected. To be able to make connections with different entertainment cultures, is our mission and wish (as artists). Hopefully with Ryomaden, we will have more chances to present our music and entertainment from Japan to the Chinese audience and raise their interest. At the same time, we can get to understand the fascinating and brilliant aspects of Chinese entertainment as well.
MC1: Fukuyama Masaharu has not changed at all through the years, other than the length of his hair. He still has the same handsome, gentlemanly image of Chinii-chan in "Hitotsu Yane no Shita" years ago. Many a young man and woman was attracted to his image in those days. (To his partner) I guess you were one of them too?
MC2: Yes, I was indeed a young girl then and I was indeed a great fan of Chinii-chan! But I feel that people with real strength and substance will never be old. Like Fukuyama Masaharu's drama "Galileo" earlier, it was so popular that even Raymond Lam in Hong Kong had to copy it. (MC1: Yup!) Fukuyama Masaharu has also indicated that he would like to hold his first Asian Tour next year and he'll have a chance to meet his fans in Hong Kong then.