NHK’s 103rd TV serial, “Ochoyan,” started on November 30, 2020, and will finally end tomorrow, May 14, 2021. 115 episodes will be broadcast, although the 15th is a summary of the week.
Due to the Covid-19 disaster, the previous episode of “Yale” had to be suspended, so it started about two months later than originally planned.
Week 1, Uchiwa, Kawasoyanai(I am not sad), (subtitle), 17.8% (average weekly rating.
The second week, Dotonbori, a great place, 18.2%.
Third week, What do we want to do, 18.2%.
4th week, Nowhere to go, 18.0%.
Week 5, I’ll become an actress, 17.5%
Week 6, Let’s continue the fun adventure! , 17.9%
Week 7, I’m glad I like you, 18.0%
Week 8, You don’t know anything about me! , 17.6%
Week 9, I swear I’ll make you laugh, 17.8%
Week 10, You can’t quit acting! 17.4%
Week 11, Parents want their children to be happy, right? 17.6%.
Week 12, I’m your only brother, 17.4%.
Week 13, I’m not alone, 18.1%.
Week 14, Brotherly quarrel, 16.9%.
Week 15, I want to be happy, 16.9%.
Week 16, Call me as “Mom”, 16.8%
Week 17, The family drama we wanted to protect, 16.6%
Week 18, Let’s start our original story, 16.5%
Week 19, It’s called Tsurukame Shingekiya, 15.9%.
Week 20, Why isn’t it me? 16.3%
21st week, My name is Chiyo Takei, 17.7
Week 22, My precious family, 17.0%.
Week 23, It’s another beautiful day, ?
Ochoyan – Wikipedia
Looking back at all 23 weeks, I can remember what happened in each episode. It is a comedy about an actress, Chieko Naniwa, who lived in poverty in Osaka before and after World War II, and how she valiantly pursued her career as an actress.
As I mentioned above, the low viewership ratings made it a perfect prey for the media, since NHK’s morning dramas usually get over 20%. The ratings have never exceeded 20% so far. However, the drama is extremely high in terms of perfection. The script was written by Hiroyuki Yatsu, who also wrote “Hanzawa Naoki,” “Shitamachi Rocket” and the movie “Laplace’s Witch”. Yatsu himself is a native of Tochigi Prefecture, and his clever dialogue is crisp and well-paced.
The dialogue could probably only have been delivered in Osaka dialect. The role of Chiyo Takei was played by Hana Sugisaki, who never forgot her cheerfulness despite her hardships. You can see that people are gathering around her. The reason for the lack of viewership seems to be that many people could not follow these lines or Ochoyan’s circumstances.
They probably couldn’t follow a play that tried to laugh at the dark days of pre-war and post-war Japan through comedy and in the Osaka dialect. In other words, people who perceived that Japan had not fallen that far could not see it.
Shakespeare’s plays are ones that can be seen from the beggar to the queen. It is not a highbrow play. I even feel that Japanese people have not yet been able to feel the beauty of true comedy.
I can’t wait for tomorrow’s final episode, and I also feel sad. However, I think I will never forget the beauty of this comedy. No matter what kind of adversity you are facing, a drama that bounces back and forth with laughter like a stream of water will always be an unchanging drama that can survive in any age.
I’m also very interested in Chieko Naniwa. I vaguely remember the commercial for “Oronaine Ointment. Her real name is “Kikuno Minamiguchi”. I heard that she was chosen because her name sounded like “Ointment works. It’s an interesting episode.
Minamiguchi is pronounced minamiguti and nankou.
The meaning of nankou is ointment. It’s a Japanese pun.
As a fan of the show, I can only hope that tomorrow’s final episode will have a viewer rating of over 20%.