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Renzoku Terebi Shōsetsu (連続テレビ小説?, "serial TV novel") also known as Asadora (朝ドラ?, "Morning Drama") is a serialized television series broadcast in the mornings by Japanese broadcaster NHK. The asadora started in 1961 with the black-and-white Musume to Watashi (娘と私?), starring Takeshi Kitazawa. Today, works in the first half of the year are produced by the NHK Tokyo Broadcasting station and works in the second half of the year are produced by the NHK Osaka Broadcasting station.
Asadora currently airs in Japan Monday through Saturday morning on NHK General TV from 8:00 to 8:15, with a rebroadcast the same day from 12:45 to 13:00. The asadora have become some of the most popular shows on Japanese television, with series such as Oshin, earning an overall 52.6-percent ratings for the series.
Virtually all of the storylines center on the life of a female heroine who faces challenges while working to achieve her dreams. The heroine is chosen by NHK through an audition that involves interviews with several thousand applicants. The winning actress not only stars in an asadora, but also becomes a spokeswoman for NHK, and is usually involved in NHK-sponsored events - including the annual Kōhaku Uta Gassen New Year's Eve event. Often, the asadora serves as a springboard for the actress to bigger and better opportunities within the Japanese entertainment industry.
The current series is Gochisōsan (2013).
|6||Ohanahan (おはなはん?)||1966||1967||Starring Fumie Kashiyama|
|11||Mayuko hitori (繭子ひとり?)||1971||1972||Starring Karin Yamaguchi. Second highest rated Asadora with an average rating of 47.4%.|
|12||Ai yori aoku (藍より青く?)||1972||1973||Starring Hiroko Maki. Screenplay by Taiichi Yamada. Third highest rated Asadora at 47.3%.|
|15||Mizuiro no toki (水色の時?)||1975||1975||Starring Shinobu Otake. The first six-month Asadora. About a young woman aiming to become a doctor. Average rating of 40.1%.|
|31||Oshin (おしん?)||1983||1984||Starring Ayako Kobayashi, Yūko Tanaka, and Nobuko Otowa – Oshin's perseverance pulls her through various challenges during her life. Episode on November 12, 1983 is the highest rated in Japanese television drama history, with 62.9 percent.|
|34||Miotsukushi (澪つくし?)||1985||1985||Starring Yasuko Sawaguchi. Average rating of 44.3%.|
|35||Ichiban-daiko (いちばん太鼓?)||1985||1986||Starring Shin'ichirō Okano. About a man who enters the world of popular theatre.|
|36||Hanekonma (はね駒?)||1986||1986||Starring Yuki Saito. Average rating of 41.7%.|
|37||Miyako no kaze (都の風?)||1986||1987||Starring Miyuki Kanō. A woman from Kyoto moves to Nara and runs a ryokan and then enters the fashion industry.|
|38||Chotchan (チョッちゃん?)||1987||1987||Starring Hiro Komura. Based on the autobiography of Tetsuko Kuroyanagi's mother.|
|39||Hassai Sensei (はっさい先生?)||1987||1988||Starring Mayumi Wakamura. About a woman from Tokyo who goes to teach at an all-boys school.|
|40||Non-chan no yume (ノンちゃんの夢?)||1988||1988||Starring Tomoko Fujita. About a woman who struggles to survive after World War II and starts a magazine. Average rating of 39.1%.|
|41||Jun-chan no ōenka (純ちゃんの応援歌?)||1988||1989||Starring Tomoko Yamaguchi in her acting debut. Average rating of 38.6%.|
|42||Seishun kazoku (青春家族?)||1989||1989||Stars Misa Shimizu and Ayumi Ishida. Average rating of 37.8%.|
|43||Wakko no kin medaru (和っこの金メダル?)||1989||1990||About a female volleyball player who helps out the local community. Starring Azusa Watanabe.|
|44||Rinrin to (凛凛と?)||1990||1990||About a man who developed an early television system. Starring Minoru Tanaka.|
|45||Kyō, futari (京、ふたり?)||1990||1991||Set in an old Kyoto tsukemono store, this series depicted the conflicts between a woman, her daughter and her father-in-law.|
|46||Kimi no na wa (君の名は?)||1991||1992||The first year-long series since Oshin. Starred Kyoka Suzuki, but ended up being the first Asadora with an average rating under 30%.|
|47||Onna wa dokyō (おんなは度胸?)||1992||1992||Chronicles the conflicts between a woman and her step-daughter in a hot springs town. Starring Pinko Izumi and Sachiko Sakurai.|
|48||Hirari (ひらり?)||1992||1993||Starring Hikari Ishida. Screenplay by Makiko Uchidate, who is a member of the Japan Sumo Association, and is involved in sumo matters, such as advancing rikishi to the rank of Yokozuna. The storyline evolves around sumo - as the heroine become a nutritionist and works within the sumo system. Average rating of 36.9%.|
|49||Ee Nyobo (ええにょぼ?)||1993||1993||A woman works hard to become a good doctor even though she is separated from her husband. Starring Naho Toda.|
|50||Karin (かりん?)||1993||1994||A young woman, whose family runs an old miso company in Nagano Prefecture, lives through the hardships of postwar Japan. Starring Naomi Hosokawa. Last Asadora to top 30% in ratings.|
|51||Piano (ぴあの?)||1994||1994||About the youngest of four sisters, all raised solely by their father, who wants to write children's books. Starring Risa Junna.|
|52||Haru yo, koi (春よ、来い?)||1994||1995||A successful screenwriter looks back on her life when she learns her husband has cancer. A year-long series, starring Narumi Yasuda.|
|53||Hashiran ka! (走らんか!?)||1995||1996||Set in Hakata, the series is about a young man who wants to play rock music even though his father expects him to follow him in making Hakata ningyō. One of the few Asadora starring a male character.|
|54||Himawari (ひまわり?)||1996||1996||About a woman, played by Nanako Matsushima, striving to become a lawyer.|
|55||Futarikko (ふたりっこ?)||1996||1997||About a female professional shogi player and her twin sister. Starring Hiromi Iwasaki and Maiko Kikuchi, with Kana Mikura and Mana Mikura (ManaKana) playing them as children. Average rating of 29.0%|
|56||Aguri (あぐり?)||1997||1997||Based on the life of the beauty stylist Aguri Yoshiyuki, who married the novelist Eisuke Yoshiyuki and became the mother of the novelist Junnosuke Yoshiyuki and the actress Kazuko Yoshiyuki. Starring Misato Tanaka and Mansai Nomura.|
|57||Amakarashan (甘辛しゃん?)||1997||1998||About a young woman who hopes to become a sake brewer. Starring Yumiko Sato.|
|58||Ten Urara (天うらら?)||1998||1998||About a young woman training to be a carpenter who, through her own family situation, learns about the need for a barrier-free world. Starring Risa Sudo.|
|59||Yanchakure (やんちゃくれ?)||1998||1999||About a young woman in Osaka who helps resurrect a shipbuilding company. Starring Miho Konishi.|
|60||Suzuran (すずらん?)||1999||1999||Follows the life of a woman, raised in a coal town in Hokkaido by a father who worked on the railroad, from the 1920s to the 1930s. Starring Nagiko Tōno and Chieko Baisho.|
|61||Asuka (あすか?)||1999||2000||Asuka learns to become a wagashi maker, even though wagashi is a heavily male-dominated field. Starring Yūko Takeuchi.|
|62||Watashi no aozora (私の青空?)||2000||2000||About a young woman whose fiancé leaves her, pregnant, at the altar. With her son, she leaves for Tsukiji to make it on her own. Starring Tomoko Tabata.|
|63||Ōdorī (Audrey オードリー?)||2000||2001||About a young woman involved in the Japanese film industry in Kyoto. Starring Aya Okamoto.|
|64||Churasan (ちゅらさん?)||2001||2001||The first Asadora set in Okinawa. Starring Ryōko Kuninaka.|
|65||Honmamon (ほんまもん?)||2001||2002||About a young woman striving to become a chef in Wakayama Prefecture. Starring Chizuru Ikewaki.|
|66||Sakura (さくら?)||2002||2002||Sakura Matsushita is a third-generation Japanese-American, living in Honolulu, Hawaii. Her dream is to become an ESL teacher in Japan, and moves there to achieve her dream.|
|67||Manten (まんてん?)||2002||2003||Starring Mao Miyaji. About a woman who studies to be a meteorologist.|
|68||Kokoro (こころ?)||2003||2003||Starring Noriko Nakagoshi. Set in Asakusa, Tokyo.|
|69||Teruteru Kazoku (てるてる家族?)||2003||2004||Starring Satomi Ishihara and based on a novel by Rei Nakanishi. First Asadora to average under 20% in ratings.|
|70||Tenka (天花?)||2004||2004||Starring Ema Fujisawa as a young woman from Sendai, Miyagi|
|71||Wakaba (わかば?)||2004||2005||Starring Natsuki Harada as a young woman who becomes a landscaper|
|72||Fight (ファイト?)||2005||2005||Yuika Motokariya stars as 15-year old Kido Yū, living with her family in Takasaki, Gunma Prefecture. Yū faces tough times, and relies on the friendship of a horse to keep her spirits up.|
|73||Kaze no Haruka (風のハルカ?)||2005||2006||Starring Eri Murakawa. Takes place in Yufuin, Ōita Prefecture. Haruka's goal is to become a travel agent, and moves to Osaka, leaving her father and sister behind, to achieve her dream.|
|74||Junjō Kirari (純情きらり?)||2006||2006||Starring Aoi Miyazaki. Sakurako's dream is to become a jazz pianist. Events take place in Okazaki, Aichi Prefecture.|
|75||Imo Tako Nankin (芋たこなんきん?)||2006||2007||Based on a true story, Naomi Fujiyama plays the heroine role of Machiko Hanaoka - a 37-year old woman who dreams of becoming a novelist. She marries into an extended family. Events take place in the city of Osaka.|
|76||Dondo Hare (どんど晴れ?)||2007||2007||Stars Manami Higa. Screenplay by Eriko Komatsu. Natsumi marries an heir of a high class ryokan, located in Morioka, Iwate Prefecture. She then becomes the ryokan's okami or manager.|
|77||Chiritotechin (ちりとてちん?)||2007||2008||Starring Shihori Kanjiya. The storyline focuses on the art of rakugo. Kiyomi's dream is to become a rakugoka, despite rakugo being a male-dominated field.|
|78||Hitomi (瞳?)||2008||2008||Starring Nana Eikura. Hitomi's dream is to become a dancer of modern music.|
|79||Dandan (だんだん?)||2008||2009||Starring identical twins Mana and Kana Mikura (of Futarikko fame.) Finding each years after being separated as children, together they work at reaching their dreams as signers.|
|80||Tsubasa (つばさ?)||2009||2009||Starring Mikako Tabe as Tsubasa who works at a local radio station, and eventually becomes a disc jockey.|
|81||Wel-kame (ウェルかめ?)||2009||2010||About a girl from Minami-cho, Tokushima who, inspired by seeing a sea turtle when she was six, strives to become a magazine editor. Lowest rated Asadora at 13.5%.|
|82||Gegege no Nyobo (ゲゲゲの女房?)||2010||2010||Starring Nao Matsushita. Fumie is the wife of manga artist Shigeru Mizuki. The screen play and based on her rags to riches biography.|
|83||Teppan (てっぱん?)||2010||2011||Starring Miori Takimoto and Sumiko Fuji. Akari's natural mother is originally from Osaka. She moves to Osaka to live with her grandmother to learn more about her mother. She learns that her grandmother closed the okonomiyaki restaurant after Akari's teenage mother ran away. Akari then re-opens the restaurant.|
|84||Ohisama (おひさま?)||2011||2011||Starring Mao Inoue. Yoko, the heroine's name, means "child of the sun," thus the title of the series Ohisama, which also meaning sun. Yoko's dream is to become a school teacher. But, she also experiences tough times during the Pacific War.|
|85||Carnation (カーネーション?)||2011||2012||Starring Machiko Ono. Based on the life of fashion designer Ayako Koshino. Her three daughters would eventually all become fashion designers.|
|86||Umechan Sensei (梅ちゃん先生?)||2012||2012||Starring Maki Horikita, who plays a young woman striving to become a physician in post-World War II Tokyo.|
|87||Jun to Ai (純と愛?)||2012||2013||Starring Natsuna Watanabe as a young woman who wants to start her ideal hotel. Set in Osaka and Miyakojima.|
|88||Amachan (あまちゃん?)||2013||2013||Starring Rena Nōnen as a young woman who becomes an ama and then an idol before returning to Tohoku to help revive the area after the earthquake.|
|89||Gochisōsan (ごちそうさん?)||2013||2014||Starring Anne Watanabe as a young woman trying to learn how to cook Japanese cuisine during the Taisho and Shōwa periods|
|90||Hanako to Anne (花子とアン?)||2014||2014||Starring Yuriko Yoshitaka as Hanako Muraoka, the woman who first translated Anne of Green Gables into Japanese|
|91||Massan (マッサン?)||2014||Starring Charlotte Kate Fox as Ellie Kameyama, wife of Masaharu Kameyama, portrayed by Tetsuji Tamayama, a man who brings whisky to Japan. It is based on the life of Rita Cowen, a Scotswoman who married the Japanese man Masataka Taketsuru, the father of Japan's whisky industry. The title comes from Cowen's nickname for Taketsuru.|
- ↑ Men and Women of Character. 50 Years of NHK Television. NHK. Retrieved on 8 October 2011.
- ↑ 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 NHK asa no renzoku terebi shōsetsu. Bideo Risāchi. Retrieved on 4 May 2012.
- ↑ 視聴率ハンドブック - ビデオリサーチ
- ↑ NHK Information - Comment from the Top. Japan Broadcasting Corporation. Accessed April 3, 2008.
- ↑ NHK Information - Comment from the Top: Summary of Press Conference (October, 2007). Japan Broadcasting Corporation. Accessed April 3, 2008,
- ↑ 朝ドラ史上初 外国人ヒロイン…国籍問わず/芸能速報/デイリースポーツ online. Daily.co.jp (2013-11-18). Retrieved on 2014-04-05.
- ↑ ＮＨＫ朝ドラのヒロインに初の外国人 - 芸能社会 - SANSPO.COM（サンスポ）. Sanspo.com (2014-03-04). Retrieved on 2014-03-20.
- ↑ ＮＨＫテレビ小説で史上初外国人ヒロイン - 芸能ニュース. nikkansports.com (2014-03-04). Retrieved on 2014-03-20.