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posticon J-Drama: おんな城主 直虎 (NAOTORA: The Lady Warlord)


UTB is expanding their Sunday night programming to two hours!

Starting April 2, we'll have the 2017 Taiga Naotora airing from 6:00 to 6:55p, and then a contemporary drama airing from 7:00p to 8:00p. Right now, Hanasaki Mai 2 is airing at 7:00p, but Partners 15 will be airing in the contemporary drama 7:00p slot beginning in late May.

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UTB 18.2 Sunday Taiga Drama: NAOTORA: The Lady Warlord

Starts airing Sunday, April 2, 2017

Airs on UTB Channel 18.2 on Sundays from 6:00p to 6:55p
(New timeslot)

With English Subtitles

Summary

UTB (coming soon)

During the Sengoku period, the Ii family governs the Totomi region. Due to many past wars, there are no more male successors left to become a lord. Naotora Ii (Kou Shibasaki), the only daughter of the lord, now becomes a lord. She faces a difficult period. The constant love from her fiance, whom she became engaged with at a young age, helps her to keep moving forward. —AsianWiki

During the Sengoku Period, Ii Naomori, the head of the Ii family of Totomi (present day western Shizuoka), was killed in war. There were no male successors but only one princess. Taking the manly name, Naotora, she became the female lord of the castle in this turbulent age. However, the vassals could not hide their dismay. They did not think there was anything a female could do. At a time when the three major powers – the Imagawa clan of Suruga Province, Takeda clan of Kai Province and Tokugawa clan of Mikawa Province – were lying in wait for territory, her true worth as the lord was called into question. The only things Naotora could depend on in this place which had scarce resources and military might, were her own intellect and courage. She joined hands with comrades to run the province, resolutely survived and laid the foundation for future development. Her motivating force was her single-minded love for her fiance whom she made a promise to in her childhood. —DramaWiki

Drama Information
Number of Episodes: 50
Genre: Taiga drama
Originally aired: January 2017 ~ December 2017 on Channel NHK

Cast

Ii clan
Shibasaki Kou as Ii Naotora
Arai Miu as Otowa / young Naotora
Sugimoto Tetta as Ii Naomori
Zaizen Naomi as Chika
Maeda Gin as Ii Naohira
Ukaji Takashi as Ii Naomitsu
Miura Haruma as Ii Naochika
Fujimoto Kanata as young Naochika
Kanjiya Shihori as Shino
Suda Masaki as Ii Naomasa
Terada Kokoro as young Naomasa
Hanafusa Mari as Sana

Ono Clan
Fukikoshi Mitsuru as Ono Masanao
Takahashi Issei as Ono Masatsugu
Kobayashi Kai (小林颯) as young Masatsugu
Inoue Yoshio as Ono Genba

Okuyama Clan
Denden as Okuyama Tomotoshi
Yamaguchi Sayaka as Natsu
Tanaka Mio as Okuyama Rokuzaemon

Imagawa Clan
Shunputei Shota as Imagawa Yoshimoto
Onoe Matsuya as Imagawa Ujizane
Asaoka Ruriko as Jukeini
Sano Shiro as Taigen Sessai
Kariya Shunsuke as Niino Samanosuke
Yajima Kenichi as Sekiguchi Ujitsune
Mitsuura Yasuko as Ayame
Kimura Yuichi as Iwamatsu

Tokugawa Clan
Abe Sadao as Tokugawa Ieyasu
Nanao as Sena / Tsukiyama-dono

Complete cast information (as well as listing of guest stars and production credits) is available at the DramaWiki website.

Character Correlation Chart
URL

Links
DramaWiki
AsianWiki
NHK Taiga Website (sadly, no English website this time)
UTB

Last edited by Hiroshi66, 3/31/2017, 8:02 am
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merrie Profile
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Re: not a new episode this week?


Last week was episode 1. My converter box messed up when I was taping the program tonight (automatically; I was not home), and only the first 40 minutes got recorded. It seems they repeated last week's episode tonight, but was there anything new tonight that was not on last week?

Thanks to anyone who can help with this.

Last edited by merrie, 4/10/2017, 12:37 am
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Re: J-Drama: おんな城主 直虎 (NAOTORA: The Lady Warlord)


Merrie, I just caught up with watching both Parts 1 and 2 of the first episode today. The first 40 minutes of the second week was a repeat of Part 1, and the new footage was aired during the last 20 minutes or so of Part 2. We'll be seeing Episode 2 tomorrow.

<EPISODE 1> (Parts 1 and 2)

Very enjoyable premiere episode. It's been a while since we've seen a Taiga that hasn't focused either on the Nobunaga/Hideyoshi/Ieyasu trio, or on historical figures who lived during the end of the Tokugawa period/beginning of the Meiji era. It'll be a welcome change to go back to the Warring States Period, which so many Taiga dramas used to focus on.

Though the plot is similar to other Taigas in that it seems to center on a tomboyish heroine who was before her time in wanting to reform/change society (wanting to be the leader of her clan in a very patriarchal society, for example) the different era we're seeing portrayed is making it quite interesting. I know very little about the Ii clan from which Towa hailed from, so it'll be a new story for me, too. For instance, I had no idea that the Ii family had been conquered by the Imagawa clan, who were at the height of their power in the 1540s, during which this drama takes place.

Towa's birth year is unknown, but the Japanese Wikipedia page speculates that she might have been born in 1536 or sometime after that. If that is the case, Towa was at most 8 years old in 1544, which is the year that the events of Episode 1 took place. That means she was only 8 when she was betrothed to her father's (very young) cousin, Kame.

Speaking of which, the family dynamics in the Ii clan are very confusing, so I'll summarize them here. Towa's father is the lord of the Ii clan, Ii Naomori. Naomori's father had passed on, but his paternal uncle (much younger than Naomori's father, presumably) was still alive and this is the uncle who is the father of young Kame, who was engaged to Towa. That's why Towa's father and Kame are first cousins - since their fathers were brothers. The age difference between the cousins makes things confusing, but I guess this was common back in the day.

I suppose we'll see lots of factions and infighting - with some people in the Ii clan kissing up to the Imagawa, and others trying to rebel against their new overlords.

The lush greenery is so beautiful - you can tell they are going to be paying a lot of attention to the scenery when filming this drama. I especially enjoyed the nature as we were listening to Kame playing the flute during the episode.

I enjoyed the friendship between Towa, Kame, and Tsuru. Even though Tsuru's father orchestrated the eventual murder of Kame's father at the hands of the Imagawa, I'm glad that this didn't impact the friendship... yet, anyway. Now that Kame has been forced into hiding, he won't be able to see Tsuru and Towa again for a while. Also, when he grows older and finds out the truth about what happens to his father, he may grow to resent Tsuru upon learning the truth. I hope this inconvenient truth doesn't come back to threaten the friendship of these three once they all grow up.

Will Tsuru's father try to get his son to be betrothed to Towa now that Kame is out of the picture? His family is pro-Imagawa, so the Imagawa overlords may welcome the union. It's sad to see children used as political pawns - something we've seen more often than not in these Taigas.

What a pleasant surprise to see "Master" from Midnight Diner here as the "Reverend." He seems like he'll be a omnipresent character of sorts, always around and participating in the various plots.

We're now in 1544. Great start to this Taiga. Episode 2 airs tomorrow!
4/15/2017, 4:47 pm Link to this post Send Email to Hiroshi66   Send PM to Hiroshi66 AIM
 
Fumichan Profile
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Re: J-Drama: おんな城主 直虎 (NAOTORA: The Lady Warlord)


So hello again emoticon.

I will continue to comment every now and then on this Taiga Drama to elaborate. I am quiet far having watched Episode 15 however I will post regarding the episodes discussed here.

It is way more decent and closer to history than Sanadamaru. On Sanadamaru I will still post a big insight article.

It's good to see a Sengoku drama way before Sekigahara and Osaka. The last one was Fuurin Kazan which along with Kanbee and Kiyomori was one of the few decent Taiga in the last years.

I researched and do know quiet a lot about the Ii clan. The depiction in the Taiga is ok though some comments can be posted.

The children casting in Naotora is very good. The have chosen some of the children due to their close resemblence to the adult performers.

Last edited by Fumichan, 4/16/2017, 10:01 am
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Re: J-Drama: おんな城主 直虎 (NAOTORA: The Lady Warlord)


Thank you for your comments, Fumichan.

Yes, despite only having watched Episode 1 so far here on Channel UTB, I am already pleased with this Taiga. What makes it most exciting for me is that I don't know very much about the historical figures depicted in this drama, even Imagawa Yoshimoto. So, it's pretty much unchartered territory for me. With other Taigas, I already know how things are going to pan out since we've seen the same story so many times, but with this time, I will genuinely be surprised!

Looking forward to it. emoticon
4/16/2017, 10:01 am Link to this post Send Email to Hiroshi66   Send PM to Hiroshi66 AIM
 
merrie Profile
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Re: re: missing second part of first episode


Thanks for letting me know that the last 20 minutes was the part that had been unaired. I think I am not supposed to talk about this, but I did find a place on line to catch up with that episode.

Last edited by merrie, 4/17/2017, 8:13 am
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Re: J-Drama: おんな城主 直虎 (NAOTORA: The Lady Warlord)


<EPISODE 2>

Great episode! I am really enjoying this Taiga so far. Maybe it's because of the time period that is being covered, but it reminds me a bit of the Taiga dramas of old. The child actors they have chosen to portray Towa, Kame, and Tsuru are excellent! It's already been two episodes, but the casting choices are so well done that it doesn't feel like we've seen two episodes starring kids. I think all three will mature into great actors in their own right.

We see a perfect example of how children were used as political pawns, without any regard for their feelings. Not only did Towa have to deal with the loss of her best friend Kame and the death of her great-uncle, but now she has been ordered to marry her other friend, Tsuru. I don't think Towa feels negatively about Tsuru in any way - but nobody has considered the feelings of a little girl and what she may be feeling about this situation. The adults could care less about what the children are feeling.

I feel more sorry for Tsuru. He knows that his father was to blame for the Uncle Naomitsu's arrest/execution, and ultimately for Kame's current plight. At the same time, I think he has feelings for Towa and wouldn't mind marrying her, but is holding back in respect for her and also for his friend, Kame. I wouldn't want to be Tsuru right now, and I don't blame him for keeping his distance from his father.

The father is trying to control the Ii family from behind the scenes, and I think he has figured that the Imagawa might keep him around even if they were to crush the Ii at some point. I felt bad for Tsuru when his father told him that even if he refused to marry Towa, he was easily replaceable - the father would simply ask Tsuru's younger brother to marry Towa instead.

One complaint I have with this Taiga is the "over-acting." An example of this was at the very end, when Towa's father discovered his daughter cutting her hair, presumably so she can join a Buddhist convent and become a nun - thus getting out of the marriage to Tsuru. The father looked ridiculous opening his mouth and screaming, as if he had just seen a ghost. It's the usual dramanga effect - with J-drama writers trying to make their characters act like anime characters. I just can't get into this, and I feel like it cheapens J-drama. If we want to watch anime, we'll watch anime - this is a drama and I feel like they need to adjust the acting to a certain standard. Maybe the audience likes it, though, who knows.

Towa, Tsuru, and Kame are all mature for their age and I am interested to see what kind of people they will grow up into. I like that we are being given a lot of character development about these historical figures as children, as it will make things more interesting as we watch their stories develop in the future.

We're still in 1544. Episode 3 airs on Sunday! Great Taiga thus far.
4/22/2017, 10:36 am Link to this post Send Email to Hiroshi66   Send PM to Hiroshi66 AIM
 
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Re: J-Drama: おんな城主 直虎 (NAOTORA: The Lady Warlord)


<EPISODE 3>

I love this Taiga! I realized that I really have no idea about what happened to the historical figures who are being portrayed, and the time period we see here is usually lumped into the "Warring States Period" frequently overshadowed by the controversies of the Nobunaga/Hideyoshi/Ieyasu epoch that occurred a few decades later. So, I can enjoy the events of this drama without knowing how it will all end up. I am going to resist reading about these people so that I can be pleasantly surprised!

This also feels like the longest we have gone in a drama with the hero/heroine still being portrayed by the child actor. Usually, we're done with the "childhood" story arc by the end of Episode 2 or 3. According to the previews, the child actress who plays Towa will be appearing for most of Episode 4, and for good reason! I think the young actress' portrayal of Towa has been my favorite performance by a child actress in a Taiga so far. She definitely has a bright future ahead of her and can carry the entire Taiga practically by herself! She's almost as good as the Oshin child actress who is in a league of her own.

We're being introduced to the Imagawa family, such as Yoshimoto himself, and his mother, Lady Jukei-ni. I love how Imagawa Yoshimoto is being portrayed as a sort of larger than life tyrant who never opens his mouth in public, in order to appear as semi-legendary or almost like a god-like figure. Then again, I think Imagawa's vassals and subordinates saw him as a larger-than-life figure, since he commanded such power in those times. We also met Yoshimoto's son who was defeated in the ball game by Towa. What a big baby who refused to admit defeat! I'm glad his grandmother was on Towa's side and convinced him to give her the reward he had promised.

Speaking of the Imagawa, I have heard that they were unusual in that they were half-courtier, half-samurai. They did not live in Kyoto and were warriors but behaved like aristocrats - not only in the way they dressed, but also in their hobbies and the ways they carried themselves. I guess that's why many Kyoto courtiers preferred living in Sunpu as opposed to the violent capital, destroyed after years of warfare.

The Reverend, played by our "Master" from Midnight Diner, seems to have an interesting background all on his own. His relationship with his sister, who was taken from the Ii as a hostage years ago by the Imagawa and later became Yoshimoto's concubine for a short time, seems to be a troubled one. I think she feels abandoned by the Ii and was annoyed that they were doing so much to help Towa - though they presumably didn't do as much for her when she first became a hostage. I suspect there is still hope for a reconciliation between Reverend and his sister.

Glad Towa is back home safely! Let's see how things pan out.

We're still in 1544 or 1545. Episode 4 airs Sunday!
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Re: J-Drama: おんな城主 直虎 (NAOTORA: The Lady Warlord)


<EPISODE 4>

Finally catching up with the Taiga. I think this has been the longest introduction to the story we've seen in Taigas so far. Usually, the child actors appear for 1-2 episodes and we move on to the "meat and potatoes" and the main story. However, it wasn't until the last 20 seconds of the fourth episode where we are finally introduced to the actress who will portray Otowa as an adult for the remainder of the Taiga, presumably.

Not that I'm complaining, though! All 3 child actors (who portrayed Otowa, Tsuru, and Kame) did a superb job and I think they will develop into excellent actors in their own right as they grow. Otowa in particular did an outstanding job. The first few episodes of a Taiga can sometimes be boring since they just feature the characters as children, but all four episodes have been riveting and well-done.

What a transition it was for poor Otowa to go from being the princess of the Ii clan to working hard as a child nun in the temple. I found it entertaining that the Reverend pretended to not know her at the beginning - after all, she was technically no longer a princess and was working for the Reverend as a young disciple who needed to be trained and disciplined! He was looking out for her behind the scenes, though.

I'm glad that Otowa eventually adjusted to her new life as a nun and realized that it was for the good of her province and for her clan. It's quite a lofty responsibility for a 10-year old, but Otowa is mature beyond her years and adjusted rather quickly to her new responsibility.

Very smart of Otowa's father not to heed his grandfather's advice and jump on the "Let's assassinate Ono <Tsuru's father>" bandwagon. By interjecting on Ono's behalf and saving his life, Lord Ii (Otowa's father) now has made Ono indebted to him (partially, at least) and will be in a position where Ono will have to repay this favor. His first move was pressuring Ono to only take half of Kame's late father's lands and leave the other half to the Ii family. I suspect Ono will continue to be in check - if he ever tries to force his authority on Lord Ii or anyone else in the family, all Lord Ii has to do is remind him of the fact that he saved his life!

I thought Lord Ii was meek and spineless, and while he isn't exactly the toughest he could be, I think he is very wise and did the right thing! Instead of being involved in assassinating Ono and getting Lord Imagawa angry again, he very smoothly got Ono into the subordinate position by saving his life! Ono will have to return the favor now.

We're now in 1554, and I look forward to Episode 5, where we will see all the characters grown up!
5/20/2017, 11:56 am Link to this post Send Email to Hiroshi66   Send PM to Hiroshi66 AIM
 
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Re: J-Drama: おんな城主 直虎 (NAOTORA: The Lady Warlord)


<EPISODE 5>

Well, the child actors have finally been replaced by the adult actors who will portray them for the rest of the series, presumably. Fumichan, was right - the actors they chose do resemble the child actors, indeed. The one who shows the most resemblance is Tsuru! He looks like the actor who played his father, Ono, too.

Speaking of Ono, I was surprised that his character passed away so early on. He was quite the villain and, as we saw, a master manipulator and liar! I don't think anyone really knew what was going on inside of Ono's mind. He claimed that everything he did against the Ii was for their own sake, so that the Imagawa wouldn't enforce stricter measures against the Ii. At the same time, as we saw, Ono did enjoy controlling the Ii, so who knows what he really felt.

Now that Ono has died and his son has succeeded him as councillor, I suspect things will change a lot between the Ii and the Imagawa. The Ii won't have to feel like they are being spied on all the time by the Ono, but then again, the Imagawa have bigger fish to fry now that they have allied themselves with the Hojo and the Takeda, so perhaps they would have left the Ii alone regardless.

It just dawned on me that the Reverend is Otowa's great-uncle! He is the paternal uncle of Otowa's father and also Kame, who are first cousins. The family relationships in the Ii family are a bit confusing so it took me a while to come to that realization. LOL!

We're being introduced to a very young Tokugawa Ieyasu, who was a hostage of the Imagawa at this time. How interesting to see this less examined time period of Ieyasu's life.

I'm interested to find out how the relationship between Otowa and Kame will develop. Will she leave the temple and be Kame's wife? He seems to be very open to that idea, and now that the Imagawa probably don't care so much about what happens to Otowa, it could very well happen. I just don't know if Otowa will allow herself to do that after spending almost 10 years at the temple, though.

Excellent Taiga so far. We're still in 1554. Episode 6 is next!
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