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Thursday, April 06, 2017

Completion screening event of TV Tokyo drama SP "Hagoku"

The completion screening event of TV Tokyo drama SP "Hagoku" was held at the TV station's HQ in Tokyo on 5 April which was attended by cast members Beat Takeshi, Yamada Takayuki and Yoshida Yo. In this drama SP set in 1942, Takeshi plays a prison warden named Urata Susumu who works at Kosuge Prison in Tokyo and has no purpose in life other than stop his prisoners from escaping ever since his wife died during an earthquake. One day, he is informed that a former inmate at Kosuge named Sakuma Kiyotaro (Yamada) who used to respect him a lot and was sent to another prison in Akita to serve his life sentence had escaped. 3 months later, Sakuma comes to Urata's house and reveals that he was subjected to inhumane treatment at the Akita prison and wants to launch a lawsuit against them. However, Urata tells on Sakuma which results in the latter being caught and sent to the prison in Abashiri, Hokkaido. Subsequently, Urata gets transferred to Abashiri to become the chief warden and meets Sakuma there again. Yamada will be taking on the role of Sakuma who was born into a poor family in Aomori and became an odd-job man on a crab fishing boat. While breaking into a warehouse to steal, he kills a man who is hot on his heels and gets a life sentence. However, he vows to stay alive and tries to break out of prison successfully at least 4 times. Yoshida plays Miyoko, the daughter of Urata and also takes on the narrator's role for this drama SP while Mitsushima Hikari plays Mitsu who is the wife of Sakuma.

At the beginning of the event, Takeshi started joking by introducing himself as Watanabe Ken who was recently exposed for allegedly having an affair while his wife Minami Kaho is undergoing cancer treatment. He then complimented his co-stars for being such great actors and commented that he had to try to hide his "poor acting skills" in this drama which he praised as one with a solid story especially suitable to be watched in this era where there are many light-hearted dramas. He revealed that before the filming began in January this year, he was actually in Australia with friends on a golfing trip from 29 December when he realised that the strong sunshine there would make him become too tanned for the filming since he plays a prison warden in snowy Hokkaido. As a result, he could only play for three holes during that trip and ended up watching cricket matches during the rest of that one-week trip as if he was put into prison. Takeshi regretted not thinking about his filming schedule before planning the trip. When he came back to Japan for the filming, he was subjected to the freezing weather and found it difficult to breathe properly.

Yamada who had to go through physical training and learn the Tsugaru dialect, revealed how tough it was for a particular scene where he had to walk across a snowy field in Abashiri even though the temperature then was minus 10 degrees Celsius. He ended up getting frost bite and has lost feeling in the fourth finger on his left hand since then. As such, Yamada joked that in return for not "suing" TV Tokyo for his injury, he hopes that they will allow him to do a drama in future with a certain degree of freedom.

Yoshida commented that although it is the first time that she is working with Takeshi, she felt that they were able to convey the delicate relationship between their characters in this drama. As for doing the narration, Yoshida tried to keep the tone of her voice low at first but the director suggested that she could add in more cheerfulness and positivity as the story progressed so as to show the concept of hope in the future.

The drama SP will be shown at 9pm on 12 April.

Sources: Nikkansports / Sanspo / Yomiuri Hochi / Oricon 1 / Oricon 2 / Eiga.com

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