The new supporting cast lineup announcement for NHK 2018 Taiga drama "Segodon" starring Suzuki Ryohei was made on 27 June. The drama features the lifetime of Saigo Takamori (Suzuki) who was regarded as a hero in the Meiji Restoration era. Saigo experienced two banishments to islands and three marriages during his lifetime and was credited for his part in overthrowing the Tokugawa Bakufu and realising the Meiji Restoration. His last days were spent fighting the new Meiji government.
Watanabe Ken will be playing Shimazu Nariakira which marks his first appearance in a Taiga since the 2001 Taiga "Hojo Tokimune". He was also the lead in the 1987 Taiga "Dokuganryuu Masamune". As such, Watanabe commented that his foundation as an actor was built from his experience in a Taiga drama so this is like an opportunity for him to repay a debt of gratitude. Shimazu was the 28th generation head of the family and known to be smart and knowledgeable. He saw the potential in Saigo when the latter was just a poor and lowly samurai and became Saigo's lifelong teacher.
Aoki Munetaka will be playing Shimazu Hisamitsu who was the half-brother of Nariakira and looked up to him as a role model. With the death of his elder brother, Hisamitsu became the leader of the Satsuma Domain but saw Saigo as a rival that he banished Saigo to a remote island for fighting against him. Toda Naho will be playing Nariakira's concubine Kiku who was blessed with many children but died at a young age. However, she was a pillar of strength for her husband and supported him to the very end. Last but not least, Tokui Yu will be playing Yamada Tamehisa who was a trusted adviser of Nariakira.
The narrator of the drama will be Ichihara Etsuko.
Sources: Sponichi / Oricon