Thursdays, 9.00 – 9.54 p.m. from 18 July 2013
Kawamura Kyonosuke is the son of the prominent kabuki family, the Kijimaya. With a good voice, looks and figure, he is called the prince of the kabuki world and enjoys popularity. His only shortcoming is that he has no motivation. As a descendant of the Kijimaya, he has carried great hopes since his childhood. But no matter how hard he tries, he has not been able to win the acceptance of his father Sezaemon who is also his teacher. Because of this, he loses interest in kabuki, skips practices and even slacks off on stage. One day, Kyonosuke plays the leading role in a famous kabuki play ‘Shunkyokagamijishi’. When he jauntily emerges from the theatre after the play, he is thrown over the shoulder by Chiba Ayame who attends the same high school as him. She demands a refund because that was not a lion dance to her. In desperation, a dumbfounded Kyonosuke goes to hang out with his good friend Sakamoto Haruhiko and female fans. As one would expect, Sezaemon rebukes Kyonosuke, and father and son get into a quarrel with Kyonosuke heatedly declaring that he did not want to be born into this family. He is disgusted that all his father thinks of is protecting the reputation of the family and him. However, the expression on his face is one of sorrow. The next day, Kyonosuke meets Ayame again. He is about to complain about her behaving as if nothing had happened when she harshly criticises him again and observes that his performance did not resonate with the audience. Then Kyonosuke learns that Ayame has a favourite kabuki actor. At practice that day, Kyonosuke’s rival Sawayama Ichiya disdainfully says that he was very disappointed by Kyonosuke’s lion dance. Ichiya is a disciple of Sawayama Sakugoro, the head of the Todorokiya. When he was a child, watching Kyonosuke’s performance shocked him, but now he does not feel anything. In fact, Ayame’s favourite actor is Ichiya. During her elementary school years, she taught him about kabuki and they grew close, but her father’s business failed and they were separated. 10 years have passed. She believes his declaration that he will come for her after he becomes a top kabuki actor, and continues to think of him. On the other hand, Ichiya has not been able to find a path to secure leading roles because he was not born into a kabuki family. However, one path remains. Yuna, the only daughter of Sawayama, is in love with him. Because of the hereditary system in the world of kabuki, whoever marries her will take the Todorokiya name and be in a position to play leading roles in many plays. Ichiya’s ambition is to be at the top. He accepts Yuna’s feelings in order to gain a backer. At that moment, there is a shift in the relationship between Ayame and Kyonosuke. Ayame’s encouragement leads Kyonosuke to fall for her, and a love triangle develops.
Tamamori Yuta as Kawamura Kyonosuke
A descendant of the famous Kijimaya kabuki family and a third-year high school student who attends Anzu Academic High School. Because he has the looks, form and family pedigree, he is the most bankable and popular kabuki actor of his generation although he has no motivation. He has lost interest in kabuki and is not even serious on stage. But on the other hand, he feels a loneliness in his present situation. He has struggled to win over his father who is also his teacher since childhood, but however hard he works, the words he receives are, “Be more devoted.” Furthermore, when his mother passed away, kabuki came first and his father did not attempt to be present at her deathbed. This remains a sore point to this day. This past also influences his rebellion against his father. At this time, he encounters Chiba Ayame who has a genuine love for kabuki, and he gradually feels positive about kabuki. He is actually a late bloomer in romance but is soon in love with Ayame, and strives in his craft because he is conscious that Ichiya is his rival. Although he is the pompous type in public, he is unexpectedly timid when he is alone.
Nakayama Yuma as Sawayama Ichiya (Hongo Hiroki)
A disciple of the Todorokiya. His real name is Hongo Hiroki. He was not born into a kabuki family, but he has rapidly distinguished himself as a popular kabuki actor with his good looks, talent and exceptional hard work. Because he is earnest and has an inquiring mind, he is a model student who is serious in whatever tasks he undertakes. On the other hand, he is ambitious enough to use whatever method it takes to be at the top of the kabuki world. With the encouragement of Chiba Ayame whom he met in elementary school, he experienced kabuki for the first time. They were separated because of her father’s disappearance, but he thinks of her with all his heart, and furiously devotes his life to kabuki for the sake of becoming the best kabuki actor. Because he is not the descendant of a famous family, it is more difficult than he thinks to get the first step to success. Then, he ends up in a relationship with Sawayama Yuna, the daughter of his teacher, in order to gain a backer. He gambled his life on kabuki because of his beloved Ayame in the first place and should be aiming for the top, but struggles over a major complication.
Kawashima Umika as Chiba Ayame
A third-year high school student who attends Anzu Academic High School with Kawamura Kyonosuke. She was Sawayama Ichiya’s classmate in elementary school. She is a straightforward, single-minded girl. A top student on a scholarship. She lives alone in poverty and does nothing but part-time jobs. In spite of this, she manages to get by and watches her favourite kabuki at the theatre. During elementary school, she taught Ichiya about the appeal of kabuki, and fell in love with him. But because her father’s business failed, they got separated although she continues to think of him. While she secretly supports him, she makes the acquaintance of Kyonosuke.
Yoshikura Aoi as Sawayama Yuna
A second-year student who attends the same school as Kawamura Kyonosuke and Chiba Ayame. The only daughter of the Todorokiya. Because she was born into a kabuki family, she feels that she has letdown her parents who had hoped for a male to be the heir. This is when she meets Sawayama Ichiya and falls in love with him because he always takes her side.
Yamamoto Koji as Sagata Kanjiro
A kabuki actor who is like an older brother to Kawamura Kyonosuke and Sawayama Ichiya. He supervises the training sessions. A man who cares about his juniors, he gives Kyonosuke and Ichiya sound advice. He is the young actor with the most stability, and has the trust of the upper echelon. Beneath his devil-may-care, flashy playboy exterior, is a compassionate person.
Takashima Masahiro as Oiwa Matsukichi
An ogre of a teacher who strikes fear in children and is known for his wide circle of acquaintances in the kabuki world. He respects tradition and customs, and is also a central figure in the world of kabuki. He has a reputation for harshness in practices, and if the situation requires, he will even mercilessly rebuke his charges even if they are the sons of distinguished families. However, at the root of this is a deep love for kabuki, and boundless passion to nurture the young for the future of the kabuki world.
Enoki Takaaki as Sawayama Sakugoro
The head of the Todorokiya whom Sawayama Ichiya has become a disciple of. Although he shoulders the name of the distinguished Todorokiya, he has a mild disposition and always has a modest smile on his face. Contrary to the expectations of the people around him, he could not have an heir. The child that was finally born is his only daughter Yuna. While he has a soft spot for Yuna, he is pressed for time for he cannot allow the blood line to be broken because of tradition. Then he meets Ichiya and is drawn to his talent.
Kishitani Goro as Kawamura Sensaemon
An influential figure in the world of kabuki who carries the famous name of the Kijimaya. Kyonosuke’s father, and also teacher. He is mercilessly strict when it comes to their craft, and a complete stoic who could go on stage without being with his wife when she passed away. He has never praised Kyonosuke who will be the pillar of this family one day. However, he does not voice this although he believes in the talent and “flamboyance” his son was born with more than anyone else.
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