Meoto Zenzai

Meoto Zenzai

Official Website
www.nhk.or.jp/dodra/meotozenzai

Broadcast
Saturdays, 9.00 – 9.58 p.m. from 24 August 2013

Station
NHK

Story
Choko, the daughter of Tanekichi, a poor tempura shop owner who is hounded by bill collectors everyday, and his wife Otatsu, overrides objections from her parents and enters a Kitashinchi teahouse as domestic help. Before long, she and her co-worker Kinpachi overcome a harsh life of obscurity to become popular geishas. During this brief period in which Choko becomes an object of adoration, she meets Koreyasu Ryukichi, the son of a cosmetics wholesaler. The two of them fall in love, and this is the start of the vicissitudes of Choko’s life. Ryukichi’s habitual dissipation earns him the scorn of the head clerk and even the disgust of his younger sister Fujiko. His crusty father Hanbei disowns him. Ryukichi entices Choko to elope with him until his father’s anger cools. Choko abandons the path of a geisha, prepared to live for love. However, the hot spring inn that the two of them set off for is struck by the Great Kanto Earthquake. So they escape back to Osaka. Nevertheless, Choko decides that she will live with Ryukichi, and visits Okin, a broker. Working as a second-rate geisha, she rents a space on the second floor of the home where the struggling rakugo storyteller Soraku lives, diligently puts money aside and supports Ryukichi. Choko’s childhood friend Kogappa, the son of a lumber dealer, secretly has feelings for her but will not even look at her. On the other hand, Ryukichi is discontented that his father has not changed his mind about disowning him and also will not let him see his daughter Ayako. One day, Ryukichi meets his old pals Matsukawa and Tsuruta. He takes out Choko’s savings and squanders it all on a night with geishas. Choko naturally flies into a rage and furiously chastises him … …

Characters
Moriyama Mirai as Koreyasu Ryukichi
The dissipated son of the owner of the cosmetics wholesaler, Koreyasu Shoten. Disowned by his father Hanbei, he elopes with the geisha Choko until Hanbei calms down. Not prepared to be husband and wife, and with no place to start living with Choko, Ryukichi’s irritable heart keeps wandering. He repeatedly falls back into a life of dissipation and toys with Choko time and time again.

Ono Machiko as Choko
A tomboy who was born to a poor tempura shop owner. She hates poverty and became an adored geisha, but meets Koreyasu Ryukichi. She sets her heart on risking her life. Abandoning her family, home and even the path of a geisha, she runs off. She is cheerful, earnest and reckless. Determined to make a man of Ryukichi, she willingly works despite the hardships, but gets very angry with his habit of living a profligate life. And so she assails him with loving chastisements.

Sato Eriko as Kinpachi
Choko’s good friend who also entered the teahouse as domestic help and became a geisha. Elevated from mistress to legal wife by a mine prospector, she becomes a wealthy wife and rescues Choko from her plight. An ordeal also lies ahead for Kinpachi … …

Hino Shohei as Tanekichi
Choko’s father. A poor tempura shop owner who is hounded by bill collectors everyday. He is caring and dotes on Choko. Although he is a simple, poor father who can only wish for his daughter’s happiness, to Choko, he is the one who gives tremendous emotional support.

Negishi Toshie as Otatsu
Choko’s mother. A stout-hearted, calculating and gutsy woman. She is displeased with what Choko does. They will end up quarrelling when they meet. She struggles financially, lives and then dies in poverty. Her boundless love for Choko begins to pour out just before her death.

Aoki Munetaka as Kogappa
Choko’s childhood friend and son of a lumber dealer. He has liked Choko ever since he was the leader of the children in the neighbourhood. He acts worse than he really is in front of Choko, but is in fact a soft-hearted coward. He hates Ryukichi more than anything else.

Kishibe Ittoku as Koreyasu Hanbei
The big boss of the cosmetics wholesaler, Koreyasu Shoten. He blows his top today too, completely unable to forgive his son Ryukichi, who is not aware of his responsibility of taking over the family business, for his dissipation. Because he is paralysed, bedridden, and also near death, the spirit of the obstinate Osaka businessman has been displaced and adrift.

Tabata Tomoko as Koreyasu Fujiko
Koreyasu Ryukichi’s younger sister. Because of the uproar caused by her brother’s disinheritance, his wife goes back to her family home and and divorces him. She becomes a surrogate mother to Ryukichi’s daughter Ayako and brings her up. She also marries Tosuke who is adopted into the family and made to shoulder the future of the Koreyasus. Ayako’s life undergoes a transformation in the shadow of her brother’s dissipation.

Daito Shunsuke as Tosuke
The second son of a wealthy wharf merchant who marries into the Koreyasu family as Fujiko’s husband. He becomes the young head of the Koreyasu family. Because he is utterly strict in educating the apprentices and manages the business with absolute cool-headedness, he is the natural enemy of Ryukichi.

Aoyama Misato as Ayako
Koreyasu Ryukichi’s daughter. Because she loves her father, she sometimes meets him without telling Fujiko. Told that Choko is the bad woman who stole her father, she hates her.

Click here for photos from the press conference.

All text copyright © jdramas.wordpress.com.

Advertisement

About jadefrost

This blog contains information and musings on current and upcoming Japanese dramas but is not intended to be comprehensive.
This entry was posted in NHK, Summer 2013 Dramas and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s