From 9.00 p.m., Saturdays, 22 & 29 August 2015
Takahashi Korekiyo demonstrated his economic policy skills while he was the Minister of Finance and was called the Keynes of Japan. He was born in the tumultuous period when the Shogunate ended, and went to America to study at 13. After he returned to Japan, it was the Meiji Restoration and times had changed significantly. With his proficiency in English, Korekiyo became a houseboy of Mori Arinori, the first Education Minister, and was an assistant to a third-rate professor in University Nankou. However, he got absorbed in having fun with geishas and resigned from his position. He was supported by the geisha, Masukichi. At the age of 18, he went alone to Karatsu in Kyushu for a post as an English teacher in order to pay his debts. However, when he returned to Tokyo, Masukichi had disappeared. After that, Korekiyo had the privilege of positions such as the Tokyo English School and interpreter for the Ministry of Education, but he kept failing in various businesses and investments that he got involved in because of his curiosity. However, these experiences would shape Korekiyo. He got a government post on Mori Arinori’s recommendation, and at the age of 33, he became the first director of the patent bureau. Right after that, he resigned for the sake of Japan’s future and went to run a Peruvian silver mine. However, the silver mine venture failed and he became penniless. After that, he was approached by the governor of the Bank of Japan, Kawada Koichiro, and joined the Bank of Japan. Korekiyo battled all sorts of difficulties with original ideas and optimism, and became the deputy governor at the age of 49. During the Russo-Japanese War, he was sent to London, where he met the American millionaire Jacob Henry Schiff, and succeeded in raising foreign debt which should be called “divine grace”. If he failed, it would have been decisive in Japan’s defeat. He later transformed into a politician and served as Prime Minister and seven-time finance minister. During Tanaka Giichi’s cabinet, he handled the Showa Financial Crisis. In Inukai Tsuyoshi’s cabinet, he made drastic cuts to the Japanese economy which was thrown into chaos by a global depression and swiftly pulled the country out from deflation. However, this generated great friction between himself and the military which sought an increase in military spending … …
Odagiri Joe as Takahashi Korekiyo
An adopted son of the Takahashi family, a low-ranking ashigaru samurai of the Sendai domain. He went to America to study at the age of 13. After he returned to Japan, he capitalised on his language ability and became a teacher, interpreter and government official. After that, he joined the Bank of Japan. When he was the deputy governor, he succeeded in raising funds for the Russo-Japanese War. Called a financial genius, he was seven-time finance minister and the 20th prime minister of Japan. He was assassinated during the 26 February incident and died at the age of 82.
Tanihara Shosuke as Mori Arinori
A native of Satsuma. The Education Minister in the cabinet of Japan’s first Prime Minister Ito Hirobumi. He was a man favoured to mobilise Japan from the time Takahashi Korekiyo came back from studying abroad. He was Korekiyo’s benefactor who supported him in his entry to University Nankou (later Teikoku University) and the Education Ministry.
Dan Mitsu as Masukichi (Okimi)
Takahashi Korekiyo’s first love. A Nihonbashi geisha. She met Korekiyo, who had been a teacher at University Nankou (forerunner to Tokyo University), at a dinner party and they got together. She maintained Korekiyo, who resigned from the university, as her own manservant. When he proceeded to his new post in Karatsu, she promised that they would become husband and wife later on, but … …
Mimura as Shinako
Takahashi Korekiyo married her after his first wife, Ryuko, died of illness. She stayed together until he was assassinated in the 26 February incident. She understood him well. Although she had a weak constitution, she had three sons.
Matsuura Miyabi as Kane
Takahashi Korekiyo’s younger sister whom his birth mother had after she remarried. She had trouble with her parents and went to live together with Korekiyo and Kiyo. Although Korekiyo was her elder brother, she idolised him. She died young after marriage.
Fujimoto Takahiro as Maeda Masana
A native of Satsuma. A friend since Takahashi Korekiyo’s days as a government official. He studied abroad in Paris. He is the person who undertook the task of implementing the Meiji government’s policymaking to encourage new industries. He is referred to as one of the persons who greatly influenced Korekiyo’s trip to Peru.
Matsuoka Mayu as Keiko
A fictional character, she was the head servant handled 13 female servants in Takahashi Korekiyo’s residence. She had six of Korekiyo’s children. But she hid the fact that she is their birth mother and Shinako raised the children as her own.
Kusabue Mitsuko as Kiyo
Takahashi Korekiyo’s grandmother and foster parent. After Korekiyo was adopted, a boy was born in the Takahashi family. Feeling sorry, she raised Korekiyo as a surrogate parent. Because she is a female who values the dignity of a samurai family, Korekiyo is taught the way to commit ritual suicide when he went abroad to study.
Tachi Hiroshi as Inukai Tsuyoshi
Japan’s 29th Prime Minister. He appointed Takahashi Korekiyo as Minister of Finance (Korekiyo’s fifth time as a Finance Minister) in order to overcome the economic recession. At that time, Korekiyo and him were like-minded in their concerns about the repeated expansion of the military budget. He was assassinated in the 15 May incident.
James Miki (Hakuouki, Kamisama no Nyoubou)
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