Daibutsu, Kamakura

Daibutsu, Kamakura
Daibutsu in Kamakura, June 2010. There were thousands of school kids visiting that day. It was still great fun.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Anybody watching Tenchijin?

Anybody watching the NHK drama Tenchijin? This is the current drama about the life of a samurai and his young lord of the Uesugi clan who he serves. It takes place at the end of the Warring States Period. I am watching it here in Los Angeles and we are currently on episode 16. I know those watching in Japan are a bit ahead so don't tell me what happens. However, I already am starting to know what is going to happen. That's because I am currently reading the book Japonius Tyrannus.

I am at the point in the book where I am now just passing roughly episode 16 of the TV show where Uesugi Kagekatsu has finally taken control of the Uesugi clan. In the book, I am now at the point where Oda Nobunaga with Tokugawa Ieyasu finally take head on the Takeda clan.

Nobunaga was actually disappointed with how Ieyasu fared against the Takeda. Not because Ieyasu failed but because it was too easy. Nobunaga was extremely disappointed with how easy the Takeda clan fell. Nobunaga wanted to personally crush the Takeda himself but Ieyasu defeated the Takeda too quickly.

On the TV show, Nobunaga is still a major player. But in the book, I am now starting the section that describes Nobunaga's murder in 1582 at the hands of one of his generals. This occurred just prior to Nobunaga beginning another major campaign against the powerful Mori clan of western Honshu. Nobunaga and Ieyasu also were planning to confront the Uesugi as well.

It will be interesting to see what happens after Nobunaga's death, both in the book and on the NHK show. I am interested to see how Hideyoshi assumed power rather than some of the other Nobunaga generals or Nobunaga's sons. I actually already have a biography of Hideyoshi that I will start immediately after finishing Japonius Tyrannus.

The drama Tenchijin is pretty good. But I do think there is a little too much crying and weeping going on among the young Uesugi samurai. Samurai shouldn't cry like they do.


  1. Yup, I'm watching over here. Needless to say, I like the mountain shots the best.. :-)

  2. Those are some amazing opening scenes.

  3. Jim "Yukikaze" Lowerre2:57 PM

    My okamisan and I have been watching NHK taiga dramas since KASUGA NO TSUBONE in the '80s. (She works for Honda, who pays for the English subtitles.) We missed a few episodes of TENCHIJIN due to digital reception probs, but we are back with it just in time to see Oda Nobunaga get his at Honno-ji.
    The KSCI website is offline, so we cannot find out if they're showing TENCHIJIN at any other time besides 9:00PM on Saturdays. Can you help?


  4. I am watching on Japan TV from Time Warner Cable channel 607. It has English subtitles.

  5. I'm watching in Seattle with my Japanese mother and her American husband. Guess which one is more interested? One thing I absolutely love is that a female narrator is the one who sets up the story. She's also the one who takes us to the modern day sites at the end of each episode. Personally, I don't think there's too much crying in the show. Having had a Japanese mother all my life, I know how emotional Japanese people are--even though they don't show it to strangers. Samurai lived together more like family than they did with their own families. So far, I've watched Shinsengumi, Yoshitsune, Atsuhime and Tenchijin. Atsuhime remains my, and my mother's husband's, favorite.

    Your Hip Hapa,

  6. I guess my image of samurai is that of a tough warrior. But you may be correct. The samurai family was their closest family.

  7. Anonymous12:20 PM

    I'm watching it in San Jose KTSF.

  8. Cool. I just watched the Kyoto episode last night. I like the part where Ieyasu is meeting with Hojo Ujimasa and Ieyasu avoids Ujimasa's question whether he will submit to Hideyoshi. As we know, it was Ieyasu's armies under the authority of Hideyoshi that eventually destroyed the Hojo clan.