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Old 2013-10-02, 08:23   Link #1
Feeling comfy
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Singapore
Age: 43
Oshin (2013)

This took me completely by surprise. Arguably the most popular drama series ever produced in Japan, Oshin has been adapted into a movie that will hit the theatres on Oct 17 (it seems to be an international release date as well as a domestic one). Here's the trailer.

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Asians who grew up in the 1980s (like me, in other words ) would likely be very familiar with this quintessentially Japanese tale of true grit and perseverance. It tells the story of a peasant girl born into extreme poverty during the Meiji Era. Through many trials and tribulations, she eventually becomes a highly successful businesswoman.

In the drama series, Oshin ended the show as the elderly matriarch of a powerful family built on the riches of a massive supermarket chain. I don't know if the movie will follow the same storyline. I highly doubt so, as the drama ran into nearly 300 15-minute episodes. By the looks of the trailer, the movie will probably focus only on Oshin's childhood years, and won't show her growing into an adult.

Here are the relevant passages from the Wikipedia entry that describe the massive impact that Oshin the series had on audiences across Asia.
In Japan, many references to Oshin were made when describing perseverance. For example, sumo wrestler Takanosato was given the name "Oshin Yokozuna", as he fought his way up to the rank of yokozuna, despite dealing with diabetes.

Other terms were used during the 1980s, such as "Oshin Diet", where residents were dealing with the bubble economy and therefore were driven to eating radish and rice. A famous cruise line down the Mogami River was renamed the "Oshin Line".

Oshin enjoyed particular popularity when broadcast in developing Asian countries. Even today, Ayako Kobayashi is given warm reception when she visits such countries. (She played the character as a child in the series and she voices the character in the movie as well, it seems.)

Oshin was also translated and diffused in Iran where the serial was one of the rare films broadcast during Iran Iraq war. Many people were inspired by this and many still remember its heroic story.
Most importantly, I remember the show for Yuko Tanaka, the actress who played the adult Oshin. She was already a highly respected thespian by the time the series was being made. The subsequent popularity of the show made her virtually a household name not just in Japan, but also in China.

I'm not ashamed to admit I had a crush on her when growing up. Of course, I was too young at the time to know it was a crush, but attracted to her I was, as I believe many other viewers also were. (Here's a critical episode in which Tanaka delivered a quietly gripping performance.)

She would have been 27 or 28 years old during the filming of the series. She's 58 now.

I reckon she was the darling of Japan in the 1980s, the way Noriko Sakai was in the 1990s and Ryoko Hirosue was in the early 2000s.

Here's a very old TV commercial starring Ms Tanaka.

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(Sigh... youth is wonderful, isn't it...?)
TinyRedLeaf is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2013-10-02, 11:56   Link #2
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Australia
Based on wikipedia, apparently the movie was so famous back then that it was showed in Iran even during Iran-Iraq war, and the term oshin became a loan-word in Vietnam.

Could be interesting, but i don't know an Asian drama can be squeezed into a movie through. Aren't they all like... 100 episodes each series 0_0
risingstar3110 is offline   Reply With Quote

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