First Look at the Taiga for 2012 Taira no Kiyomori Starring Matsuyama Kenichi and Tamaki Hiroshi

Just two months out from it’s premiere date of January 8, the upcoming NHK Taiga for 2012 started filming last month and the first stills have started to trickle out. Starring Matsuyama Kenichi, Tamaki Hiroshi, Fujiki Naohito, Matsuda Shota, Daito Shunsuke, Okada Masaki, and Fukada Kyoko, Taira no Kiyomori tells the life of the titular general of the late Heian period in Japan who started the first samurai-based (as opposed to civil-based) government.

Kenichi plays Kiyomori while Hiroshi plays his life long rival Minamoto no Yoshitomo. I wrote about the casting a few months ago here, so I shant repeat it all again. The early stills looks fabulous. I’m loving how well matched the two leads are in screen presence, physical stature, and acting prowess. And I don’t think I’ve seen Kyoko look this radiant in years. Of course, I just want to pinch my darling Shunsuke’s cheeks, he’s so cute.

Our two male leads going mano-a-mano on horseback and posing for the media. I hope NHK doesn’t screw this one up in terms of story and execution, because the cast looks beyond perfect.

Kyoyo looks lovely as the titular Tairo no Tokiko, the wife of Kiyomori. She’s three years older than Kenichi in real life but onscreen I can’t see any age difference at all.

My Shunsuke plays the younger brother of Kiyomori, Taira no Iemori. Not digging the hairstyle much but everything else looks just right.

Baby-faced cutie Masaki plays Minamoto no Yoritomo, the third son of Hiroshi’s Yoshitomo. Masaki’s character will be narrating this Taiga, and he is officially the youngest actor in NHK history to narrate a Taiga. His character, if you know your Japanese history (I do, I do!) is the founder the Kamakura Shogunate (or Kamakura Bakufu), which was a period where the Emperor was merely a symbolic head but it was the Shogun who wielded the real power and authority in Japan. So this drama will start off with a 39 year old Yoritomo hearing about the death of Kiyomori and reminiscing about his life, which is how the drama will delve into Kiyomori’s story. I adore Masaki, but he looks like a kid playing dress up here.

And last but not least, a tiny peek at Naohito in costume. He’s the guy on the horse in the left of this picture.


First Look at the Taiga for 2012 Taira no Kiyomori Starring Matsuyama Kenichi and Tamaki Hiroshi — 15 Comments

  1. Oh my goodness!!!! *flails uncontrollably* I labs it!

    MatsuKen and Tamaki Hiroshi!!!! this cast. is. beyond. perfect.

    But where is my Fujiki Naohito? Still busy being Bucho in Rome, I guess. I’m not complaining, I want him to take all his sweet time with his Ahomiya, but when he joins the rest of the cast, ahhh…I might not be able to stand it.

    Side note: Since you posted about Hotaru no Hikari, I’ve been re-watching the dorama and my love for Nao has grown back in full force. Ahhhh…he is so sexy, especially when he is singing and strumming his guitar. *dies* And I just realized this, he looks like an older (and taller) version of Ryo-chan! Must be their smiles 😉

    Back to this epic taiga, do you think some kind souls will upload it for live streaming with subs? My Japanese is very basic (like toddler level, haha) and their is no way I’d be able to understand all of it without English subs.

    P.S. koala, I am so impressed that you know your Japanese history! Do you speak Nihongo too?

  2. ooooooooomaiiiiigoddd!!!!!!!!my okada,tamaki,kenichi all in one..i’m totallly excited!!!!prepare my eye for all year around next 2months…

  3. Maybe it’s just my Okada Masaki bias but I think he well, he doesn’t look 39 but he definitely looks older than his true age which is a hard feat given he’s eternally baby-faced. Hihi. And Daito Shunsuke, why so cute too? MatsuKen and Tamaki Hiroshi look like they’re gonna play each other SO WELL. But I don’t think I can commit to a series like this so yeap, sadly, no epic taiga drama for me. 😛 Thanks for the stills! 😀

    • I wasn’t into Masaki Okada fever till last week. But in a week I’ve seen him on Lightning Tree, Young Black Jack, Princess Toyotomi, I Give My First Love to You, and Seinaru Kabutsuitachi. I like his acting a lot. And looking at Yoritomo’s pictures here, I don’t see a 23 years old playing 39 years old. He might look younger than 39 here, but he certainly looks older than 30. I think he looks the part.

      And I didn’t know Masaki is narrating the story, so: SQUEEEE!!! I love his voice, and I think I will watch this drama once subbed to – among others – entertain my EARS! Yay!

      • Oh, and I’ve seen the trailer online. My God, I know it’s going to be a long drama (50 episodes), but I will watch it if it has Eng sub! I only saw Masaki for like 2 seconds there, when he yelled the war cry, but man, that wasn’t Kakinouchi Takuma there at all!

  4. Wow what a power house cast! Though Matsuyama Kenichi’s face color looks like make-up gone wrong. but nonetheless excited for this! 🙂

  5. well looks like I will be watching my first Taiga next year….Masaki is playing Hiroshi’s kid???…*dies laughing*…this feels and looks spectacular….even if the story sucks I’ll watch…I mean they only have two of my favorite Japanese actors of all time…Hiroshi and Matuyama!

  6. I haven’t watched a Taiga drama since Fuurin Kazan (which I watched raw while living in Japan ^__^). This one’s cast is beyond awesome. I’ll be watching this even if subs are nowhere to be found. *flails*

  7. It looks awesome! I just hope Fukakyon does well, she can act (sometimes) but most of her parts are so annoying. But the the cast is stellar and I hope this taiga will be popular, Gou hasn’t been such a hit like Atsuhime was even though it was made by the same team.

  8. *fainted. can’t wait until next year. hope it will be up in dramacrazy with sub just like Gou.
    To have Tamaki, Fujiki Naohito, Matsuda Shota, Daito Shunsuke, Okada Masaki…. in one taiga! what a feast! ~ and I love you more because you wrote about this in your blog.

  9. Ok.. I like Kenichi’s look… Looks so tall and strong… I cant wait to see this serie, well, im waiting more, because in latin america this series not happen XD, but i dont care.

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