Itsuka Umi e (A River Flowing
Back to the Ocean)
From Daily Yomiuri, December 18, 2003, Wm. Penn.]: The most widely
publicized offering is Kawa Itsuka Umi e, (A River Flowing Back
to the Ocean) an omnibus 6-part spectacular designed to commemorate
50 years of NHK. The first installment runs from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m.
on Sunday, Dec. 21. From Monday, Dec. 22 through Friday, Dec. 26,
it will be aired from 9 p.m. to 9:58 p.m.
The work of three very distinctively different screenwriters, the
will be linked by the travels of a large, round glass buoy, known
ukidama. It will be launched in episode one by Eri Fukatsu and
Santamaria, who play a couple who are taking a trip to mark their
In episode five, the buoy and this pair will reappear one year
may be more interesting than the stories themselves is the chance
study the contrast in the styles of three of Japan's best known
screenwriters (So Kuramoto, Hisashi Nozawa and Koki Mitani),
who each wrote
two episodes of the story. The men's resumes and comments, available
NHK Web site, reveal it was both a cooperative and competitive
NHK already aired a special on the making of the drama on Dec.
chronicled the clash of egos and the ups and downs of the two-year
collaboration, which proved a challenge for writers used to working
Veteran So Kuramoto, of Kita no Kuni kara fame and known for
human" dramas, was ready to drop out at one point but stayed
on to write
episodes three and six.
one of the most thoughtful and entrancing of the new generation
screenwriters and a master of mysteries, contributes episodes
one and five.
His 1997 Aoi Tori was recently rerun on the TBS satellite
channel and proved
it had lost none of its power or attraction in the intervening
third member of this trio, Mitani is a screenwriter who is active
various fields from movies to musicals and specializes in
comedy. None of
his work stands out in my mind so it will be interesting
to see whether he
can win me over with this challenge. Evidently they drew
straws to see who
would write episode one and Mitani won but gladly turned
that task over to
Nozawa. Mitani is the most laid-back of the three. And
why should he worry?
He will be employed all next year. Mitani has been tagged
to write the 2004
taiga drama Shinsengumi starring Shingo Katori.
Fukatsu Eri, Yusuke Santamaria
DURATION: December 21-26, 2003 - 6 part special