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Sunday, Oct. 16, 2005

CHANNEL SURF

Popular blog goes drama at Fuji TV's "Oni Yome Nikki" and more

Blogs are getting popular in Japan, as shown in the new Fuji TV drama series "Oni Yome Nikki (Devil Bride Diary)" (Tuesday, 10 p.m.), which is based on one written by a woman called Sanae. The blog's theme, as is apparent in the title, is the casual, everyday cruelty wives inflict on their husbands.

In episode two, which airs this week, Sanae (Arisa Mizuki) and Kazuma (Gori) -- of the comedy duo Garage Sale -- have finally bought a home. The family finances become tight, and Kazuma's pocket money is reduced by his wife. However, some of his colleagues at work are planning a trip to a hot-spring resort and Kazuma wants to go. He decides to dip into Sanae's "emergency" money. But Sanae seems to have her own plans for the money. A friend recommends they go to a nice hotel that is holding a special event for women.


A slightly more serious exploration of marital problems is offered on "Jukunen Rikon (Senior Divorce)" (TV Asahi, Thursday, 9 p.m.).

Kotaro (Te-tsuya Watari) and Yoko (Keiko Matsuzaka) have been married for more than 30 years, and on the day Kotaro retires from his company Yoko announces that she wants a divorce.

Kotaro, who has put all his energy into his work for the past three decades, is totally unprepared.

In episode two, Yoko moves into a separate room in their home and plans to stay there until she finds her own apartment.

She tells Kotaro that while she remains in the house she will not do any housework.

The couple's two grown daughters are upset and try to think of ways of stopping the divorce.

The couple's son-in-law comes up with the idea that if the other daughter marries her fiancee, then the wedding will force Kotaro and Yoko to stay together -- at least for the time being.

Meanwhile, Kotaro is having a lot of problems with housework.


More marital intrigue is promised in the latest of Fuji TV's "O-oku" series, which is about the concubines who served the shogunate during the Edo Period.

The latest series, titled "Hana no Ran (Flower Insurrection)" (Thursday, 10 p.m.), is about Yasuko (Rina Uchiyama), a samurai's wife who catches the eye of the fifth shogun, Tokugawa Tsunayoshi.

Tsunayoshi, who has already had his way with Yasuko's mother, has Yasuko installed in the women's quarters of Edo Castle as his newest concubine.

She is immediately made uncomfortable by another concubine, Oden (Eiko Koike), who has an advantage over the others because she has borne the shogun two children, one of whom is a boy.

Oden feels threatened by Yasuko, and so is the shogun's wife, Nobuko (Norika Fujiwara). Though Nobuko has no children and has more to fear from Oden, she joins forces with her to keep Yasuko in her place.



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