Composer Koseki, Fukushima native, to be featured in NHK’s morning TV drama series

1 March 2019

Public broadcaster NHK announced on Feb. 28 that it will air a morning TV drama series next year modeled on Yuji Koseki, the late composer of popular songs hailing from Fukushima city, and his wife Kinko. In the drama titled “Yell,” actor Masataka Kubota will play the lead role. Beginning in the spring of 2020, the six-month drama will provide a nationwide audience with a story set against a Fukushima backdrop in the year of the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The central character will be known as Yuichi Koyama, born to a generations-old kimono merchant family in Fukushima city. A timid youth, Koyama comes across music one day, learning composition through self-education and eventually bringing his music-making talent into full bloom.

High hopes have been placed on him as heir to the family business and he initially works at a commercial bank but is unable to abandon his longing for music. He gets acquainted with a female student hoping to be a singer and their feelings for each other develop via correspondence. Eventually, they decide to tread a musical path together. The drama follows the couple as they overcome various hardships, including being forced to compose popular songs lauding patriotism during World War II, before turning their talents to writing music to encourage people in the postwar period.

The drama will remake the Kosekis’ story as fiction, portraying them as a couple who cheer people up with music and capture their imagination, according to NHK. The script will be written by Koji Hayashi, who is known as a screenwriter for such dramas as “Code Blue: Doctor Heli -- Kinkyu Kyumei (Emergency Lifesaving),” “Iryu: Team Medical Dragon” and “Hagetaka (Vulture).”

“I will act with all my strength and all my heart,” actor Kubota told a press conference at the NHK Broadcasting Center in Tokyo. “I wish I could ‘yell’ support for people in Fukushima.” Katsuhiro Tsuchiya, NHK executive producer, said he “wanted to show support for Fukushima before a decade passes since the Great East Japan Earthquake” of 2011 and “was searching for a drama theme” associated with Fukushima.

The role of the drama’s heroine, to be modeled on Kinko, will be played by a successful candidate to be chosen by June after a round of auditions scheduled for March to April.

(Translated by Kyodo News)