“Antoki no Inochi,” airs on Friday, Dec. 12, at 7:35 p.m.
Kyohei has shut away the world. During his high school days he was the target of bullying and experienced horrifying moments. Now as a young adult, he works for a company that specializes in cleaning out the homes of recently deceased individuals. When sorting through the personal belongings of the deceased, he’s forced to face the concept of life and death. At his new job Kyohei meets co-worker Yuki. She has also experienced a traumatizing event as a teen and has also shut herself away from the world. These two young people form a bond as they go through the homes and gradually open up to each other. Fully subtitled in English.
“Massan,” premieres on Friday, Dec. 19, at 7:15 p.m.
The 91st NHK morning drama, “Massan” is based on the true story of Taketsuru Masataka and his Scottish wife Rita Cowen.
In the Taisho era, Masataka, son and heir to a Sake brewery with a passion for making whiskey travels alone to Scotland to learn more. He is first Japanese person to produce whisky in Japan when he opened his own distillery in Hokkaido in 1934. The drama shows a unique way of viewing Japanese virtues, and cross-cultural hospitality. Fully subtitled in English.
“The Partner: Itoshiki Hyakunen no Tomo e,” airs on Friday, Dec. 19 and 26, at 7:35 p.m.
A story about the special friendship between Phan Boi Chau and Japanese doctor Sakitaro Asaba, which began when Chau went to Japan to seek support for Vietnam’s national independence movement.
Sakitaro runs a hospital near the coast. One day, Asaba is told by the nurse Akane about a foreign man who has washed ashore. This man is Phan Boi Chau (a historical figure and the initiator of Vietnamese independence movement). Phan came to Japan because Japan’s military assistance was necessary for Vietname’s independence. Fully subtitled in English.
“Miyamoto Musashi,” premieres on Tuesday, Dec. 30, at 7:35 p.m.
It is the year 1600. A young man, Takezo, from the village of Miyamoto, signs up to fight in the Battle of Sekigahara. He is a lowly foot soldier with an aspiration of making a name for himself. Amidst the confusion, Takezo is captivated by the beautiful swordplay of a lone soldier from the Army of the East. That man’s name is Kojiro Sasaki, a man that Takezo deemed as worthy of being his lifelong rival. When he goes back to the village, he is persecuted by the people.
After four years of incarceration, Takezo is freed, and the lord of the castle, Terumasa Ikeda, together with Priest Takuan, gave him a new name, Musashi Miyamoto, as he embarked on a journey to improve his sword skills. Musashi begins to travel for warrior training. He meets many masters of the sword and grows as a person. Fully subtitled in English.
“Tsuribaka Nisshi 6 (Free and Easy 6),” airs on Tuesday, Dec. 30, at 8:30 p.m.
Sixth installment of the series of “Tsuribaka nisshi.” Su-san must give a lecture in far-off Iwate, which serves as another excuse for the company president and Hama-chan to go fishing. Once there, however, Hama-chan is mistaken for the company president and Su-san for his chauffeur! But Su-san is delighted at the mix-up: he gets to go fishing with a beautiful woman working at a local inn. Fully subtitled in English.
NGN 3 MOVIE CHANNEL (Digital Ch. 679)
Premiere titles air on Friday. Movies are shown at various times. Check your digital on-screen guide for movie schedules, using either the GUIDE or INFO buttons (up to one week ahead). Or call NGN, Mon.-Fri. from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. at 538-1966 for inquiries or to request an e-mail of NGN 3 programming information. All movies are in Japanese language with full English subtitles.
PREMIERE TITLES OF THE MONTH
Dec. 5: “Nihon no Fixer (The Fixer),” 1979 action film, 2 hours and 10 minutes.
Directed by Yasuo Koki. Starring Shin Saburi and Masakazu Tamura.
The facts of a fixer who controls politics from behind the scenes.
Dec. 12: “Onna Tarashi no Teio (The Kingpin of Fair Ladies),” 1970 action film, 1 hour and 37 minutes.
Directed by Takeichi Saito. Starring Tatsuo Umemiya and Shingo Yamashiro.
A man is inspired to build a hospital after his mother falls ill and becomes a host to swindle money out of women.
Dec. 19: “Kyokuto Kuroshakai (Dark Society in the East),” 1993 action film, 1 hour and 50 minutes.
Directed by Shokaku Baba. Starring Koji Yakusho and Masahiko Kondo.
A story about the activities of Southeast Asian Mafia gangs in Shinjuku. Ryosuke Kano is an ex French Foreign Legion soldier and is now a cocaine smuggler and dealer. He is acquainted with Larry, a Japanese American, but he turned out to be an undercover cop from New York.
Dec. 26: “Itazu Kuma (The Forest of the Little Bear),” 1987 drama, 1 hour and 57 minutes.
Directed by Toshio Goto. Starring Takahiro Tamura and Junko Sakurada.
Hunting master Ginzo kills a man-eating bear. When he finds out the bear had a cub, Ginzo decides to raise the cub, but the bear later becomes a troublemaker.
NGN3 MOVIE OF THE MONTH
“Waga Haha no Ki (Chronicle of My Mother),” 2011 drama, 1 hour and 59 minutes.
Directed by Masato Harada. Starring Koji Yakusho and Kirin Kiki.
Kosaku, married with four daughters, is a successful writer and tyrannical husband and father. When his mother begins to display signs of dementia, duty demands that he take care of her. He knows she probably doesn’t have long to live, but as she attempts to cling to the fading memories of her son, they manage to gradually reconcile their family’s complicated past. As her grip on reality loosens, facts about the past — specifically why she saw fit to abandon her son after the war — come to light.
NGN3 COMMUNITY FAVORITE
“Zenigata Heiji (Heiji, the Detective),” 1967 samurai film, 1 hour and 29
Directed by Tetsuya Yamauchi. Starring Hashizo Okawa, Kazuo Funaki and Ryutaro Otomo.
Famous for his coin tossing when capturing criminals, an Edo detective, Heiji, launches an investigation into the mysterious murder of his friend Seigoro.
NGN3 Movies (in alphabetical order)
“Amakusa Shiro Tokisada (The Christian Lord),” 1962 jidaigeki, 1 hour and 42 minutes.
Directed by Nagisa Oshima. Starring Hashizo Okawa, Satomi Oka and Ryutaro Otomo.
An illustration of the riot of Christians and peasants in the Edo period and the lord who struggled to help them.
“Beppin no Machi (Town of Pippins),” 1989 drama, 1 hour and 43 minutes.
Directed by Takahito Hara. Starring Kyohei Shibata and Masahiro Motoki.
An amateur private eye is on a mission to find a missing girl.
“Chiyari Fuji (Red Soil Near Fuji),” 1955 samurai film, 1 hour and 34 minutes.
Directed by Tomu Uchida. Starring Chiezo Kataoka and Ryunosuke Tsukigata.
A lord’s spearsman travels to Edo with his two servants. On their way, they meet people and encounter great injustice.
“Doberman Deka (Detective Doberman),” 1977 action film, 1 hour and 30 minutes.
Directed by Kinji Fukasaku. Starring Sonny Chiba and Hiroki Matsukata.
A naive detective from Okinawa comes to Tokyo to track down a missing girl from his village and gets involved in a scandal in show business.
“Fuefuki Wakamusha (A Warrior’s Flute),” 1955 jidaigeki, 1 hour and 30
Directed by Yasushi Sasaki. Starring Hashizo Okawa, Hibari Misora and Ryutaro Otomo.
Tale of tragic love between samurai and princess during Heian period.
“Gang Chojo Sakusen (King of the Hill),” 1965 action film, 1 hour and 31 minutes.
Directed by Umetsugu Inoue. Starring Tatsuo Umemiya and Kyosuke Machida.
Gangs fight over a hidden fortune of gold bars.
“Hibari Ohako Benten Kozo (Hibari’s Favorite),” 1960 jidaigeki, 1 hour and 14 minutes.
Directed by Yasushi Sasaki. Starring Hibari Misora, Kotaro Satomi and Tomisaburo Wakayama.
Kikunosuke, a young temple servant, turns to his mother, Ofuji, for protection after being wrongly accused of murder. However Ofuji decides to turn her son into the police to collect a monetary reward. Devastated by this betrayal, Kikunosuke escapes to Edo in hopes of starting over. Once there, he takes on the name, “Benten Kozo” and soon joins a gang led by Nihon Daemon, which will later be known as Shiranami Goninotoko.
“Honoo no Shiro (Throne of Flame),” 1960 jidaigeki, 1 hour and 39 minutes.
Directed by Tai Kato. Starring Hashizo Okawa.
The tragic story of a young feudal lord who seeks revenge after learning that his uncle was behind his father’s murder.
“Ikasama Bakuchi (The Cheater),” 1968 jidaigeki, 1 hour and 32 minutes.
Directed by Shigehiro Ozawa. Starring Koji Tsuruta and Tomizaburo Wakayama.
Ginjiro the gambler goes on a mission to save young Oshino, whose father takes his own life because of a mounting gambling debt.
“Kon-shin,” 2012 drama, 2 hours and 14 minutes.
Directed by Yoshinari Nishikiori. Starring Sho Aoyagi and Ayumi Ito.
Hideaki reluctantly returns to his hometown of Okinoshima and remarries Tamiko, causing a rift with his motherless young daughter. He throws himself into training with the local sumo stable, gradually earning the respect of the once-estranged townspeople.
He gets selected for the coveted Ozeki position in the upcoming tournament. Preparing for the big championship, which is held every 20 years at Mizuwakasu Temple, the challenge becomes overwhelming, and the bond of his family and friends on the island support him as he steps into the final competition.
“LOVE Masao-kun ga Iku! (Go, Masao!),” 2012 comedy/drama, 1 hour and 49 minutes.
Directed by Kentaro Otani. Starring Shingo Katori and Ryoko Hirosue.
Hideki, a struggling comedian is initially overjoyed when he’s invited to appear on a pet-themed variety show starring a goofy dog Masao-kun. Unfortunately, his luck quickly takes a turn for the worse when Masao proves nearly impossible to handle. However, his attitude changes one day when he’s injured during filming and Masao immediately rushes to aid him. After that incident, Hideki decides to form a permanent duo with Masao.
“Nagareita Shichinin (The Seven Chefs),” 1997 food drama, 1 hour and 55 minutes.
Directed by Seiji Izumi. Starring Hiroki Matsukata, Koji Matoba, Ayumi Ishida and Tatsuo Umemiya.
Traveling chef Tatsuji is called back to Tokyo to help save his late teacher’s restaurant. With the help of his close friend Kinu, Tatsuji must complete the training of Wataru — the apprentice chosen by his late teacher to become the next master chef — in the art of culinary excellence and running a successful business.
“Nihon Jokyoden Gekito Himeyuri Misaki (Trials of an Okinawa Village),” 1971 action film, 1 hour and 35 minutes.
Directed by Shigehiro Ozawa. Starring Junko Fuji and Bunta Sugawara.
A female of a trucking company has run-ins with evil yakuza during the American occupation of Okinawa. Her hometown is threatened by usurers, gangsters and indirectly by American GI influences. She must battle a yakuza organization with her employees to help settle things.
“Ninkyo Tokaido (A Chivalrous Spirit),” 1957 samurai film, 1 hour and 45 minutes.
Directed by Sadatsugu Matsuda. Starring Chiezou Kataoka, Kinnosuke Nakamura and Utaemon Ichikawa.
Jirocho, an honorable and respected gang boss, uncovers a conspiracy organized by his rivals while on a quest to bring justice to three murders.
“Ougon Kujakujo Dai-Sanbu (Golden Peacock Castle Part 3),” 1961 samurai/action film, 57 minutes.
Directed by Shoji Matsumura. Starring Totsuben Sawamura, Kotaro Satomi and Shingo Yamashiro.
The battle for the Golden Peacock Castle continues in this third installment of the famed movie series. Heroes Hiuchimaru and Sakon discover hidden powers residing in the Peacock seal emblazoned on items they carry, while Gondaiyu continues his relentless attacks in pursuit of the hidden treasures locked away in the castle.
“Ougon Kujakujo Kanketsu-hen (Golden Peacock Castle: Final Episode),” 1953 samurai/action film, 55 minutes.
Directed by Shoji Matsuura. Starring Totsuben Sawamura, Kotaro Satomi, Shingo Yamashiro.
The struggle between the evil Gondaiyu and the remnants of Golden Peacock Castle comes to an end in this exciting finale. Gondaiyu and Danjo plot to take over the Shogun’s army while continuing their efforts to eliminate Sakon and Hiuchimaru.
“Ozora no Muhomono (Outlaw Under a Blue Canopy),” 1960 action film,
1 hour and 29 minutes.
Directed by Shoichi Shimazu. Starring Ken Takakura and Yoshiko Sakuma.
Sheriff Goro goes undercover to investigate drug smugglers.
“Saigo no Tokkoutai (Last Glory),” 1970 drama, 2 hours and 2 minutes.
Directed by Junya Sato. Starring Koji Tsuruta, Ken Takakura and Sonny Chiba.
A story depicting the last days of young Kamikaze pilots.
“Shingo Juban Shobu Dai Ichibu/Dai Nibu (Shingo’s Original Challenge Part 1 & 2),” 1959 samurai film, 1 hour and 44 minutes.
Directed by Sadatsugu Matsuda. Starring Hashizo Okawa, Ryutaro Otomo and Ryunosuke Tsukigata.
The first episode of the popular series “Shingo’s Challenge.” A young samurai, Aoi Shingo learns that he is, in fact, the illegitimate son of the Shogun. Hoping to reunite with is birth father, Lord Yoshimune, he heads to the castle. However, the reunion never takes place as Shingo finds himself the target of a conspiracy. Will he ever be able to meet his father?
“Showa Zankyoden Karajishi Botan (Contemporary Tales of Chivalry 2),” 1966 action film, 1 hour and 29 minutes.
Directed by Kiyoshi Saeki. Starring Ken Takakura and Yoshiko Mita.
Hidejiro is a wandering yakuza with a ‘karashi botan’ (Chinese lion and peony) tattoo. Owing a favor to the Soda Family, he kills the boss of the rival Sakaki Family. When the Soda attacks the Sakaki and double-crosses him, with sword in hand, Hidejiro seeks brutal retribution.
“Space Battleship Yamato,” 2010 drama, 2 hours and 19 minutes.
Directed by Takashi Yamazaki. Starring Takuya Kimura and Meisa Kuroki.
The story is set in the year 2199. The Gamilas, a mysterious alien enemy, has been decimating the Earth to unlivable and irradiated conditions for the past five years. Humankind now lives underground to escape the radiation, but with only a year until extinction. One day while roaming the surface of Earth, former pilot Susumu Kodai (Takuya Kimura) comes across a capsule sent from the planet Iskandar that reveals there is technology that has the power to eradicate the radiation from Earth. A chosen crew of Space battleship Yamato takes off on the long trip to Iskandar with hopes to save the Earth.
“Tengoku no Eki (Station to Heaven),” 1984 drama, 2 hours and 14 minutes.
Directed by Masanobu Deme. Starring Sayuri Yoshinaga, Toshiyuki Nishida and Tomokazu Miura.
A tangled web of murder and deceit shroud a woman’s lifelong search to find true love.
“The Untold Story: Internment of Japanese Americans in Hawai‘i,” 2012 documentary, 58 minutes.
Directed by Ryan Kawamoto.
Within 48 hours of Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawai‘i authorities arrested several hundred local Japanese on O‘ahu, Maui, Hawai‘i and Kaua‘i. They were Buddhist priests, Japanese language school officials, newspaper editors, business and community leaders. In total, over 2,000 men and women of Japanese ancestry were arrested, detained and interned in Hawai‘i.
Very little is known about the Hawai‘i internees and the confinement sites located in Hawai‘i. This is the first full-length documentary to chronicle this untold story in Hawai‘i’s history.
“Wakasama Zamurai Torimonocho Mano Shibijin Yashiki (Case of A Young Lord, Part 3),” 1954 jidaigeki, 1 hour and 30 minutes.
Directed by Kinnosuke Fukada. Starring Hashizo Okawa, Shinobu Chihara and Satomi Oka.
A master swordsman gets involved in a strange murder that occurs as a result of a Shogun succession struggle.
“Yabanjin no You ni (Like a Savage),” 1985 drama, 1 hour and 47 minutes.
Directed by Toru Kawashima. Starring Hiroko Yakushimaru and Kyohei Shibata.
Young writer Tamako, who is wrongfully accused of killing the head yakuza, must find a way out of trouble.