“Kono Koi Atatamemasuka (A Warmed Up Love),” premieres Wednesday, Dec. 30, at 7:35 p.m.

Lost soul Kiki Inoue is stuck at a part-time job at a convenience store. Her love of its sweets leads to an unexpected partnership with the president of this retail chain to develop the next big convenience-store dessert! The president, though, is obsessed only with winning. Becoming a symbol for many who despair at life’s failures, Kiki asks herself, “What is most important in life?”

“Boogie Woogie Senmu (Boogie Woogie Vice President),” premieres Wednesday, Dec. 30, at 9:20 p.m.; repeats Thursday, Dec. 31, at 10:05 a.m.

The fictitious Uesugi Pump Ltd. advertises with the catchphrase “Meaningless Variety”! Its senmu (Vice President) Uesugi and manager Ohchi go all over Hokkaidö exploring various themes and meeting interesting people. They visit dams and find amazing “dam curry” along with other delicious food.

“Naoki Hanzawa,” premieres Friday, Jan. 1, at 7:35 p.m.; re-airs Friday at 10:30 and Saturday at 8:40 a.m.

Legendary banking hero Naoki Hanzawa of Tokyo Central Bank, assigned to subsidiary Tokyo Central Securities, joins forces with coworkers from the “lost generation.” Can his team secure double returns for clients, meeting their outlandish demands? The unconventional Hanzawa underwrites a new chapter in the financial world.

“Okonomiyaki Kiko (In Search of Okonomiyaki),” premieres Friday, Jan. 1, at 9:45 p.m.

Hiroshima’s soul food, okonomiyaki, can be tasted at over 1,800 restaurants in that region; this show visits some of the most popular okonomiyaki joints, in a gourmet adventure guaranteed to thrill!


“DIVER,” premieres Tuesday, Jan. 19 at 7:35 p.m.; re-airs Tueday at 10:30 p.m. and Wednesday at 8:40 a.m.

DIVER, an elite task force of undercover investigators, wields the hammer of justice. With criminal organizations spreading out-of-control around the city, Hyogo police are forced to take action. Through Diver, they are sent to infiltrate the underworld and conduct dangerous investigations.

“1×8 (Ippachi) Ikouyo!,” on Wednesday, Dec. 30, at 8:50 p.m.

A travel-variety show starring Hokkaidö superstar Yo Oizumi and STV announcer Yoji Kimura who visit the town of Niki for its fall fruit, including delicious grape varieties to be eaten in various ways and the “superfruit” seaberry.

“Little Island Dancers,” on Friday, Jan. 1, at 8:50 p.m.

Öshima, Ehime Prefecture, is an island in the Setonaikai (Japan’s Inland Sea). There, certified dance educator Yoshiya works at a child-development support center. A half-Filipino in Japan, he grew up facing hardship, but that experience helps him now understand children going through difficulties, so he can open them up through dancing.

“Okikatsu,” on Friday, Jan. 1, at 9:20 p.m.

This information-variety show supports Uchinanchu businesses and local events in Okinawa Prefecture, reporting on shops, cultural practices and traditional performing arts.

“Hakken Rakuchaku (Love Song From Heaven),” on Sunday, Jan. 3, at 9:05 p.m.

The “Hakken Rakuchaku” episode on which “Love Song from Heaven” is based.

“Tengoku Kara No Love Song (Love Song from Heaven),” on Sunday, Jan. 3, at 7:15 p.m.; repeats Mon., Jan. 4, at 8:45 a.m.

In this dramatization, Tensei expresses his desire to a star in his high-school festival, emailing FBS’s “Hakken Rakushaku” show. The Fukuoka team’s director becomes interested in Tensei’s late grandfather who had always made everyone laugh as well as left many love letters to his wife in case he died. The “Hakken Rakuchaku” crew labors to make 15-year-old Tensei’s wish come true: to perform music with his grandfather (in heaven!).

“Toyo’s Kitchen,” on Saturday, Jan. 2, 9:30 p.m.

Fukuoka’s FBS announcer Shinji Toyohara asks guest chefs to demonstrate making easy, delicious meals. A popular yakitori chef introduces Korean seafood pancake, Korean stew and chicken soboro rice.

“Iryu Sosa SP 10,” on Tuesday, Jan. 5 and 12, at 7:35 p.m.

Well-known neurosurgeon Imahira is shot to death in his home. Det. Itomura and Kanzaki and others in the Kyoto Prefectural Police’s Special Investigation Office arrive at the scene and must untangle various clues.

NGN 3 MOVIE CHANNEL (Spectrum Digital Ch. 679/HD 1679)

Premiere titles air on Friday. “Special Programs” premiere on the first Saturday. 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 the Japanese language with full English subtitles.

“Bon-Uta: A Song from Home.”
“Bon-Uta: A Song from Home.”

Special Programs

“Bon-Uta: A Song From Home,” 2019 documentary, 2 hours and 14 minutes. Airs on Thursday, Dec. 31, at 7:35 p.m.

Directed by Yuji Nakae.

In this documentary (reviewed in the Herald’s Oct. 22, 2019, issue), the people of Futaba town, Fukushima, fight to save a generations-old tradition in the wake of 2011’s earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster. The townspeople realize their beloved “bon uta” might cease to exist unless they take action. They hear the story of Fukushima Ondo, another “bon uta” preserved by Japanese Americans whose ancestors had emigrated from Fukushima to Hawaii over 100 years ago — and travel to Maui to see how that tradition was passed down to the current generation.

“Tsukiji Wonderland,” 2016 documentary, 1 hour and 50 minutes. Airs on Saturday, Jan. 2, at 7:35 p.m.

Directed by Naotaro Endo.

A documentary chronicling the famed Tsukiji Market, moved to Toyosu in 2018, including areas never before filmed. This revered Japanese fish market has continually sustained the nation’s food culture for over 80 years; within it, each season’s fish mesmerizes tourists from around the world, as wholesalers and chefs play out a duel among professionals. See the passion of people in Tsukiji which reveals the essence of Japan’s traditional cuisine.

”Tengoku Kara No Love Song.”
”Tengoku Kara No Love Song.”

Movies in Alphabetical Order

“Beranme Geisha Makaritoru (The Prickly Mouthed Geisha Part 4),” 1961 comedy-drama, 1 hour and 17 minutes.

Directed by Eiichi Koishi. Starring Hibari Misora and Ken Takakura.

High-spirited geisha, Koharu, seems trapped in a conspiracy to take over a lucrative diamond-mine business.

“Bodyguard Kiba Hissatsu Sankaku Tobi (Karate Killer),” 1973 action film, 1 hour and 30 minutes.

Directed by Ryuichi Takamori. Starring Sonny Chiba and Tsunehiko Watase.

Karate master Kiba Naoto fights to protect his younger sister.

“Chushingura Dai-ichibu Ooka no Maki (Forty Seven Masterless Samurai Part 1),” 1959 samurai film, 1 hour and 39 minutes.

Directed by Sadatsugu Matsuda. Starring Chiezo Kataoka, Ryutaro Otomo, Chiyonosuke Azuma and Hashizo Okawa.

The famous story of 47 loyal vassals of the Ako clan taking revenge on their enemy, performed by an all-star cast.

“Chushingura Dai-nibu Kikka no Maki (Forty Seven Masterless Samurai Part 2),” 1959 samurai film, 1 hour and 23 minutes.

Directed by Sadatsugu Matsuda. Starring Chiezo Kataoka, Ryutaro Otomo, Chiyonosuke Azuma, Hashizo Okawa, Hibari Misora and Utaemon Ichikawa.

Conclusion of the tale of the famous 47 loyal vassals of the Ako clan.

“Daidatsugoku (Great Jail Break),” 1975 drama, 1 hour and 31 minutes.

Directed by Teruo Ishii. Starring Ken Takakura and Nana Kinomi.

Blamed for a murder he did not commit, prison escapee Shoichiro is forced to go on a solitary journey for freedom.

“Edokko Hada (Edo Purebred),” 1961 jidaigeki, 1 hour and 26 minutes.

Directed by Masahiro Makino. Starring Hashizo Okawa, Yataro Kurokawa and Hiroko Sakuramachi.

Rival firefighters, Kichigoro and Jirokichi, build a friendship.

“Genji Kuro Sassoki Nuregami Nitoryu (Tales of Young Genji Kuro),” 1967 jidaigeki, 1 hour and 27 minutes.

Directed by Tai Kato. Starring Konnosuke Nakamura and Shinobu Chihara.

Entrusted to protect the antique “kaen” sword, master swordsman Genji Kuro is tasked by the Otsubo family to reunite it with companion “suien” sword at Mishima Shrine. However, the journey to the shrine is dangerous; Genji Kuro must put his skills to the test, fending off a band of cunning and ruthless thieves.

“Gokudo Senso Butoha (Yakuza Warfare),” 1991 action film, 1 hour and 55 minutes.

Directed by Sadao Nakajima. Starring Kiichi Nakai and Sonny Chiba.

Two young yakuza make names for themselves in a large gang war.

“Hachi-nen goshi no Hanayome (The 8-Year Engagement),” 2017 romantic drama, 1 hour and 59 minutes.

Directed by Takahisa Zeze. Starring Takeru Sato and Tao Tsuchiya.

This miraculous, true-story-based heartbreaker is about a man who waited eight years for his true love. A happy couple in their 20s, Hisashi and Mai are engaged to be married. Three months before their wedding, Mai’s heart fails her; she falls into a deep coma. Hisashi visits Mai at the hospital every day; though  Mai’s parents encourage him to find someone else, he refuses and continues praying for her. Mai regains consciousness several years later, but her brain damage leaves her with no memory of Hisashi.

“Happyaku Mangoku ni Idomu Otoko (A Man Challenging the Post),” 1961 jidaigeki, 1 hour and 35 minutes.

Directed by Nobuo Nakamura. Starring Utaemon Ichikawa and Katsuo Nakamura.

A young man in Tökaidö, who proclaims to be the illegitimate child of Shogun Yoshimune, joins a plot to seize power.

“Kono Kubi Ichimangoku (Tragedy of the Coolie Samurai),” 1963 jidaigeki, 1 hour and 33 minutes.

Directed by Daisuke Ito. Starring Hashizo Okawa.

Gonzo, who longs to be a full-fledged samurai, gets caught in conflict between warlords.

“Kyodai Jingi Kanto Anikibun (Code Between Brothers 6),” 1967 action film, 1 hour and 27 minutes.

Directed by Sadao Nakajima. Starring Saburo Kitajima and Koji Tsuruta.

A yakuza womanizes during the early twentieth century.

“Murasaki Zukin (The Purple Hooded Man),” 1958 jidaigeki, 1 hour and 28 minutes.

Directed by Hideaki Onishi. Starring Chiezo Kataoka, Kotaro Satomi, Ryunosuke Tsukigata and Satomi Oka.

The people’s hero Murasaki Zuki helps those in need. Now under the rule of the evil Tanuma, the people look to the mysterious Murasaki Zuki more than ever, to confront and punish those who bring misfortune upon commoners. Will he be able to single-handedly restore peace to the land?

“Nihon Ansatsu Hiroku (Assassination: Right or Wrong),” 1969 action-drama film, 2 hours and 21 minutes.

Directed by Sadao Nakajima. Starring Sonny Chiba and Tomisaburo Wakayama.

This anthology consists of nine incidents in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries when assassins changed the course of Japanese history by killing famous men under Japan’s growing militarism.

“Nihon Jokyoden Gekito Himeyuri Misaki (Trials of an Okinawan Village),” 1971 action film, 1 hour and 35 minutes.

Directed by Shigehiro Ozawa. Starring Junko Fuji and Bunta Sugawara.

The female head 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 soldiers. With the help of her employees, she must battle a yakuza organization to settle things in her community.

“Nijiiro Days (Rainbow Days),” 2018 drama, 1 hour and 50 minutes.

Directed by Ken Iizuka. Starring Ryusei Yokohama and Taishi Nakagawa.

Lovable, purehearted Natsuki; flirtatious playboy Tomoya; secretly sadistic but outwardly cheerful Keiichi; and intelligent but self-paced Tsuyoshi. These four high-school friends have different personalities and hobbies but love to hang out together. Changes occur in their silly, playful and fun-filled lives when Natsuki, awkward with girls, falls in love with his schoolmate Anna.

“Ninja Hichou Fukurou no Shiro (Samurai Spies),” 1963 samurai-action film, 1 hour and 31 minutes.

Directed by Eiichi Kudo. Starring Ryutaro Otomo and Minoru Oki.

Surviving an attack which nearly destroyed his clan, Juzo, one of the most skilled Iga ninja, sets out on a quest for vengeance. Convinced that the assassination of the current Shogun, Hideyoshi, will avenge his clan, Juzo faces challenges when rival Koga ninja, Gohei, is dispatched to stop him.

“Satomi Hakkenden Dai-sanbu (Sorcerer’s Orb 3),” 1954 samurai film, 52 minutes.

Directed by Toshikazu Kono. Starring Chiyonosuke Azuma, Kinnosuke Nakamura and Ryunosuke Tsukigata.

Four sacred warriors search on for the remaining group members while also discovering the magical powers in their own orbs.

“Satomi Hakkenden Dai-yonbu (Sorcerer’s Orb Part 4),” 1954 jidaigeki, 49 minutes.

Directed by Kono Toshikazu. Starring Azuma Chiyonoske, Nakamura Kinnosuke and Tsukigata Ryunosuke.

Five sacred warriors, fated to reunite eight magical crystal orbs, continue their adventure to fulfill an ultimate destiny.

“Shin Gokudo no Onnatachi Horetara Jigoku (Yakuza Ladies Revisited: Love is Hell),” 1994 drama, 1 hour and 45 minutes.

Directed by Yasuo Furuhata. Starring Shima Iwashita and Shinji Yamashita.

The seventh movie in the “Yakuza Ladies” series focuses on an Ösaka wife who risks her life to protect her husband’s family and its members against larger, more established organizations.

“Shinjuku no Yotamono (Thugs of Shinjuku),” 1970 drama, 1 hour and 27 minutes.

Directed by Shin Takakuwa. Starring Bunta Sugawara and Shingo Yamashiro.

Fresh out of jail, wise guy Goro takes the name “Big Brother Katsumata.” Not fitting in with established gangs, the smart-mouthed criminal forms the rag-tag “Shinjuku Brothers” of thugs who yearn to be traditional yakuza. When this new gang turns up at a gangster’s funeral, they are initially not welcomed, but the boss of bosses invites them to join a respected local council of warlords. Katsumata, however, is suspicious of why powerful men would extend an invitation to a lowlife like himself.

“Shinobi no Manji (Ninja’s Mark),” 1968 jidaigeki, 1 hour and 29 minutes.

Directed by Norihumi Suzuki. Starring Isao Natsuyagi and Hiroko Sakuramachi.

An erotic period piece about the struggles that broke out among ninjas in an Edo castle.

“Shura Hakkou (Devastation),” 1958 jidaigeki, 1hour and 33 minutes.

Directed by Yasushi Sasaki. Starring Utaemon Ichikawa and Ryunosuke Tsukigata.

To restore his honor, a samurai pursues robbers who break into a treasury.

“Umon Torimonocho Benitokage (Case of Umon: Red Lizard),” 1962 jidaigeki, 1 hour and 31 minutes.

Directed by Sadatsugu Matsuda. Starring Ryutaro Otomo and Shunji Sakai.

Umon goes on an investigation to unveil the murderer known as Red Lizard.

“Wakasama Zamurai Torimonocho Senketsu no Haregi (Case of A Young Lord Part 4),” 1957 jidaigeki, 59 minutes.

Directed by Shigehiro Ozawa. Starring Hashizo Okawa and Michiko Hoshi.

A master swordsman unveils the truth behind the mysterious murder of a man who dies with a bloody wedding gown in his hand.


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