Sayonara Oyaji Samurai. Okaeri Toyama no Kinsan!

I’m sad that Oyaji Samurai ended. It was a great series starring Naoto Takenaka as the “drunken” samurai Akame Kotoji. Even thought Akame-san was small in stature, not very handsome, and loved to drink, his sword-fighting ability and the goodness of his character made him very attractive to beautiful women.

Now that Oyaji Samurai is over, get ready for Toyama no Kinsan! This series will bring back many memories for long-time KIKU viewers. The original series was very popular and ran on KIKU for many years. This new remake stars Ken Matsudaira, who will also bring back memories for KIKU viewers. He was the star of Abarenbo Shogun, another very popular series that ran on KIKU for many years. 

Kinsan is a magistrate officer who protects the common people and is tough on criminals. Similar to Abarenbo Shogun, he moves through everyday life incognito, until he discovers crime and confronts the offender. Kinsan’s symbol is a tattoo of flowering sakura on his shoulder. When he lowers his kimono and criminals see his tattoo, they confess and the case is closed!

Toyama no Kinsan begins Tuesday, May 19th at 9pm.

Ja, ne!


Kuru Kuru Tokyo

We have a contest starting on Monday with a grand prize being airline tickets for two people from Honolulu to Tokyo on China Airlines!

To enter the contest, you need to watch Kuru Kuru Japan for the next two weeks for clues of 10 Tokyo landmarks. (Kuru Kuru Japan airs Mondays through Fridays from 6:30-7pm on KIKU.)

Each night from May 4th through May 8th and May 11th to May 15th, a different Tokyo location will be shown in Kuru Kuru Japan. Write down all 10 locations plus your name, address and phone number, and send or email this to KIKU-TV. We will randomly pick a winner from all of the entries with the correct 10 locations.

The airline tickets are provided by China Airlines. Did you know China Airlines has daily direct flights from Honolulu to Tokyo (Narita)?

For more information, check the rules information posted here on our website.

Good luck!


Legacy: The Pacquiao-Mayweather Ultimate Showdown

Even if you don’t like boxing, you’ve probably heard about the upcoming May 2nd fight between Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather. Some are calling it the biggest boxing match of all time. Certainly, it is the biggest fight in the careers of both fighters.

What is at stake, win or lose, for both of these legendary fighters? Beyond the title, money, fame and glory, it is the boxing history LEGACY both champions are fighting for.

Filipino boxing sensation Manny Pacquiao is a champion in eight different weight classes. His legacy is secure, but this upcoming bout is not just about winning another title. For Pacquiao, it is the battle between good and evil.

Undefeated Floyd Mayweather is said to be obsessed with the idea of his legacy. The idea that he is TBE — The Best Ever — will be proven if he beats Pacquiao.

On the road to the ultimate showdown, KIKU will be airing a half hour documentary produced by Balitang America with on-scene interviews and reports from the training camps of both fighters. KIKU will be airing this special four times before the fight:

Sunday, 4/26, 2015 – 4-4:30pm

Thursday, 4/30/15 – 8-8:30pm

Friday, 5/1/15 – 12N-12:30pm

Fri, 5/1/15 – 10-10:30pm

Even if you don’t like boxing, the symbolism of this match makes it one to watch.

Ja, ne!

Coming Up With New Titles

We often receive comments from viewers asking for more information about dramas airing on KIKU. Sometimes people just want to know how many episodes are in the series and when it will end. Other times, we are asked for the names of actors appearing in those dramas, and other series they’ve appeared in. And sometimes we are asked about the theme songs and the performers of those songs.

A lot of this information is available on the internet, but what’s makes searching difficult is we often change the titles of the series from the original Japanese titles.

We do this for two reasons: first is because the Japanese title may be long and complicated, and difficult to remember if English is your first language. And second, because the literal translation from Japanese to English doesn’t always make sense. When we change a title, we try to come up with one that best describes the spirit or essence of the show. Here are a few examples of original Japanese titles and the English titles we assigned those dramas:

Yoidore Kotouji – Oyaji Samurai

110k Keiji  – Fat Detective

Hanayome Noren – Behind the Noren

Naruyouni Narusa – Let It Be

Wataru Seken wa Onibakari – Making It Through

So, we apologize if this makes it harder for you to search for information about the shows. Our goal is actually to make it easier to understand what the show is about.

Ja, ne!




Kuru Kuru Japan #3

We hope you have enjoyed the Kuru Kuru Japan episodes featuring Ishizuka-san (aka The Fat Detective. Tonight, a new series of Kuru Kuru Japan shows begin. These are titled “What’s Hot in Japan” and are produced by a variety of stations with a variety of hosts. Some of the shows are more educational than food-oriented, but they are all about interesting topics relating to different places around Japan. And with that, Kuru Kuru Japan lives up to its name.

Ja, ne!


Behind the Noren

If you’ve been to a traditional Japanese restaurant or inn, chances are you’ve passed through a noren — or curtain — at the entrance. (Noren are those fabric room dividers, usually with vertical slits cut at the bottom.)

This Sunday, we begin a new series we are calling Behind the Noren. The actual title of this show is Hanayome Noren, which literally translates to Bridal Curtain.

The series is about the fiery relationship between the madam of an old-style Japanese inn (ryokan) and her new daughter-in-law, a former career woman.

Naoko is the career woman who was working in Tokyo before marrying the eldest son of a family that owns a distinguished traditional inn in Kanazawa.  Naoko’s new mother-in-law, Shino, views her as an outsider and refuses to accept her.

However, when Naoko’s husband Sosuke abruptly disappears one day, leaving behind a large debt, Naoko tells Shino about her plan to work at the inn to pay off Sosuke’s debts.

This is a family drama about the laughs, tears, and battles between a mother-in-law and daughter-in-law that go on in the inn “behind the curtain”. Hence, our title: Behind the Noren.

Sundays, 9-10pm, beginning 3/22/15. Hope you enjoy this!

Ja, ne!





Stay at Home Sundays

You’ll have even more reasons to stay at home on Sunday nights starting this weekend.

Do you remember the show Let It Be? This is the drama we aired last year about a middle-aged couple whose three sons have grown and moved out, leaving them with a large empty house. With her sons gone, instead of taking it easy, the wife, Aya, decides to live her dream and opens a café in their home.

The drama was about the people Aya hires to work in the café, and the relationships that develop between Aya, her husband, and their young workers. It was a very heart-warming drama written and produced by Fukuko Ishii, the same person who wrote the long-running Making It Through series. Her mastery at telling stories dealing with true-to-life issues and relationships is obvious when you watch her shows.

This Sunday, 3/15, we will air a 1-1/2 hour premier of Let it Be 2 starting at 8pm. Please don’t miss it!

Next Sunday, 3/22, we premier another drama series. I’ll write about Behind the Noren in my next blog.

Ja, ne!

Kuru Kuru Japan #2

Back in January, I blogged about Kuru Kuru Japan before it began airing. This is what I wrote then:

In Japanese, kuru kuru means to go round and round. And that’s exactly what our new Kuru Kuru Japan shows are about. Shows that take you all around Japan, with a focus on the delicious foods and interesting places that can be found throughout the country.

Kuru Kuru Japan runs Monday through Friday from 6:30-7pm. If you love Soko ga Shiritai, you’ll love Kuru Kuru Japan!

Now that Kuru Kuru Japan has been airing for almost two months, I wanted to give you a little more information about it, and also ask for your feedback.

First, the information: Kuru Kuru Japan is the name we gave to a collection of different individual programs that will be airing in this time period. What all of these programs have in common is they focus on delicious foods or interesting places throughout Japan.

We launched Kuru Kuru Japan with a program called Gourmet Japan that was all about different foods. For example, one episode focused on mushrooms and wild vegetables, another on garlic, and still another on mochi (my favorite).

The last five weeks, the program has been Yatata Girls. In these episodes, three women visit different locations in Japan, trying to find the best attractions and foods of the area.

Tonight, a new program titled Rediscover Japan begins in the Kuru Kuru Japan time period. Fans of the Fat Detective series will love this set of programs because the host is the fat detective himself, Hidehiko Ishizuka.

I apologize if it’s been confusing. But there are so many great programs about the foods and places in Japan that we wanted to be able to share them with you and felt the best way was under the Kuru Kuru Japan umbrella.

Please send us your feedback about Kuru Kuru Japan. We look forward to hearing from you.

Ja, ne!

Omiya-san 7

We started airing another Omiya-san series last night. This is the seventh season of Omiya-san to air on KIKU. The last one (Season 6) aired quite some time ago, in 2011.

Do you like Omiya-san? If you haven’t watched this detective series, please take a look. The main character is Kazaburo Torii, a detective who specializes in solving cold cases. He has an unassuming, innocent look, but behind that is a sharp mind and a super memory that helps him recall facts and details from past crimes and solve the seemingly unsolvable.

Episode one is in two parts; the second half airs next Thursday, 1/19, from 9-10pm.

Ja, ne!

Shiawase (Happy)

This Sunday (2/8), we are re-airing a special we aired back in September 2013. It is titled Shiawase, and it’s a heartwarming story about a family held together by its patriarch, Shinichi. Here’s a short description of the show:

Just outside the Sapporo city limits is an area of old buildings where time has come to a standstill. Hidden here is a small, family-run noodle-making business. The father who owns the business, Shinichi, is 70 and a dependable member of the community. Although he has been stepping back from the business as company president, he continues to be a vital part of the company and holds everyone together.

What would happen if he was suddenly gone one day? Would the family be able to stay together? Would the business be able to survive?

Please watch this story about how life can begin again even after deep sorrow and loss. Shiawase begins at 7pm and is 1-1/2 hours long.

Ja, ne!