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!

Oyaji Samurai

The final episode of Strategist Kanbe ran this past Tuesday, and the next Taiga drama does not begin until February 10th, so please tune in for a 1-1/2 hour Oyaji Samurai special on Tuesday, February 3rd.

The special is a prelude to the Oyaji Samurai series, which will begin on Tuesday, February 17th, at 9pm.

You might be interested to learn that the actual title of the special is Oyari Haishaku and the actual title of the series is Yoidore Kotoji. We felt Oyaji Samurai was a more descriptive title for both the special and the series. (FYI, Oyari Haishaku means borrowed spear. Yoidore means drunk, and Kotoji is the name of the main character.)  Oyaji is a term that refers to a somewhat older man, sort of like a man who is “over the hill”. You may remember that in the Making It Through series, the band formed by the older men was called The Oyaji Band”.

Oyaji Samurai is about a somewhat shabby, middle-aged, low-ranking, but well-intentioned samurai of small stature named Kotoji Akame.  One day, after drinking too much alcohol in a contest, Kotoji fails to wake in time to escort his lord on a journey from Edo back to his home domain. As a result, Kotoji is released from service and becomes a wandering samurai.

To avenge his lord, Kotoji comes up with a scheme to steal the lances — or spears — which are a family’s symbols. Kotoji ends up stealing the lances of several families, which creates an unlikely alliance amongst them as they plot to take revenge on Kotoji.

Kotoji’s drinking does get him into trouble now and then, but he isn’t always drunk. This is why we felt Oyaji Samurai was a more appropriate title.

This is a lighthearted jidaigeki series. Kotoji, although small and a little old, is clever, and this creates unexpected, funny situations.

Ja, ne!

The Next Taiga Drama

There is only one more episodes of the 53rd Taiga drama, Strategist Kanbe, remaining. We will air the final episode on Tuesday, January 27th, with a retelecast on Sunday, February 1st.

The next (54th) Taiga drama is titled Hana Moyu, which literally translates to “burning flower”. It is presumed that the burning flower this title refers to is Fumi Sugi, a woman who was part of the Choshu clan from Satsuma Prefecture.

Fumi was a somewhat obscure, behind-the-scenes figure in the Meiji Restoration era. She was the younger sister of Shoin Yoshida, who was a well known educator and activist who helped spur the Meiji Restoriation. Fumi was a strong supporter of her brother, and after he was imprisoned and executed, she continued to influence others to support Shoin’s teachings and philosophies.

Although Fumi was not well-known, her contributions did make a difference to modern day Japan; many of Japan’s future leaders emerged from the Choshu domain, and this can be attributed to her strong spirit and determination behind the scenes. She was truly a burning flower.

Hana moyu begins with a 1-1/2 hour episode on Tuesday, February 10th, 2015, at 8pm.

Ja, ne!