True Love and Deceit

Because we truly love our viewers, I want to let you know that we deceived you — although not on purpose — about the upcoming premier of Love and Deceit. We told you episode #1 would be 1-1/2 hours long. We were wrong. It is only one hour long. So Love and Deceit’s premier episode will air on Sunday, July 5th, from 8-9pm, and Behind the Noren will begin at its regular time of 9pm.

Reset your DVRs!!!


Love and Deceit

We’re starting a new drama on Sunday, July 5th, at 8pm. The Japanese title is Utsukushiki Wana, which literally translates to Beautiful Snare. This is a drama about relationships and the complicated games people play trying to trap one another. Beautiful Snare didn’t really translate well in English, so we retitled it “Love and Deceit”.

And it really is all about love and deceit. Rika Nishida is a 34-year-old woman who has finally come to terms with the fact that her three year affair with the handsome, ambitious, and married managing director of the company she works for is going nowhere and has to end. However, before Rika can end it, Sota Kashiwagi dumps her. When Rika learns Sota’s wife Mitsuko orchestrated the break-up, she is furious and vows to take revenge.

So begins a game of deceit and entrapment, all fueled by love.

The first episode is 1-1/2 hours long, so it will run from 8-9:30pm. This means Behind the Noren on 7/5 will run from 9:30-10:30pm.

Ja, ne!

Partners 11

I’ve mentioned it before, but here’s a reminder that Partners 11 starts tomorrow night (Thursday, 6/18) at 9pm. The first episode is in two parts, with the second part airing next Thursday, the 25th. This is the 11th in the Partners series! It’s still really popular in Japan, where they are currently airing series #13.

The Japanese word for Partners is Aibou, so if you want to get more information on this show on the internet, use the word “Aibou”.

Don’t forget Sunday is Father’s Day, so get your “My Dad Is Awesome Because…” entries in before midnight tonight!

Ja, ne

My Dad is Awesome Because…

This year, Father’s Day is on Sunday, June 21st. The past few years, we’ve conducted a father/child look-alike contest, but we’re doing something different this year.

We’d like to ask you to pay tribute to your dad by telling us why he’s awesome (in 50 words or less). We’ve put together a great prize package we think your dad will love:

  • A 15-pound bag of Tamaki Gold rice;
  • A bottle of premium Japanese sake from The Cherry Company; and
  • A $50 gift certificate for premium steak or seafood from the J-Shop store.

We have five prize packages available, so five lucky dads will be enjoying a great meal for Father’s Day!

I’d like to start things off by telling you why my dad is awesome:

My dad expresses his love for us through food. He is a great cook, and an even better baker. But he is exceptional at making mochi, which he makes for us on every special occasion. I think his mochi is extra good becomes it comes from his heart.

Ja, ne!

Time is running out!

If you have been watching Kuru Kuru Japan the past two weeks for clues to our promotion and you haven’t sent in your answers yet, DO IT NOW!!! The deadline for entries is tomorrow night (5/22) at 11:59pm! Remember, one lucky winner will receive two airlines tickets to Tokyo on China Airlines.

Ja, ne!

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!


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!