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!





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!