Long Running TV Series Mito Komon Ends After 43 Years

Referenced in Samurai Champloo and Oh! Edo Rocket to name a few...

A recurring reference in anime, particularly period anime, involves action stopping when a character pulls out a lacquered case bearing the crest of the Tokugawa shogun. The row house outcasts in Oh! Edo Rocket tried to pull it off. A significant gag late in Samurai Champloo involves the unfortunate consequences of a man trying to halt half-wild swordsman Mugen in that way. That ritual exchange is a nod to jidaigeki period drama Mito Komon, and, after a 43-year run, it's finally ending. 

 

(Mugen's "I got in an argument and killed this weird old guy..." anecdote is explained here)

 

 

The formula of Mito Komon featured a supposedly retired merchant who travels with his two body guards. He seemed like a wealthy old gentleman of no great importance or ability. But, in every episode he discovers a problem, and, with his surprisingly able retinue, is able to best any corrupt or trouble making opposition. Finally, the merchant displays his crest, revealing that he is really former vice-shogun and retired daimyo Tokugawa Mitsukuni—a true historical figure, grandson of shogunate founder Tokugawa Ieyasu.

 

Faced with weak ratings, Japan's TBS has opted to end this longest running period drama with its 43rd season.

 

 

And, there was an anime version, with an awesome theme song

 

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