[2012 J-Drama Special] Blackboard
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Posted 1/24/12 , edited 4/4/12


Sakurai Sho, Oshima Yuko to co-star in television drama “Blackboard”



Arashi’s Sakurai Sho (30) and AKB48’s Oshima Yuko (23) will appear together in a television drama for the first time. In April, TBS plans to air a 3-episode miniseries, and Sakurai and Oshima have been cast in the first episode.

The miniseries, titled “Blackboard ~ Jidai to Tatakatta Kyoushitachi~,” revolves around teachers in different time periods having to deal with the problems of that era. For example, the first episode stars Sakurai as Shirahama, a junior high school teacher who taught his students about “dying for your country” during wartime. After later losing his right arm in the war, he returns to teaching but is burdened and conflicted by what he taught his students in the past.

Oshima will play one of Shirahama’s colleagues, an English teacher. She becomes an eventual love interest for him, though it seems to develop into a love triangle with his older brother’s wife (Miyazawa Rie).

This is the first time that an AKB48 member has appeared in a drama starring an Arashi member. Filming will take place between February and March, but it is said that initially their schedules were so busy there was only one day when they were both available. However, their schedules were later adjusted, and the production team gave up on filming on location (due to the time required just to travel) and instead constructed a nearly 2,000-square-meter set in Yokohama that reportedly cost 100 million yen.

The second episode of “Blackboard ~Jidai to Tatakatta Kyoushitachi~” will star Sato Koichi (51) as a teacher during the 1980s having to deal with school violence. Shida Mirai (18) will play a delinquent student, and Kanjiya Shihori (26) will play another teacher at the school.

The cast for the third episode has not yet been finalized.

TBS plans to broadcast “Blackboard ~Jidai to Tatakatta Kyoushitachi~” over three consecutive nights in April.

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Posted 3/8/12
Matsushita Nao to star in third episode of TBS special drama ‘Blackboard’



On March 8th, TBS revealed the cast and the story for the third episode of their three-night special drama ‘Blackboard ~Jidai to Tatakatta Kyoshi-tachi~‘, which will portray the struggles of three different teachers in three different eras.

As it was announced in January, the first episode (which will air on April 5th) is set during the early post war period. Arashi member Sakurai Sho will be playing a soldier who’s exchanging the real battlefield for a junior high school, where he’ll be working as social studies teacher. Aside from having to adjust to the post war life and the new democratic system, he also has to struggle with his new prosthetic arm after losing his arm in the war.

One of his colleagues, an English teacher, will be played by AKB48’s Oshima Yuko, making this the first time for members of Arashi and AKB48 to appear in a drama together. Also appearing in this episode are Miyazawa Rie and child actor Suzuki Fuku.

The next episode (April 6th) will feature Sato Koichi as a unique teacher during one of the most violent eras for schools in the 1980s. One of the “bad students”, who is making life and work difficult for the teachers, will be played by Shida Mirai. Also appearing in this episode are Kanjiya Shihori, Kimura Tae, Hayashi Kento, and Sometani Shota.

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Additionally, it was just revealed that the final episode (April 7th) will be actually set in modern-day Japan again, and will tackle the story of forbidden teacher-student relationships. Matsushita Nao will play a very devoted English teacher who’s offering personal lessons for a pupil (played by Kamiki Ryunosuke), who barely can read or write.

Out of jealousy, the other pupils start to spread a false rumor about an alleged love relationship between her and said pupil. Even though it’s a lie, the rumor soon spreads to her coworkers and parents of the pupils. She loves being a teacher, and therefore tries to endure it all, but things become more difficult when the PTA (Parent-Teacher Association) files a complaint against her.

NEWS‘ Kato Shigeaki will play one of her colleagues, while SKE48’s Matsui Jurina will take on the role of a jealous pupil who starts the rumor.

All three episode will air at 9:00 pm.
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Posted 4/4/12
Blackboard (First Night) : Mirai




Story
In 1947, Shirahama Shohei, who has returned from the battlefront, teaches again at a junior high school in Ota Ward. He is puzzled by the radical transformation that Japanese education has undergone because of the war defeat, but concerned for the welfare of his former students, he holds a class reunion. Before Shohei departed for the battlefront, he taught that “Japan has no future unless it wins the war” and his students had stared at the word “future” on the blackboard with burning gazes. Believing in that word, they had excitedly volunteered to be child soliders. In the end, they lost healthy bodies and minds, and there were even those who lost their lives. Shohei is tormented by regret and dread. How does he talk about the word “life” on the blackboard?


Characters

Sakurai Sho as Shirahama Shohei
A former teacher in charge of national history who advocated militarism. He believed that war was right and taught students that it is an honour to die for the country before he departed for the battlefront. He lost his right arm and was sent home. Although he goes into teaching again despite his confusion at a Japan that differs little after losing the war, he cannot accept the 180 degree change in educational policy. When he learns of the emotional trauma of the students he had taken charge of and who had believed his teachings, from their present circumstances, he starts to wonder about his beliefs and what education and teachers are, as well as questions himself about the rights and wrongs of war.

Miyazawa Rie as Shirahama Hisako
The wife of Shirahama Shohei’s elder brother. Her husband was killed in action, but she and her son stay with the Shirahama family. She is a modest woman who shows consideration for others. Because she is not good at dealing with people, the night entertainment business is not possible, and she helps her mother-in-law in her sideline. She is the only breadwinner until Shirahama Shohei returns. Even though she is treated as a nuisance of Shohei’s younger sister Shizuko who has also returned to the family home after becoming a widow in the war, she quietly endures for the sake of her son.

Oshima Yuko as Ichihara Takami
An English language teacher at the junior high school. A good-natured, caring and cheerful girl who is concerned about Shirahama Shohei’s bewilderment regarding the change in educational policy. She says that she teaches English, the langauge of former enemy countries because she accepts Japan’s defeat and has moved forward, but her true intention is … …

Nakamura Aoi as Baba Takefumi
A student at Kamata Public School before Shirahama Shohei departed for the battlefront. Completely absorbed in literature under the influence of his father who had been an editor in publishing, he now throws himself into the revolutionary movement. Because of the 180 degree change in education during the war and after the war, teachers and society depress him. Thinking of the friends who had gone to the battlefield in joyful exuberance as the teachers had taught, he cannot hide the anger he feels towards Shohei who is alive and teaching once again.

Kitaoji Kinya as Shioda Akinori
A school principal since the time of Kamata Public School. Believing that education is most important for Japan’s revival, he strongly encourages Shirahama Shohei, who has been repatriated, to return to teaching. He mourns the lost of his son who did not return alive from the war, and aims to teach that Japan never go to war again. The son is the same age as Shohei.

Natori Yuko as Shirahama Masa
Shirahama Shohei’s mother. She is strict with discipline and manners, but loves Shohei deeply. Although she does not show it, she rejoices his return from the battlefield. Her late husband was also a teacher. She senses the internal struggle Shohei feels as he starts teaching again.
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Posted 4/7/12
Blackboard (Second Night) : Ikiro




Story
In 1980, Shirahama Shohei’s student, Goto Akira, returns to the junior high school at Ota Ward to be a teacher. His alma mater which brings back fond memories is in the grip of school violence. The thunderous roar of motorbikes of rabble-rousing delinquents, windows smashed by bats, and that classroom blackboard with the words “Go and die” in red graffiti. While the teachers turn their backs on the school’s most problematic student, Furusawa Yukari, Goto stops the violence of the girl who persistently puts her life at risk. That approach draws criticism and he is labelled a teacher who uses physical force. However, he also conveys the importance of life, having experienced it himself.

Characters
Sato Koichi as Goto Akira
A teacher in charge of the science subject. In the past, he had, as a student counselor, taken charge, curbed a fight at a Tokyo school where the greatest violence on campus had occurred, and let the students graduate without incident. Because he quelled school violence on the strength of that ability, he is asked by school principal Nogami Etsuo to transfer from a junior high school in Oshima even though it is mid-term. He is a alumnus of the school and becomes the form teacher of Class 3/5 where Furusawa Yukari, the school’s most problematic student is. However, he is labelled a “teacher who uses physical force” in some quarters. There is also strong opposition from teachers and the Parent-Teacher Association.

Shida Mira as Furusawa Yukari
The school’s greatest troublemaker who destructs classrooms and disrupts lessons. She is more than the teachers can handle. Although dead set against Goto Akira who has been appointed the new form teacher, she is not only brought into submission by force, but also gradually starts to take an interest in Goto and her classes.

Kanjiya Shihori as Yokote Ryoko
An English langugage teacher and form teacher of Class 3/4. She is totally against corporal punishment and opposes Goto Akira’s directives. However, she sees changes in Furusawa Yukari under his guidance that and starts to believe that Goto truly cares for his students … …

Kimura Tae as Goto Noriko
Goto Akira’s wife. She lived with their son Shinichi for a time during Goto’s absence because he took up a post away from home. She hopes that he will see more of Shinichi because they will finally be living together, but students are everything to her husband as usual. She has little choice but to half-surrender and worry about Shinichi’s future path.

Hayashi Kento as Goto Shinichi
Goto Akira’s only son. He quit club activities while his father was working away from home, and would hide and skip school. Self-conscious about being seen as the son of a teacher who uses physical force and unable adapt to his surroundings, he gloomily goes about daily life.

Maeda Gin as Nogami Etsuo
The school principal. After agonising over the violence in school, he entrusts the students to Goto Akira, who is widely talked of as a “teacher that uses physical force”. Caught between opponents of corporal punishment and real problem students, he spends each day worrying. Even so, his desire to protect the school is no different and he tries to adhere to Goto’s directives, but … …
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Blackboard (Third Night) : Yume




Story
In 2011, the junior high school in Ota Ward experiences a complete breakdown in classroom discipline. Takizawa Momoko, an English teacher in charge of the third-year students, writes the words “My dream” on the blackboard, but it is in vain for no one participates in the lesson. Even so, Momoko perseveres in reaching out to her students. Yokote Ryoko, the present school principal who was once colleagues with Goto Akira, is supportive of her. One day, Momoko learns that Omiya Masaki, an extremely defiant transfer student, has not received adequate education because of his family situation, and gives him personal coaching, but … … she is critised for forming an inappropriate relationship with a student. How does she talk about “love”, “dreams” and the “meaning of school”?

Characters
Matsushima Nao as Takizawa Momoko
Her class is disrupted under the influence of one transfer student, Omiya Masaki, and she loses confidence in continuing as a teacher. However, learning the reason why Masaki behaves this way makes her realise that each student is different. And so, in complete contrast to her attitude thus far, she tries to reach out to her students. Even though she is criticised by students and parents for being partial to only one student, she presses on with what she thinks is right. As a consequence, she comes under increasing pressure.

Kamiki Ryunosuke as Omiya Masaki
A student who has transferred into Class 3/2 which Takizawa Momoko is in charge of. He has a defiant attitude and always goes against his teacher by saying “I don’t know”. But there is a secret behind that … …

Kato Shigeaki as Kumatani Shota
A mathematics teacher and the assistant form teacher of Class 3/2. A modern man who loves music, but desires to avoid trouble from his teaching job, by snuffing out his own individuality and playing the ideal teacher. However, he sees Takizawa Momoko’s earnest efforts and realises the importance of reaching out to his students, and becomes more cooperative.

Matsui Jurina as Hirokawa Manami
She used to be a student who would earnestly listen to what teachers say, but is influenced by the defiant Omiya Masaki and gradually grows shuts out Takizawa Momoko’s words. She grows disgusted with Momoko who only cares about exams and warns them not to take school studies lightly.

Toda Keiko as Omiya Kyoko
Omiya Masaki’s mother. She has no husband and thinks that education is not necessary for her son. She would abandon her child and leave home often.

Baishou Mitsuko as Yokote Ryoko
A former English language teacher at the school. She recommended a demoralised Takizawa Momoko to take a leave of absence for a while. However, she sympathised with Momoko’s strong desire to try to reach out to the students again, and agreed to let her be in charge of them until their graduation.
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