ATSUHIME, 篤姫, PRINCESS ATSU is the 47th NHK Taiga drama which began on January 6, 2008 and aired throughout 2008 with 50 episodes. The story chronicles the life of Tenshōin, based on Tomiko Miyao's 1984 novel Tenshō-in Atsuhime (天璋院篤姫).
The 47th NHK Taiga Drama is a life story of Princess Atsu, who was born in Kagoshima Prefecture, then called Satsuma, and became the wife of Tokugawa Iesada, the 13th shogun of the Tokugawa shogunate. She accedes to the highest rank in Ooku, the inner palace of the Edo castle where women related to the reigning shogun resided. Iesada dies soon after their marriage and Atsuhime assumes the name Tenshoin at the age of 23. She exerts herself for the Tokugawa clan and for the nation during the upheaval in the Meiji Restoration, headed by those from Satsuma.
Based on Tomiko Miyao's novel Tenshō-in Atsuhime. The protagonist is Tenshō-in (Princess Atsu), the wife of Tokugawa Iesada, the thirteenth shōgun of the Edo shogunate. It is the seventh Taiga drama to feature a female lead just two years since the previous 2006 Kōmyō ga Tsuji. Following the 2005 Yoshitsune, this is Miyao's second work to be turned into a Taiga drama. Following the 2004 Shinsengumi!, it is also the second Taiga drama taking place at the end of the Edo shogunate. The character of Tenshō-in was previously taken up in the 2003 Fuji Television series Ōoku (starring Kanno Miho). The lead role is performed by Aoi Miyazaki, for which it is her first Taiga drama lead. She is also the youngest to play the lead role. In May, 2008 she won a Galaxy Award for her work in this role. The first half of the story predominantly takes place in Kagoshima prefecture, and as such many of the actors and music coordinators are from Kagoshima.
- 59th Television Drama Academy Awards: Best Actress - Miyazaki Aoi
- 1st Tokyo Drama Awards: Best Period Drama
- 1st Tokyo Drama Awards: Best Supporting Actor - Sakai Masato
- 12th Nikkan Sports Drama Grand Prix (Jul-Sep 2008): Best Actress - Miyazaki Aoi
- 12th Nikkan Sports Drama Grand Prix (Oct-Dec 2008): Best Actress - Miyazaki Aoi
- When the first episode aired January 5, 2008, Miyazaki Aoi, at 22 years, 1 month became the youngest lead artist in an NHK taiga drama. The record was previously held by Takizawa Hideaki (Yoshitsune, 2005) at 22 years, 9 months.
- According to the Kagoshima Regional Economic Research Institute, the economic effect Atsu-hime generated for the prefecture totaled 26.2 billion yen (approx. USD$275.5 million).