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Ooka Echizen (大岡越前 (おおおか えちぜん))

Ooka Echizen no Kami Tadasuke ( Kato ) is a town magistrate based in Edo, appointed by Shogun Yoshimune in 1717 (the very first episode). Often preferring to wander among commoners in disguise, he actively keeps the peace in Edo and helps clear corruption out of local politics. From the second season, Tadasuke concentrates on defending the oppressed in unfair cases, and the third introduces troubles in his personal life, such as his relation-ship with his son. Like his fellow magistrate Toyama no Kin-san, Tadasuke was a real historical figure (1677-1752), a judge in the Tokugawa period who was eventually awarded with a small hereditary domain by the grateful Shogun. His long-running TV adventures have alternated in the same slot with the similar Mito Komon for 30 years, with lead actor Kato Go aging along with the character he plays—by this point in the original Tadasuke's life, the Shogun had died of old age! Though the episodes remain a formulaic blend of crime and punishment, they retain a peculiarly Japanese melancholy that has kept them popular with the local audience, though often regarded by foreign viewers as one step beyond a Martian soap opera in their alien qualities. In one classic episode in the 13th season, a sick mother discovers that her husband is a suspected murderer. Meanwhile, her young son is selling splinters of wood as pills in a futile attempt to make some more money for his mother—in other words, he is a little match boy. Learning that Tadasuke is looking for her, the mother decides to commit suicide, and her loyal son announces that he will also kill himself. Instead of admonishing him for throw-ing away his life, the Japanese mother is exceedingly proud and suggests that they should die together. Although the viewers probably know how this ends before the opening credits have even finished rolling, such simple stories have retained audience attention for three decades. (Source: Drama Wiki)

drama - 398 Total episodes | TBS | 0
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