TBS announced on March 29 that it will be producing a special drama based on the life of poet Misuzu Kaneko in which actress Aya Ueto (26) will portray the late poet.
Born in 1903, Kaneko, who experienced a resurgence of fame in the aftermath of the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami through the use of her poem "Kodama Desho" in an AC Japan PSA, began writing poetry at a young age and published 512 poems before passing away at the age of 26 in 1930.
Commenting on the public's fascination with Kaneko's poetry, Ueto stated, "Her (Kaneko) verses were heard on television often after the disaster." "She was a very gentle and ladylike soul who you could tell had witnessed the sadness of life", she continued. Ueto added that she wants to make the role, which will call on her to deal with the subjects of death, illness, unemployment and other hardships, her best work yet by saying, "I will do my best to not have any regrets."
The drama will be produced by "Wataru Seken wa Oni Bakari" producer Fukuko Ishii, who also produced the 2001 Misuzu Kaneko biopic starring Takako Matsu. "There are still stories to be told. I want to step into that world one more time. I had my heart set on Ueto for the role and we waited until her schedule opened up to get the ball rolling" explained Ishii.
Cast in the role of Kaneko's brother Masasuke Ueyama is one-half of the Tackey & Tsubasa duo, Tsubasa Imai (30). "I'm thrilled to be a part of this wonderful project. I will do my best and I hope that this role will help me grow as an actor" commented Imai. This is the first time Ueto and Imai will be starring opposite each other. Upon hearing that it takes Ueto a week to learn her lines, Imai brought some laughter to the press conference by confessing he needs "at least a month".
Other cast members include Teruhiko Saigo, Reiko Takashima, Tomoko Naraoka, Taro Suruga, Aki Nishihara, Pinko Izumi, Yuki Matsumura, Miyu Kobayashi, Miho Ohwada, Sadahito Niwa and Nobuto Okamoto.
The drama is tentatively scheduled to air in September.
source: eiga.com, mantanweb