On April 9th, actress Horikita Maki attended the official departure ceremony of a train wrapped with advertisements for her NHK morning drama ‘Umechan Sensei‘ at the Shinagawa Station in Tokyo.
She commented on the train, “There are so many posters that it makes me both embarrassed and happy.” Showing off a bright smile she added, “I hope it will travel to many towns and that everyone will come to Kamata by riding this train.”
In ‘Umechan Sensei’, Horikita is playing a local doctor named ‘Umeko’ in Kamata during the postwar period. She explained, “Umeko is the youngest of three siblings. Compared to her older brother and sister, she’s rather clumsy, but she’s a very positive girl and is working very hard in order to become a real doctor.” The morning drama aired its first episode on April 2nd, which recorded the highest start in five years with a rating of 18.5%. By the third episode it already reached a rating of 20.0%. The 2011 morning drama ‘Ohisama‘ needed five episodes to get there, while most of the other recent morning dramas needed at least one month to break the 20% mark.
Horikita also was able to come into contact with the real people of Kamata for a recent TV program. “It made me understand how each person is connected to each other,” she remembered.
The ‘Umechan Sensei’ train will operate on the Keikyu Main Line between the Sengakuji Station and the Misakiguchi Station until September, 2012. Additional posters are put up at the Umeyashiki Station on the Keikyu Main Line, due to bearing the same name as ‘Umechan’. Furthermore that station will use SMAP’s “Sakasama no Sora“, the theme song of the morning drama, as its official station melody.