It has been announced that actor Iseya Yusuke (33) will appear in the NHK Taiga drama, "Ryomaden" (Sundays 8PM) in role of Takasugi Shinsaku. This will be his first time acting in a taiga drama.
Iseya, who has mainly acted in movies, will play the role of a highly popular bakumatsu hero from the Choshu clan on the same level as Sakamoto Ryoma, the main character played by Fukuyama Masaharu (41).
With this, the principal cast appears to be all present. It has 33 years since the last time Shinsaku has appeared as a chief character in a taiga drama, with the last time played by Nakamura Masatoshi (59) in 1977's "Kashin."
His first appearance will be in the episode scheduled to air on July 18th. It starts from the scene where Ryoma meets Shinsaku and other Choshu samaurai by chance at a restaurant in Nagasaki.
Suzuki Kei, the chief producer, explained: "Ryoma and Shinsaku both died young, had an unconventional fashion sense, dreamed of activity overseas, there were a lot of common features between them. We'll be depicting them as 'having the same soul,' the friendship and intermingling of two people as soulmates."
There's the famous episode of Shinsaku giving Ryoma a pistol as a souvenir from Shanghai, China, which become his favorite one that he carried around with him everywhere. Iseya gave a heated performance in the role of Jiro last year in NHK's drama special, "Shirasu Jiro," to which Suzuki said, "Now is the season for stout acting [from Iseya]." It looks as though Iseya and Fukuyama Masaharu will brighten things up in the latter half of Ryomaden in an acting battle.