Yoshinaga Fumi’s historical fiction manga “Ooku” is getting a television drama adaptation and a second film adaptation, it has been announced. Actor Sakai Masato (38) will star in both, though he will play different characters in each.
“Ooku” is set during the Edo period of Japan, in an alternate history where a mysterious disease that affects only males has resulted in a population where women overwhelmingly outnumber men. As a result, woman are the dominant members of society, and due to scarcity, men are valued for their ability to produce offspring. The shoguns are female instead of male, and the “ooku” (the inner chambers of the shogun’s castle) consists of a harem of men.
A movie adaptation of the first volume of the manga was released in 2010, starring Arashi member Ninomiya Kazunari as a member of the “ooku” and Shibasaki Kou as Tokugawa Yoshimune. The movie earned 2.3 billion yen at the box office.
The television drama, titled “Ooku: Arikoto Iemitsu Hen,” will cover volumes 2 through 4 of the manga, which takes place during Tokugawa Iemitsu’s reign. Sakai will play the part of Arikoto, a monk brought into the “ooku,” while Tabe Mikako (22) will play Iemitsu.
The TV series is scheduled to run from October to December on TBS. After the series ends, the “Ooku: Emonnosuke Tsunayoshi Hen” movie adaptation will be released in theaters on December 22. It will cover volumes 4 through 6 of the manga. Sakai will play Emonnosuke, an “ooku” member who resembles Arikoto, and Kanno Miho (34) will play the shogun Tokugawa Tsunayoshi.