Just call me 'Jessan'

Good morning everyone,

Seriously, it's got really cold in the mornings and evenings. Two days ago on my way to work I was wearing shorts, a short-sleeve t-shirt and a button down and was sweating...yesterday I wore jeans, a long-sleeve t-shirt and a sweatshirt and was still feeling a bit cool! The weather will remain the same as yesterday-highs around 22C and lows around 13C and mostly sunny skies-until the end of the week. From Monday it's going to cloud over and we may see some rain on Tuesday and Wednesday...

I can never keep caught up on what's playing on NHK (the national tv channel in Japan). I hadn't heard anything about a new show starting, then I was watching the news the other day and they were showing a train in Takehara, a small town in Hiroshima Prefecture, that was painted to advertise some new program called, "Massan".

Then, yesterday in one of my classes, a student said, "Call me 'Yussan'", based on the character 'Massan' from the program, so I thought I'd better look into it.
massan.jpg
It turns out that the program started about 3 weeks ago and is based on the life of Masataka Taketsuru, who was born in Takehara in 1894. 'Massan' was his nickname. When he was young, he went to Scotland to study at university but also worked in many distilleries while he was there. He fell in love with a Scottish woman and they came back to Japan. The 'asadora' (which translates as 'morning drama') is the first one to feature a non-Japanese actor in a lead role.

It's a fictionalized account of their life together so some details and names have been changed, but it has still made Takehara a popular spot for tourists to visit. Of course it's basically a soap opera, so there has to be some friction in their lives so there is a 'rival' for his love as well as the initial disapproval of his family...

I can't imagine what it was like to have a mixed marriage in those days. Having one these days even scares me! Ha ha! As advanced as Japan is in many ways, mixed marriages are still something of a novelty in the best case scenario and are still frowned upon in some more traditional families (and I've even heard of one father forbidding his son to marry an American girl).

Anyway, 'Massan' is on NHK daily until the end of March. Let me know if it's worth recording and watching when I get home from work...

Have a great day!

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