Below we have mentioned the top ten Japanese period dramas which everyone must watch.
Tempest is a historical political taking place in the last days of the Ryuku dynasty. The heroine Mazura disguises herself as a man to complete her studies due to gender restrictions. What makes Tempest an outstanding drama is a solid plot with an excellent female lead that is strong, beautiful, and capable.
Honour and Integrity are more important than winning battles. Naoe Kanetsugua was a devotee of Uesugi Kenshin. He believed in his teachings that what matters is to live one’s life with honour and virtue. After Kenshin’s death, Kanetsugua served the Uesugi family and the ordinary people of Echigo with a strong sense of righteousness and genuine sympathy. Tsumabuki Satoshi, in the lead, nailed the role of Kanetsuga, and with mind-blowing soundtracks and good cinematography, this drama is bound to get success. If starters are looking for a good Taiga drama, then Tenchijin is a good pick.
Ryomaden is a 2010 released historical war drama starring Fukuyama Masaharu in the lead as Sakamoto Ryoma, a visionary who helped spur Japan to modernization. The political conflicts and fathomless battle scenes make the drama more exciting. Fukuyama and the other supporting actors have done an incredible job making this Taiga drama a success.
4. Asa Ga Kita
Asa ga Kita is a Japanese television drama released in 2016. The film focuses on the protagonist Asa, the second daughter of a wealthy merchant in Kyoto. She gets betrothed to Shinjiro, who comes from a wealthy family. Initially furious with her father’s arrangement for her marriage, when she met Shinjiro, his charisma attracted her, and she fell in love with him. With Shinjiro and his family’s encouragement, Asa pursues her studies and ventures into the coal mining business. A strong female character with an inspiring story makes this a fantastic asadora!
Atsuhime is a 2008 released Japanese period drama starring Aoi Miyazaki in the role of Tensho-in. Princess Atsu, who rose to power after the death of her husband Tokugawa Iesada, the thirteenth shogun of the Edo shogunate. With sheer determination, she accomplished great things in a highly patriarchal society to become one of the most influential women, Bakumatsu - The final days of the Tokugawa Shogunate.
6. Ooku: The Inner Chamber
Ooku: The Inner Chamber is 2012 released Japanese historical romance drama starring Sakai Masato and Tabe Mikako in the leads. In the Edo era, a mysterious smallpox outbreak affecting only the male population leads to roles being reversed. Women became the head of the family running business and politics. The story follows Tokugawa Iemistu, the third shogun, and 3,000 men attempt to vie for her affection. The well-written script is perfectly executed by the actors making this drama worth a watch.
7. Yuusha Yoshihiko To Maou No Shiro
Yuusha Yoshihiko to Maou no Shiro is a Japanese television series released in 2011. The story follows Yoshiko, a young man who is chosen as a hero to save his village when a plague breaks out. He and his friends set about on a journey to find a cure to stop this plague and have to defeat an evil entity in their quest. The storyline is pretty unique and has an ample amount of comedy. The actors have done an excellent job. If you are interested in a fantasy comedy with a simple plot, ‘Yuushu Yoshihiko to Maou no Shiro’ can be added to your list.
Sanadamaru, the 55th NHK taiga drama, released in 2016, starring Masato Sakai as Sanada Nobushige, a legendary commander of the war-torn 16th century Japan. Sanadamaru, a fortification built by Sanaka Yukimara just south of Osaka Castle for defense from the Tokugawa attacks. Nobushige, with his courage and wisdom, became a respected Samurai in the Sengoku period.
9. Naotora: The Lady Warlord
Naotara: The Lady Warlord is a Japanese period drama starring Shibasaki Ko in the titular role of Ii Naotara. The story follows the crisis of the Li clan that is on the verge of collapse and their struggles to survive. The lovable and admirable characters make this drama a marvellous watch.
10. Gou: Himetachi No Sengoku
Gou: Himetachi no Sengoku is a Japanese taiga drama released in 2011. The film depicts the story of Princess Gou, an outspoken princess married to the second shotgun Hidetawa Tokugawa and her remarkable journey. The ear-pleasing soundtracks add beauty to this drama. The drama stars Ueno Juri in the titular role.