Thursday, July 18, 2013

Arashi's Matsumoto Jun to star in NHK drama for the first time

On July 14, it was announced that popular Arashi member Matsumoto Jun will star in the NHK drama "Hajimari no Uta" that will begin airing on September 23.

Though Matsumoto, as a member of Arashi, has served as the host for NHK's Kohaku Uta Gassen for 3 consecutive years, this is actually the first time for him to have a leading in a drama on NHK. This is also the first time in 15 years for him to appear on an NHK drama since his last one aired back in 1998 which was even before he made CD debut as Arashi.
 The motif of the drama is "Furusato" which was the song made for the special corner in 2010's Kohaku Uta Gassen. Arashi members sang it on the Kohaku not only in 2010, but also in 2011, and in 2012. 

The song was written by Koyama Kundo, and it expresses the nobility of hometown. The song has also been chosen as the compulsory song in the NHK National School Music Contest for this year (for Elementary School division). As this year will be the 80th anniversary year for the music contest, the drama adaptation has been planned.

In the drama, Matsumoto plays a young man named "Wataru" who left his hometown to Tokyo. Wataru once had a dream to be a teacher, but he could not make it come true, and became a freelance photographer for a travel magazine. The drama starts where Wataru returns to his hometown after he is given an order to take photographs in there.

By meeting with the local elementary school kids who are aiming to participate in the choir competition, his ex-girlfriend (played by Eikura Nana) who is an elementary school teacher, his old classmates, and family, he eventually regains his old dream to be a teacher.

Reportedly, there is a scene where Matsumoto plays a piano in the drama, so he is currently practicing for it. He left a comment, "Though my role is a photographer, there will be a scene I have to play piano, so I would like to prepare well for both before I attend the filming. I will do my best so that the viewers could find a delight in chorus, and also feel the power of music."

Source: Sanspo (1+2+3)