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Hyakunen no monogatari (film)

DVD cover. Courtesy of TBS Japan
View in the Densho Encyclopedia

Japanese television drama—whose English title is 100 Years —that follows the fortunes of four generations of women over the course of the twentieth century. The three-part drama first aired in Japan on TBS on August 28 to 30, 2000, and was subsequently shown on Japanese language TV stations in the United States. The first segment begins in 1920 and ends in the late 1930s, the second begins in 1949 and covers the early postwar years, and the third takes place in 2000. Each segment stars Nanako Matsushima, who plays Aya Togura, born in 1901 in the first segment, her daughter in the second, and her great-granddaughter in the third. The second segment includes two major Japanese American characters, both of whom were incarcerated in American concentration camps.

The second segment second focuses on Junko and Shinichi Yokoyama, a brother and sister who had been orphaned by the war—a story told in the first segment—and who are trying to make their way in occupied Japan. Junko works as a schoolteacher, while Shinichi is a petty criminal who sells black market goods while harboring anti-American feelings from the wartime. Kazuo Hirose (played by a Japanese actor, Takao Ōsawa), a Nisei serving in the American occupation, enters their lives and is immediately smitten by Junko, who initially puts him off. But when he relates his family story—wartime incarceration, the death of his father in camp and of his brother in the 442nd , and his own confusion and about his identity as a Nisei soldier in Japan —she softens toward him and they become lovers. Also entering their life is an uncle (played by renowned Japanese filmmaker Beat Takeshi/Takeshi Kitano) who has just returned to Japan after having been held in American internment camps. This segment was directed by Kanji Takenoshita from a screenplay by Kiyokazu Yamamoto.

Hyakunen on Monogatari is one of several Japanese dramas that reference the Japanese American incarceration, including Sanga moyu (1984) and 99-nen no ai (2010).

Authored by Brian Niiya
Media Details
Release Date 2000
Runtime Three 90 minute episodes
Director Yasuo Inoshita, Kanji Takenoshita, Nobuhiro Doi
Producer Yasuo Yagi
Screenplay Sugako Hashida, Kiyokazu Yamamoto, Kazuhiko Yũkawa
Studio TBS
Language Japanese
For More Information

For More Information

Clements, Jonathan, and Motoko Tamamuro. The Dorama Encyclopedia: A Guide to Japanese TV Drama since 1953 . Berkeley, Calif.: Stone Bridge Press, 2003.

Wong, Edwina. Summary of Part 2, "Ai wa kanashimi wo koete" (Love Surpasses Sorrow) . Dorama Talk website.