ANN Tamashii no Radio: Ryomaden
This Week’s Ryomaden
F: I woke up at 3:50am to go on location from early morning till now, so I just went to sleep here, guys.
Fukuyama-san is used to being busy on his recording and the “Ryomaden” filming. But on this day where he had to go on location from early morning onwards, even he has to succumb to sleep. “I’m so sleepy, I’m so sleepy.” He said as he entered Nippon Broadcasting.
Because of this, the studio lights were dimmed so he could take a nap. And when Fukuyama-san’s manager called him up, it was just minutes before broadcasting (^^)
S: I came in to find the studio all dark. Just as I was wondering “What’s going on?”, they told me “He’s sleeping, he’s sleeping”.
F: Well, I’m up now, I’m up now. Good Morning.
S: Uncle, pull yourself together (laugh), your eyes are still red.
F: That was the last location shoot for “Ryomaden”. I can’t say anything else, but that was a really good location.
S: Oh I see. The weather’s great today, so it must have felt good for everyone?
F: Yup. That location site we went to for the Katsurahama scene in the first episode, it was very emotional. Over there, it was like “Eh? This person? and that person too?” *
S: Huh? What’s that…..
F: I can’t say anymore.
S: Didn’t you bring it up yourself (laugh)
F: It was like “And him too…eh!?”
S: What’s that….
F: I can’t say! I can’t say!
In the lengthy filming of “Ryomaden”, the external location shots are all done now and it seems they have entered the last phase (lit. phasing out) of the filming in the studio. Having called that last scene on location “emotional”, Fukuyama-san seems to have lots more fond memories of that trip which were not related to filming!
F: Starting from the night before yesterday, we were filming for yesterday and today. So I checked in to a 4,800-yen-a-night business hotel, it was something I haven’t done in a long time.
S: You’re the suite-dweller. I’d stay in those (business hotels) when I’m on location. (The rooms are) very small for you, aren’t they?
F: You can call them small, but they generally have unit bathrooms right? Though that shower curtain smells of middle-aged uncles (laugh).
S: I never stuck my nose to it, but that’s probably true (laugh).
F: But if you stay in places like that, you can’t do without cup noodles and ero books (laugh).
S: Spoken like a true salary man on a business trip (laugh).
F: Oh, they’re really handy. Cup noodles and ero books. You don’t even need the TV, just concentrate on your magazine (laugh).
S: In this convenient age of the internet porn, paper is still the media for us (laugh).
F: Although I was online, there didn’t seem to be the internet, on the way over. And the one-way trip took took around 3 hours, but I had a good time on the way. I bought this at the Service (gas) station. This CD called “The People’s Hits”. Have a look, this one.
S: Total 18 songs starting with Hosokawa Takashi-san’s “Kita Sakaba” (北酒場, “Northern Tavern”), our Yoshi Ikuzō-san’s “Ora Tokyo sa iguda” (俺ら東京さ行ぐだ “I’m going to Tokyo”), and then Misora Hibari-san’s “Kawa no Nagare no Yō ni” (川の流れのように “Just like the flow of the river”)*
F: And since we were on the highway north, “Michinoku hitori tabi” (みちのくひとり旅 “My Solitary Journey to Michinoku”)* was especially suitable.
S: The North does give an image of enka songs.
F: Our opening song today is one from here. Let’s take one of the first few (lit. upper) numbers, OK? “Ora Tokyo sa iguda” (俺ら東京さ行ぐだ “I’m going to Tokyo”)
Like the lyrics of “Ora Tokyo sa iguda”, Fukuyama-san left Nagasaki for Tokyo with a dream in his heart.
F: I’ve come here for 20 years, and never won any awards.
There have been times he’d sulk about it, but through “Ryomaden, he’s finally received an incredible award!
- Radio Name: Kanako-san (Kanagawa Prefecture, 15 years old)
Congratulations for winning the 2nd Japan Tourism Agency Commissioner Award. And Fukuyama-san appeared in “Doraemon”, the People’s anime. You’re becoming more and more the People’s Star. An earlier Tamaraji project had covered some of Fukuyama-san’s ‘infamous words’ in the past. The quote “I’m the treasure of Japan” is turning real!
S: This Japan Tourism Agency Commissioner Award started from last year and is given for cultivating an internationally competitive and fascinating sight-seeing location, for the transmission etc. of Japan’s appeal to foreigners, for the promotion and development of tourism, and only to individuals or organizations with remarkable results.
F: The tourism industry in Japan doesn’t seem to be doing very well lately.
S: Amongst all of that, you were commended because you called in people from overseas.
F: It was for domestic tourism, wasn’t it? But then they wrote me down as “Fukuyama Masaharu, Position Male Actor” (男優)
S: Why does it sound so ero (laugh), “actor” is good enough but the way they said “male actor”…
F: Lee Byung Hun was also included. Lee Byung Hun’s position is Korean Male Actor.
S: Really! It sounds so serious, it’s very funny (laugh)
F: Whenever we hear the term “male actor”, it’s usually associated with AV. So knowing that, they still wrote it down, or were they being dead serious on it?
S: But the people at the Tourism Agency couldn’t have been thinking “Male Actor (snigger)” as they were writing this (laugh), this is effectively saying you’ve done a good job.
F: I’ve never been commended publicly like this before. This is much too great an honour. I’m really very happy.
Because of the “Ryomaden” effect, Fukuyama-san’s hometown Nagasaki has jumped into the top 10 ranking for “Fascinating Cities”. This year, all places related to Ryoma have seen increased visitors, it’s really been very gratifying.
S: In the last episode (39), Yataro said “Ryoma’s heroic life will end in 1 year.” The countdown to the assassination has started.
F: That’s right.
S: I heard many actors (suddenly) want to play the part of killing Ryoma.
F: There were no signs before. But for the one being killed, it’s a bit annoying to hear so many saying “Let me kill you.” (laugh)
S: In actual history, there were no records of resistance.
F: In that case, let’s add some fiction. Even if I have to die in the end, let me take the smith & wesson that Takasugi-san gave me and shoot down 4 or 5 people before that.
S: Our conversation has taken on a strange turn. (laugh)
We received a lot of feedback for the first episode of Season 4, Episode 39 “The Miracle at the Bakan Straits”. The most talked about scene was “Takasugi-san playing the shamisen on the battle front was way cool!” That dashing stride with shamisen in hand through the midst of the battle gave an impression of the sublime (^^)
F: He didn’t get hit! He didn’t get hit by a single bullet!
S: It’s more like all the bullets flew around him.
F: Yeah, that’s it.
S: As for me, I went “What was that?!” when I saw the Kumamoto Han being made out as such weaklings (laugh)
F: Because you’re a Kumamoto local. “We didn’t want to do it, we were forced to” like a fire which fizzled out at once. When I watched it, I also thought “Is that how Akihisa’s hometown is like?” It must have been a big shock to the Kumamoto locals.
S: Because it ended so pitifully.
Souguchi-san was trying hard to hide his shock at how weak his kinsmen, the Kumamoto retainers, were described to be. We are very sorry, but that was true history.
Speaking of history, episode 40 last night “The Confrontation at Seifuu Tei” was also an important scene which influenced the turn of events in Bakumatsu Japan.
- Radio Name: Chicchikokko-san (Tokyo, 24 years old)
Kon-Ryomaden! Season 4 has started. It’s been a long time since the last Yataro part, and I was laughing as I watched it. I don’t know modern history very well, and I didn’t expect to see Ryoma in battle. Omoto said “(It was) a lie told in order to put smiles on everyone” and as I watched, it made me think what Ryoma-san must have been feeling as he fought in battle. In the next episode, memorable faces like Yataro and Goto Shojiro will be gathered in Nagasaki. It will be fun to see how these 3 men, who once hated each other, will interact now.”
S: That was an incredible scene, we talked about it before.
F: A 15-page, 18-minute scene. The “Ryomaden” style is to film the entire process in one go. We went through it 3 times.
S: And I heard, the cameramen ended up kicking everyone as he was filming. (Iz: I guess he meant the room was so cramped, the cameramen had no space to move about?)
F: You make it sound so violent but (laugh) it was an action done with love.
S: And you could hear the sound of angry yells from the lighting people! (laugh)
F: In the actual take, those angry howls were coming from their intercom (laugh) “More exposure! More exposure! Didn’t I tell you to give it more! It’s too much now! Bring it down! Bring it down!” like that (laugh). It was incredible. In the actual take, you could also hear the staff talking. The Chief Cameraman telling the other cameraman “Go! Go!” and when we were right in our act too (laugh). I was just wondering where he had to go, when he came upto us for close-up on our faces. Oh I see, that’s what he meant.
S: After the preview last week, I can finally watch that 18-minute scene.”
And Aoki Munetaka-san who put on 10 kg for his part as Goto Shojiro, was brimming in intensity in that Seifuu tei scene.
~ The End ~
From ANN Tamashii no Radio blog (2010.10.04)
1. The rumoured location they went to - Akahama Beach and picture. Akahama beach is in Takahagi city, Ibaraki prefecture, Japan.
2. コクミン Hits (The People’s Hits) - probably this one. Scroll down to listen to samples of the songs.
3. Takashi Hosokawa - more info here
4. Ikuzo Yoshi - more info here
5. Hibari Misora - more info here
6. More on “Michinoku hitori tabi” (みちのくひとり旅 “My Solitary Journey to Michinoku”) - here