From film to TV

Michael Badzik mike at
Fri Jan 8 18:24:54 EST 1999

Aaron asked:

>A query for those of you with a background in TV:
>We've seen lots of examples in the 1990s of successful Japanese TV dramas 
>being turned into films: _Koko kyoshi_, _Gimu to engi_, _Odori 
>daisosasen_, etc.  That, perhaps, is only to be expected given the 
>comparative strength of the TV industry.  But how many cases can people 
>cite of the opposite: Japanese films being turned into Japanese TV 

Well, to Mark Schilling's list I can add a few, such as "Onna ga Kaidan o 
Agaru Toki" (1960 on film, 1970 on TV), "Yagyu Bugeichou" (series of 
nine films from 1957, on TV in 1965), or "Ashi ni Sawatta Onna" (1952 
on film, 1960 on TV). For a more complete list you could try the search 
page of the TV Drama Database at (maybe 
searching the kaisetsu field for the word 'eiga' ).

What I really find intriguing about Aaron's question is how rare examples 
of Japanese television coming from Japanese film are. Off the top of my 
head I can think of numerous examples of Japanese television adaptations 
of works from radio, manga, and novels, but I had to do a little research 
to come up with the movie examples above. Examples abound as well of 
television largely "inspired by" American movies and television. This 
seems unusual to someone used to the frequency with which American 
television "borrows" from its cinema. I don't know why there is so little 
Japanese television coming from its cinema, but I suspect the answer 
might reveal a lot about modern Japanese cinema and its relationship to 
Japanese society and its popular culture.

And a tip for anyone interested in television:

The TV Drama Database is by far the best Japanese TV drama resource 
on the internet. Its home page is at 
(in Japanese only).

Hope this is of some help.

Michael Badzik
mike at

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