A Doctor Who Supervises “BK Morning Drama” Reveals “Behind-the-Scenes and Reality
Surprising similarities between “Chimu Dodon” and “Imo Tako Nankin
NHK’s “Chimu Dodon” TV series (hereafter, “morning drama”) has been the subject of daily tweets on SNS tagged with the phrase “#Chimu Dodon Rikenkai” (“reflection meeting on Chimu Dodon”). On the other hand, “Imo Tako Nankin” was a morning drama that received rave reviews and trended repeatedly on SNS, despite being broadcast again for the first time in 16 years on BS Premium.
The two dramas, which appear to be complete opposites, actually have something unexpected in common. While the former was produced by “AK (NHK Tokyo Broadcasting Station)” and the latter by “BK (NHK Osaka Broadcasting Station),” both were supervised by Dr. Masaya Nishitani, director of Nishitani Clinic (Osaka Prefecture), as the “medical (medical) supervisor.
In addition to these two dramas, Dr. Nishitani has served as medical supervisor for many other “BK morning dramas,” including “Chiritottechin,” “Dadan,” “Welkame,” “Teppan,” “Carnation,” “Jun to Ai,” and “Massan.
How did he get involved in medical supervision for morning dramas in the first place? We interviewed Dr. Nishitani remotely.
Dr. Nishitani explains, “Originally, doctors from the Osaka Medical Association were cooperating with a radio program on Kansai local radio to explain diseases. I was involved in coming up with the themes and writing the scripts under the supervision of the great doctors, and sometimes appeared as a pinch hitter when the doctor was suddenly unable to appear.
It was during this time that I was asked to assist in medical supervision for “Imotako Nankin. Dr. Seiko Tanabe, whose husband was a dermatologist, was the model for the drama, but they decided to make her a “general practitioner in old Osaka” like the ones in the shopping district in Fukushima Ward, Osaka, where Dr. Tanabe was born and raised. While searching for an image of an “old Osaka general practitioner,” an elder doctor of the Osaka Medical Association introduced us to an unusual couple in the Komagawa shopping arcade. A director from NHK came to interview us. The director of NHK came to interview us.
By the way, what is the image of “a general practitioner in Osaka in the old days”?
In Osaka, there used to be many doctors who would open their doors at 6 or 7 p.m. and provide consultation services, such as ‘I need to see a doctor for my child’s fever just at night.
In the old days, doctors in Osaka were open almost 24/7, so to speak, and would make house calls immediately. As a legacy of this, general practitioners in Osaka still make house calls at 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. 12:00 am, with house calls at noon. The doctor’s office is open from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., with house calls during the day and 5:00 pm to 5:00 pm from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. In the evening, the clinic was open from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. In the evening, the clinic was open from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m., so the home and the clinic were connected.
The doctors I knew as a child wrote medical records in German, but I myself could not write in German, so I went to the elders to ask them to do it for me. While interviewing the elders, I learned about the old ways of bandaging and injecting, how to use a stethoscope, what kind of illnesses were common at that time, and what house calls were like.
Medical supervisor who also “appeared” in a morning drama
He often visited the filming location and recalls his memories of Kunimura Jun.
He had a great ability to express himself in non-verbal ways, which is called “physical expression” in the world of actors. The way his lips trembled as he was on the verge of crying while making a phone call was truly remarkable.
In fact, Mr. Nishitani himself “appeared” in “Imo Tako Nankin” as well.
He says, “Toward the end of the drama, when Kenjiro is hospitalized, the director asked me to play the role of a physical therapist at a university hospital. I myself studied under a friend of mine who is a physical therapist.
As I recall. 1 The shooting started in January, and the director told me that he wanted me to play the role of a physical therapist at a university hospital. 1 Jan. I think it was on January 4. I think it was on the 4th of January, and it was a kind of open recording at the studio, and there were various people involved and visitors. The director introduced me as “the physical therapist” (laughs).
The director told me, ‘I want you to put warmth in the clerical language,’ but the assistant director said, ‘I’m pushing it. The assistant director said, ‘I’m sorry doctor, but please use one take.
He told me such a difficult thing that my mind went blank even though it was only one line (laughs). (laughs). OK. I was so embarrassed that I thought I could never be an actor (laughs).
Despite this, he is a drama lover at heart, as he says he has appeared in BK-produced dramas from time to time in scenes such as “a scene where a couple of idiots living in Tezukayama and a couple of idiots are playing tennis.
In “Massan,” he also came up with the idea for Kazue Kawakami (Yuki Amami), the tea-drinking friend and doctor of the heroine Ellie (Charlotte Kate Fox).
“Since Massan is the president of the company, I thought it would be nice to have a medical practitioner as a friend, so I said, ‘How about a woman doctor? In fact, the first Japanese woman to become a nationally certified medical practitioner was Ginko Ogino, who has been featured in various movies and dramas, and she was from Hokkaido, so that was the inspiration.
Chimu-don”…the reason for the “unexplained fever
By the way, Dr. Nishitani, who has been involved in many BK morning dramas, why did you supervise the medical affairs of the AK morning drama “Chimu-don”?
I was approached a long time ago with the idea of making a drama about the reversion of Okinawa to Japan. The writer said, ‘I want to make a sickly person. He asked me if I could create a person who sings well but often has a fever. I consulted a friend in Tokyo who specializes in infectious diseases, and we agreed to create such a sickly person together.
The role was straight forwardly named “Utako” and described as a fever of unknown cause, but in reality we were setting up a specific disease.
However, there are people with that disease in real life today, so I told him that I would appreciate it if he would not reveal the name of the disease if possible, so as not to hurt those patients. The medical guidance on the set was done by another specialist.”
Medical supervision” brings reality to the drama by researching what diseases were common in each period and region, and what kind of treatment was actually used. I asked him to tell me the secret of his work.
My specialty is from the end of the Edo period, but I collect a lot of materials especially from the prewar and postwar periods.
Many people watch morning dramas, and since they often depict wars, many people who remember those days are still alive and well. In this sense, in addition to interviews with elder doctors, postwar films are also useful.
I can go to the films of the 1950s and 1960s. I watch a lot of medical scenes from films of the 1950s and 1960s, and I write down what kind of materials were used for crutches and wheelchairs, what kind of clothing nurses wore, and so on, and I compile them by era in Excel.
Interview and text by： Wakako Takou
Born in 1973. After working for a publishing company and an advertising production company, became a freelance writer. In addition to interviewing actors for weekly and monthly magazines, she writes columns on dramas for various media. His main publications include "All Important Things Are Taught by Morning Drama" (Ota Publishing), "KinKi Kids Owarinaki Michi" and "Hey! Say! JUMP 9 no Tobira ga Open Tokimono" (both published by Earls Publishing).