Makino Tomitaro’s alleged bigamy, his family’s bankruptcy, and his wife’s early death… Can “Ranman” continue to portray Mantaro in a “refreshing” light? | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Makino Tomitaro’s alleged bigamy, his family’s bankruptcy, and his wife’s early death… Can “Ranman” continue to portray Mantaro in a “refreshing” light?

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Ryunosuke Kamiki (right) and Minami Hamabe (left) in “Ranman

NHK’s television series “Ranman” is doing well.

Modeled on Tomitaro Makino (1862-1957), the father of Japanese botany, the story depicts the tumultuous life of the main character, Mantaro Makino, played by Ryunosuke Kamiki (30), who devoted himself to his beloved plants. Kamiki plays the role of Mantaro in a truly innocent and refreshing manner, and the people who support him are all good characters. However, the historical facts are slightly different from the development of the drama so far.

For example, in the drama, Mantaro is the heir to the best sake brewery in Tosa and has been educated to be a gifted young man in preparation for becoming the future head of the family. However, he has been fascinated by plants from an early age, and at some point in his life he decides that he wants to pursue a career in botany. His grandmother Taki (Keiko Matsuzaka, 70) tries to stop him from marrying his cousin Aya (Yui Sakuma, 28), but eventually, with Taki’s permission, Mantaro moves to Tokyo.

In the historical record, Tomitaro married his cousin Makino Nayo, three years younger than him, who ran the liquor store with his grandmother. Soon after, however, Tomitaro moved to Tokyo to study botany. Later, Tomitaro met and married Sue Ozawa, the daughter of a Japanese sweets shop owner and the model for Nishimura Jueko, played by Minami Hamabe (22), but there is no official record of his divorce from Grace at that point, so there is a strong possibility that it was a bigamous marriage.

(NHK drama production source) “Until the early Meiji period, men were officially allowed to have concubines, so the marriage system may not have been as rigid as it is today. However, Tomitaro’s “two-wives-crying” way of life was further accelerated from this point on.

Tomitaro loved and cherished Jue with all his heart, but he was a spendthrift by nature and spent money like hot water for his research and self-publishing. Moreover, he and Jue had thirteen children one after another, making his life even more difficult. Jue opened a restaurant and worked hard to make ends meet. As a result, he became ill and died prematurely at the age of 55.

Tomitaro continued to beg money from his parents in Tosa even after he and Jue started a family. Tomitaro continued to ask for money from his parents in Tosa even after he and Jue got married, and Jue remarried to the store keeper, who continued to send money as Tomitaro demanded, but this caused the sake brewery to run up debts and the store to be sold off.

The program’s introduction page on NHK’s website states,

The program is modeled on the real-life Tomitaro Makino (1862-1957), but boldly reconstructed as the turbulent story of a botanist who devoted himself to his beloved flowers and grasses in the midst of turbulent times. Some names of characters and organizations have been changed to portray the story as a fiction. There is no original story.”

The film is as follows. It is one of the specialties of morning dramas to put in a fictionalized version of historical facts, such as Mantaro’s encounter with Sakamoto Ryoma in the first week, but it seems quite difficult to realistically depict his married life with Jueko.

In the June 5 episode, a scene was broadcast in which it was revealed that Masanobu Takafuji (Masakazu Irei, 41), a businessman who has taken a liking to Keiko, told everyone around him that his wife Yae (Tadanaga Umebune, 35) was “a boring person,” and immediately afterwards social media was filled with criticism of Takafuji. Even a small amount of what we now call “moral harassment” or “power harassment” directly leads to a decline in viewer ratings. In that sense, it would be difficult to portray Mantaro and Jueko’s lives as historical facts…. However, since we did not depict his first wife at all in the first place, I would like viewers to consider “Ranman” as a fiction at that point,” said another NHK official.

Mantaro’s attitude toward botany is “Ranman,” but the rest of his life is “tumultuous,” and in this day and age, a wife would not be happy to have such a husband.

Ryunosuke Kamiki in private (’16 Oct. 28 issue)
Ryunosuke Kamiki in private (October 28, ’16 issue)
Hamabe is always smiling and responding to fans and staff (Feb. 15, ’19 issue)
Minami Hamabe at “TOHO CINDERELLA” & “TOHO NEW FACE” audition 2022 Grand Prix presentation
Mantaro’s mother, Hirosue’s “beautiful legs” attracted both top chefs and popular actors.
  • PHOTO Takao Kawakami (1st-3rd), Toshikatsu Tanaka (1st, 4th), Kazuhiko Nakamura (5th, 6th)

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