“Ms. Tetsuko Kuroyanagi doesn’t often express her wish for guests, but there was one guest that she really wanted to meet. That guest was Bae Yong-jun, a.k.a. “Yon-sama” from the Korean drama “Winter Sonata.
This is Atsuko Tahara, producer of TV Asahi’s Tetsuko’s Room. In the first part of this article, she explained why “Tetsuko’s Room” has recently been able to produce a series of “sharp productions” that have become popular among young people. In the second part of the interview, Mr. Tahara talks about some of the unknown episodes of Tetsuko’s Room.
As I mentioned in the first part, Tetsuko Kuroyanagi is currently telling everyone around her that she would like to meet Shohei Ohtani and Hyun Bin of “Love’s Emergency Landing” fame, but she once invited Bae Yong Joon as a guest on “Tetsuko’s Room” at her “strong request. It was in 2005, at the height of the popularity of Sona. Producer Tahara was very impressed with what he saw at that time.
Producer Tahara: “At that time, Yong-sama’s popularity was so great that we decided not to write Bae Yong-jun’s name in the dressing room to avoid confusion during the recording. But it would have been strange not to write anything, so I was wondering what to do when Tetsuko said, “Let’s write ‘Rokusuke-sama Ei’. I was surprised when Tetsuko said, “Let’s write ‘Rokusuke Naga-sama,’ because Naga-san won’t get angry.
So I actually wrote “Rokusuke-sama Ei” on the wall in my dressing room. I don’t remember who it was, but I think the other two guests thought, ‘Oh, it’s Rokusuke Naga for the other one’ (laughs).
This episode really shows Kuroyanagi-san’s mischievous side, but Mr. Tahara also told us a little-known story.
P. Tahara: “Actually, ‘Tetsuko’s Room’ has a set location. “It’s supposed to be a room in the suburbs where you can take a walk in the garden. That’s why you can actually go out to the garden behind the room, and that’s why Haruna Harisenbon made a surprise appearance on August 20 when Takuzo Kadono was the guest.
I had created the studio with the image of Karuizawa, but Tetsuko said, “This is Hakone. But if it’s Hakone, you have to be able to see Mt. Fuji, don’t you? …… (laughs)”.
Will it be Karuizawa or Hakone? Next time you watch “Tetsuko’s Room,” please pay attention to the scenery outside the window.
I used to work for TV Asahi, producing news programs and variety shows, and there is one thing I am still grateful to Producer Tahara for. Whenever a celebrity got married or passed away, I could call his cell phone in the middle of the night and he would always respond politely.
As you may have noticed, TV Asahi’s wide shows and news programs almost always show the video of the appearance of “Tetsuko’s Room” when there is a “sudden marriage” or “sudden obituary. In the case of obituaries, they are forced to call in at any time, sometimes even in the middle of the night. All the people in the TV Asahi news bureau know Mr. Tahara’s cell phone number, and I have called him many times in the middle of the night.
“I was really sorry, but why did Mr. Tahara respond to my calls in the middle of the night without even a hint of displeasure? Thinking back to that time, I asked him, “Why do you always answer the phone in the middle of the night?
P. Tahara: “That’s because I used to be a director of a TV program. I knew exactly what the people on the scene were going through, so I knew I had to respond properly. I would get calls without mercy, even on my days off and in the middle of the night (laughs).
Producer Atsuko Tahara started her career as a TV man in wide screen TV, and later worked as a producer for “Sekai no Churumado Kara” and other programs. She has been the producer of “Tetsuko’s Room” for 19 years. He has been the producer of “Tetsuko’s Room” for nineteen years, and since the program is celebrating its 45th anniversary, it is safe to say that nearly half of it was produced by Tahara.
Mr. Tahara’s father is journalist Soichiro Tahara. I have been in touch with producer Tahara on social networking sites, and he always shares information about his father’s appearances to promote the show. “I’ve always felt that he and his father are very close, so I asked him if he and his father were close.
Tahara P: “They are father and son. Isn’t it natural for them to be close? (laughs) My mother passed away early, so my father raised me by himself. Maybe that’s why we are so close.
He calls me three or four times a day. Once every day at 9:30 in the morning. Twice at noon. And once after 10:30 in the evening. I have two younger sisters, and I think he calls them every day, too.
My father is a man who loves himself, so he always ends the call with a report about himself (laughs).
He may have a scary image in the world, but at home he’s as small as a mouse. If someone says something bad about me, I get really upset and depressed. It’s cute (laughs).”
TV Asahi has been indebted to Mr. Soichiro Tahara for many years for his work on “Sunday Project” and “Raw TV until Morning. As a former employee of the station, I used to have an image of Mr. Soichiro Tahara as a “tough and scary person,” but Producer Tahara showed me another side of Mr. Tahara, or rather, his real face, which was very interesting.
At the end of the interview, I asked Producer Tahara this question. What is the most important thing about “Tetsuko’s Room”? And how long will “Tetsuko’s Room” continue?
Tahara: “In Tetsuko’s Room, we don’t ask nasty questions to the guests. I want them to leave thinking, ‘Thank God I came today. Even if there is someone who just got divorced and Tetsuko-san was close to his ex-wife, we never bring it up.
And “Tetsuko’s Room” will continue until Tetsuko-san says, “I don’t want to. The chairman of our company also says, “It’s a company treasure. I want to continue it forever.
It is fair to say that “Tetsuko’s Room” is a treasure of TV Asahi. I think it is safe to say that “Tetsuko’s Room” is a treasure for TV Asahi, and perhaps for the Japanese television industry as well.
Producer Atsuko Tahara: Joined TV Asahi in 1986. After working as a director of wide range shows and documentaries, she worked as a producer of “Sekai no Chakumado Kara” and other programs. Currently, she is in charge of “Tetsuko’s Room.
Reporting and writing： Hiromichi Chinmoku / TV producer and writer
Joined TV Asahi in 1992. After covering the Great Hanshin Earthquake and Aum Shinrikyo as a reporter in the Social Affairs Department, he worked as a director for Super J Channel, Super Morning, and News Station before becoming a producer. After working as a director of Super J Channel, Super Morning, and News Station, he became a producer. He has been involved in many overseas projects, including coverage of China, the Korean Peninsula, and the terrorist attacks in the United States. In August 2019, he became an independent producer and has been active not only in broadcasting but also in various media. He is also a part-time lecturer at the Department of Newspapers, Faculty of Letters, Sophia University. As a member of the Society for Public Communication, she has studied regional media, and has researched and written articles on face-hame-panels as her life's work. His recent publications include "Dramatically Increase Access and Registration! "(Nihon Jitsugyo Shuppansha).
Photography： Mayumi Abe