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Thursday, December 11, 2008

Hokudai/Cast 90: Drama and Dorama

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First, if you download from iTunes there is a new mini-Hokudai/Cast called Cafe Hokudai. Just a little light jazz for your listening pleasure. With a few distorted pictures to look at on your iPod.

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In Japanese 演劇 (engeki) means drama when you mean plays on the stage such as Shakespeare plays. If you mean drama on TV, the Japanese word is borrowed from English and it is ドラマ (dorama). There are many ドラマ on Japanese TV and many of them star pop singers.

One feature of many radio stations is the radio dorama or audio drama. These are usually short - sometimes less than 10 minutes - and often involve few speaking parts. Recently, radio dramas in Japan are used to build an audience for anime movies that come out a few months after the radio drama. (Anime is shortened from another word borrowed from English: animation but now it has its own meaning: Japanese animation.)

Anime is so big that the number of people who are voice actors grows every year. Voice actors in Japan are big stars. In Japanese they are called 声優 (seiyu). 声 is voice and 優 (yu) is actor. A male actor is a 男優 while a female actor is a 女優. (Male = 男; female = 女 )

Besides 演劇 and ドラマ, there are the traditional plays of Japan: 文楽 (Bunraku), 能 (Noh) and 歌舞伎 (Kabuki). By far the most popular are, of course, TV dramas staring pop singers.

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Mirai Sozo is the School of Future Learning at Hokuriku University. The primary focus is on language (English and Chinese) and management (hospital administration, sports, and business).
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