Discussion Forum: Television in Asia

TV Serials in East Asia.

Comment by Ellen Schattschneider: I'm curious about the history of television serials in East Asia. In Japan, there's usually a serial on NHK, the national public television network, on from 8:15 to 8:30 a.m. each morning. This summer for instance has seen a fascinating long running drama set during the war years. I believe a similar pattern is followed in China; daily episodes of a serial running for weeks or months at a time. I'm not sure if Japan is the origin of this pattern of serialization; I do know that some Japanese melodramatic serials, such as Oshin, have been broadcast widely throughout Asia (and indeed throughout the globe).

Comment by Nadia Hemady: According to Japanese Wikipedia, it looks like NHK "serial novels" have existed since 1961. Oshin was one of these and was broadcast from 1983 to 1984. Television dramas seem to have a longer history, starting in the early 1940s. They also have listings on some of the pages of all the television dramas of a certain type, such as taiga drama. I suspect there is some connection between TV dramas and kami shibai, but I'm not sure how direct of a connection that would be.