A very famous Japanese film series (total 48 episodes) of “Otoko wa Tsuraiyo” (It’s tough being a man), starring Japanese actor Kiyoshi Atsumi as “Tora-san”, a kind-hearted vagabond, who is always unluckily in love, will start to be telecasted by ITN from February this year.
The first episode will begin on 26 February at 4:05 p.m. followed by each episode to be telecasted on every Sunday at 4:05 p.m. The programme has been subtitled in English and dubbed into Sinhalese.
The Tora-san movies were directed by Yoji Yamada and actor Kiyoshi Atsumi continued to play the role of Tora-san throughout 48 episodes over 26 years (1969-1995). Director Yoji Yamada is among the most renown film direcotors in Japan, whereas actor Kiyoshi Atsumi was among the most respected actors in Japan who received “People’s Honor Award” (similar to Deshamanya in Sri Lanka) in 1996 immediately after his decease.
The film series is provided by the Embassy of Japan in Sri Lanka under the special courtesy of the Japan Foundation, and we do hope that many Sri Lankans will enjoy the series and become more interested in Japan.
The main character “Tora-san” is a traveling salesman who wanders from town to town by peddling his wares with a small suitcase and some pocket money as his sole possessions. Once in a while he yearns to return to his relative home in Shibamata, Tokyo.
His family members include Sakura (his kind-hearted younger sister), Hiroshi (Sakura's husband), Mitsuo (son of Sakura and Hiroshi), Tatsuzō (Tora-san's elderly uncle) and Tsune (Tora-san's elderly aunt). Tatsuzō and Tsune run a traditional sweets (Dango) shop in Shibamata.
Each time Tora-san unexpectedly drops in on his family, he creates troubles. While the family members are glad to see him, eventually they end up in argument with Tora-san, and he storms off with his belongings just as suddenly.
Some time later, he arrives in some remote town to peddle his wares to the locals. There he meets a "Madonna", whether she be a widow or divorced or in some kind of distress. Tora-san usually tells the damsel to visit his family's Dango shop to receive help. When she arrives there, Tora-san’s family members come to know that Tora-san has fallen in love with her.
However, in his shy efforts to win the Madonna's heart, Tora-san always ends up in failure or, in some cases, in paring her with another man. Then Tora-san, with his brave face but broken heart, wanders off again on his journey.