The first episode of NHK’s new taiga drama that premiered on February 14th started strong, with an average viewer rating of 20.0% in the Kanto Region, marking the first time since 2013 that a NHK taiga drama premiered with such strong results.
Starring Ryo Yoshizawa, Ai Hashimoto, Mone Kamishiraishi and others, the drama depicts the life of Shibusawa Eiichi, a Japanese industrialist often credited with the launching of Western capitalism in Japan during the Meiji Period. Among his many accomplishments include the introduction of modern accounting techniques (such as double-entry bookkeeping), the creation of joint-stock companies in Japan, and as the Minister of Finance driving many of the reforms that would lead to the groundwork that would help turn Japan into a major economic powerhouse. He currently is on the face of the new 10,000 yen bill, and the series aims to cover his entire life.
Since the 2013 series Yae no Sakura most series have hovered around the 15% to 19% mark, marking a major success for NHK. In addition to breaking the 20% mark the tag ＃青天を衝け was one of the top trending topics on Twitter both domestically and worldwide at the time of the series premiere.