"VIRGIN ROAD"

Have you ever imagined yourself "walking down the aisle"? This expression is synonymous in English with weddings. However, be aware that if you are considering any exchange of nuptials in Japan (or in Japanese), then you will be doing so after having walked down not the aisle, but "the virgin's road" (with katakana pronunciation, ba-jin ro-do).

More on "Virgin Road"

Synopsis

This is a heartful drama about a stubborn single father, Sakurai Hikaru, (played magnificently by Takeda Tetsuya), his stubborn daughter Kazumi (Wakui Emi),

and a man posing as his daughter's husband to be Yoshimi Kaoru (Sorimachi Takashi).

[Sorimachi is a popular "idol type" associated with musical groups GTO and Hikaru Genji as a dancer; he also got into modeling. Virgin Road was his break-out TV role. See websites here and here.]

Mr. Sakurai (Takeda) [the "shacho" of a small photography studio] raised his only daughter Kazumi (Wakui) lots of love and effort that only a single father could. Kazumi decides to go to NY to study jewelry designing and of course her father is totally against it. [Her father is defintely "old school" and traditional in his outlook.] Well, she does go to NY anyway. There she gets involved with a man and ends up pregnant.

Unfortunately, for some unknown reason the boyfriend splits. [True, the reason was not so clear; but she found out that he was a married man and that cooled her ardor for the man!] She gets a message from Japan saying that her father is in some trouble [he collapsed and was hospitalized; at first, everyone feared the worst] and decides to go home. Kazumi is resolved to raise her unborn baby as a single mother, just like how her father raised her.

On the plane back to Narita Airport, she meets Kaoru (Sorimachi) a freelance writer/ reporter with a dark past. She asks him to pose as her husband to be in order to appease her anxious father. [Originally, she assumed this was a brief stand-in role while they visit her sick and weakened father in the hospital. In reality, though, by the time she Kazumi returns to Japan, her father is out of the hospital and apparently fine. So nowe the ruse that Kaoru is her finace gets much mre complicated and long-term.] For a very detailed synopsis of the first episode, see

http://www.geocities.com/morikai/virgroad/VR1.html

Hosho Mai plays Onda Kiri who is a childhood friend of Kaoru and hails from the Kansai area. She comes to Tokyo because she is secretly in love with Kaoru. She is a very genki person and speaks Kansai ben often.


Featuring: Wakui Emi,Sorimachi Takashi,Takeda Tetsuya, Houshou Mai, Iwaki Koichi, Terawaki Yasufumi and more.
Station and Year: FUJI TV 1997


Duration: January 6, 1997 through March 17, 1997. 11 Episodes total.
Theme Song: Amuro Namie "CAN YOU CELEBRATE?"

This review was adapted from: http://www.nt2099.com/DORAMA/v_virginroad.html

My additions appear in brackets.

REVIEWS:
Highly recommended. It was voted #1 drama of 1997 and this story will touch you and probably might make
you cry, so have some kleenex handy. - Usagi

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