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From left to right: Kobayashi Ayako, Tanaka Yuko, and Otowa Nobuko


  • Title: おしん
  • Title (romaji): Oshin
  • Genre: Human drama
  • Episodes: 297 x 15 minutes
  • Viewership ratings: Ep1=39.2, High=62.9, Avg=52.6
  • Broadcast network: NHK
  • Broadcast period: 1983-Apr-04 to 1984-Mar-31
  • Air time: Mon-Sat 8:15
  • Opening theme song: Oshin Main Theme
  • Original soundtrack: Oshin OST


The 31st NHK Asadora Drama is Oshin. Oshin tells the story of a girl born in a very poor rural family in Japan, who through hard work and perseverance eventually triumphs over pain and adversity to achieve fame and success. Broadcast in the early 1980s when Japan had finally cast off the legacy of the post-war years and the Japanese were beginning to reap the benefits of economic development, the aim of the story was to recall the hardships the older generation had endured in order to pave the way for their children to enjoy their more affluent lifestyle. Viewers were drawn to the suffering of the main character Oshin - and then drew similarities between her story and their own home lives.

Some Japanese worried that showing Oshin abroad would give the country a bad profile - and would even be shameful because it showed the seldom glimpsed, poor, unequal side of Japan. In the event, the reverse proved true. Oshin gave viewers outside Japan - whose only image of Japan was formed by Japanese cars or electric goods, or through bitter memories of Japanese treatment during World War II - a far better understanding of the modern Japan and its people. --Courtesy,

User/Viewer Ratings

(4 votes)


Kaga-ya (rice dealer)
Hairdressing Shop
Supporting Cast & Guests

Production Credits


Mou Hitori no Oshin
  • Title: もうひとりのおしん
  • Title (romaji): Mou Hitori no Oshin
  • Also known as: Another Oshin
  • Format: Renzoku
  • Genre: Asadora
  • Episodes: 6
  • Broadcast network: NHK
  • Broadcast period: 1983-Aug-15 to 1983-Aug-20
  • Air time: 08:15-08:30
  • Theme song: Oshin Main Theme
  • Related TV shows: Oshin


These specials aired after Tanaka Yuko had been ordered by the doctor to rest, after having collapsed due to work exhaustion.


Episode Ratings

Episode Episode title
Episode 1 いろりのまわりに家族がいた ??
Episode 2 めしはいつも大根めし ??
Episode 3 女は一生働きづめ ??
Episode 4 夏も冬も着たきりすずめ ??
Episode 5 ことばは国の手形 ??
Episode 6 日本中のおしんたちへ ??
Average ??

Production Credits

Oshin in the Middle East

An Iranian woman was once asked by a radio reporter, "Who is your symbol of Islamic womanhood?" "Oshin", she answered. It was a reply that so shocked Iranian religious leader Ayatollah Khomeini that he ordered the arrest of four people from the TV station that broadcast the program.

The Japan Foundation, with the cooperation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) of Japan and the state-run television station of Egypt, will provided the NHK TV program "Oshin" with subtitles in Arabic to the Iraqi Media Network (IMN) free of charge as a part of the reconstruction assistance to Iraq.

Oshin being televised with Arabic subtitles. Only the first 96 episodes were televised in Iraq

This assistance is a contribution in hopes that the people of Iraq will be able to carry out an enjoyable life, mentally as well, by providing a TV program to the IMN which still lacks adequate program broadcasting system.

"Oshin" is a nationally popular TV program in Japan and has been highly evaluated in 59 countries and regions in the world. Broadcasting of such a program would deepen the understanding of Japanese culture by the people of Iraq. It is also expected that the people of Iraq, who are working for the post-war reconstruction of their country, will be encouraged by watching the life of a Japanese woman living through a turbulent period and overcoming various challenges.

Broadcasting was scheduled to start from the Holy month of Ramadan, the fasting month for the Muslim (started around 26 October), when high television rating can be expected.


  • Oshin holds the record for the highest average rating in Japanese television history (52.6-percent). Also holds the record for the highest rating of a single episode (62.9-percent). Only the annual Kohaku Uta-Gassen, and specific special events have scored higher ratings.
  • Filming locations include Yamagata Prefecture Nishi-Murayama - Sakata, Tokyo, Saga Prefecture, Mie Prefecture Shima Isobe, and Aichi Prefecture Nagoya.
  • During production, a week's filming was delayed, caused by Tanaka Yuko becoming ill. NHK worked around the problem by taking the show off-air for a week, and replaced it with a short documentary series Another Oshin, introducing the filming locations, and tips such as recipes from the series for such delicacies as radish rice (the recipe can be found in the official NHK Oshin book.)
  • In 1984, a Japanese anime of Oshin was released by Sanrio, with Kobayashi Ayako as the voice of Oshin. The anime focused only on the childhood phase of the drama.
  • Oshin aired with English subtitles via the Nippon Golden Network (NGN) in 2000, airing all 297 episodes.
  • NHK released Oshin on DVD in 2003. There are seven DVD box sets, each set containing four or five Region-2 DVDs. No English subtitles on the DVDs.

External Links

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