Sanga Moyu

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Nishida Toshiyuki and Matsumoto Koshiro star in Sangamoyu
Scan and restoration by groink


  • Title: 山河燃ゆ
  • Title (romaji): Sanga Moyu
  • Title (English): Burning Mountain and River
  • Episodes: 51
  • Format: Renzoku
  • Genre: World War II based renzoku drama
  • Air time: Sunday, 21:00 JST
  • Broadcast network: NHK
  • Broadcast period: 1984-Jan-08 to 1984-Dec-23
  • Viewership ratings: 30.5 (1st ep), 30.5 (higest ep), 21.1 (average)


The 22nd NHK Taiga Drama is Sanga Moyu. The three Amaba brothers are second-generation Japanese Americans, whose allegiances are torn by the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Determined to show his loyalty to his adopted country, Isamu (Tsutsumi) volunteers for the U.S. Army and is shipped off to fight in Europe. A second brother, studying in Japan at the outbreak of hostilities, is conscripted to fight against the Americans as a Japanese soldier. The third brother Kenji (Matsumoto) avoids conflict by enlisting as a military interpreter, in which capacity he witnesses the war crimes trials that followed Japan's defeat. He is led to question the nature of homeland and patriotism and was inspired to do something to help Japan regain its lost honor. In a departure for NHK's taiga period drama series, Sanga Moyu turned away from Japan's distant past to tackle controversially recent events. Adapting Toyoko Yamazaki's novel Futatsu no Sokoku (Two Homelands), the show led to significant embarrassment for its commissioning channel, as Americans of Japanese descent resented the implication that their loyalties were divided between the U.S. and a country many of them had never seen, while the older generation of Japanese viewers reacted unfavorably to a chronicle of Japan's wartime activities. Though the TV adaptation was something of a ratings disaster, Yamazaki's novel was inspired by the true story of Akira Itami, the chief language monitor at the war crimes trial, himself a second-generation Japanese American, who eventually committed suicide in 1950.

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Production Credits


  • This is so far the only drama in the history of the Taiga drama series in which the setting is within the Showa period.
  • Original radio broadcasts and historical film material are used occasionally.

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