Dorama is a Japanese term describing a popular type of television series in Japan. While the term dorama has its roots in the English word “drama,” the meaning of “dorama” is uniquely Japanese.
Japanese dorama are defined by a set of characteristics similar to an American miniseries, lasting several months and airing between nine and twelve episodes during their runtime. The more popular dorama that are broadcast in the evening occupy a wide range of genres, including romance, crime drama, horror, humor, or any combination of these broader categories. On the other hand, daytime dorama – dubbed asadora, literally meaning “morning dorama” – run episodes daily and thus can be considered closer to American soap operas in format. Asadora run for six months and are only aired on the national public broadcasting channel, NHK.
In addition to their popularity in Japan, dorama have become increasingly popular around the world. Dorama are not only useful to foreign audiences for entertainment value – whether practicing Japanese, gaining an understanding of popular customs and traditions of Japan, or studying social issues that arise among the Japanese populace, dorama allow for the free exchange of Japanese culture to audiences across the globe.