What is Asadora?

Asadora (lit. “Morning Drama”) is a TV drama show format by NHK which broadcasts every Monday to Saturday morning. Each episode is only 15 minutes long but the whole series lasts for a half year.

Perhaps the biggest reason why Asadora is so popular is because of its short screen time per episode compared to other ordinary drama formats, which makes it easier for audience to follow the series everyday. Moreover, convenience is key, with replays of the same episode being shown four (4) times a day at different schedules, so as to assure regular patrons the chance to watch each day at their most convenient time. And for those with the most tedious of schedules or who fail to watch a specific day’s episode for whatever reason, they can still watch a condensed version of that week’s episodes on Saturdays.

Most Asadora show the lives of strong and persevering women, usually filled with lots of struggles to endure, but also of encouragements and determination, which emphasize the importance of family. Since most heroines are young and growing in the storyline, elder audiences tend to feel like they are looking after a child while watching the TV drama.

For much of the regular audience, asadora has become an integral part of their lives, permeating it with lessons and motivations to push them on. So much so that when the last episode of each series has ended, those people who feel an emptiness in their heart, use the expression “XX LOSS” (XX is usually named after a title of drama, like AMA-LOSS from Amachan).

The first Asadora, Musume to Watashi (lit. “Daughter and I”) premiered in 1961, while the 100th, Natsuzora (lit. “summer sky”), will broadcast in the coming 2019.

One nice thing to note about the female protagonists in each asadora is that they are chosen through auditions, and landing the role usually assures them of a good path to become a great actress in Japan. (see Kasumi Arimura, Non, Mitsuki Takahata as recent examples)

If you want to have asadora as a part of your life, we recommend to watch Major works below here first.

Major works
Oshin(1983), Carnation(2011), Amachan(2013)