Pin to Kona: impressions.

So today I thought I’d talk again about one of this season’s dramas that I’ve watched and really enjoyed. This one’s called Pin to Kona and the drama heavily-relates to Japan’s Kabuki world. The main character is a high-schooler named Takeru Kawamura (stage name: Kyounosuke Kawamura), who was born into a family of famous Kabuki actors. Because he was born into a Kabuki family he essentially has to follow in his father(and fore-fathers’) footsteps and become a Kabuki actor himself. Kyou is actually very good at Kabuki acting but in the first episode he’s portrayed as a huge slacker, is almost constantly given lectures by his father and just doesn’t really seem to care all that much about Kabuki…

After one of his shows finishes a sea of fan girls come to greet him and there’s a girl mixed in with a uniform from his school, mistaking her for an actual fan he puts his arm around her and starts talking to her and she pretty much throws him over her back and gives him a mouthful about how pathetic she thought his performance was and tells him he should be ashamed of himself as a Kabuki actor. She storms off and when he goes to school the next day he finds out she actually goes to his school and she comes from a very poor family. Because of this she from time-to-time performs work on the school grounds involving plants and stuff(I dunno, I guess like a groundskeeper?). Her name is Ayame Chiba and she has liked Kabuki from a very young age because her mother(who has since passed) used to like it a lot too.


The two get into an argument and Kyou says something along the lines of “What would you know about good Kabuki!?” She says that she has a favourite Kabuki actor but that she’s unsure if he would ever stand on the stage, this leads to a string of flashbacks from when she was a elementary schooler of her convincing her class to do a Kabuki performance. She convinces one of the male students Hiroki Hongou(stage name Ichiya Sawayama) to be the lead of the play because his “face looks like an actors face”.  As a result of this experience Hiroki decides he wants to one day become a Kabuki actor, and Ayame gives him his stage name: Ichiya. Ayame has to move from their town one day and the two part, but Hiroki promises that one day he will stand in the middle of the Kabuki stage.


Fast forward back to the present, where it turns out that Ayame has been going to watch plays Ichiya features in but has never tried to make contact with him in all these years. She obviously still likes him but he makes no effort to find her and regain contact with her either(because he still hasn’t had a major role in any Kabuki show).

One day Ayame crashes into Kyou on her bike and he gets injured. She then proceeds to run away and he thinks she’s just left him but it turns out she has no cell phone(because she’s poor) and that she actually called an ambulance for him. He goes through flashbacks about how he’s always been alone in life and nobody was there for him to rely on, but she runs back after calling the ambulance and he is shocked. He gets very emotional and hugs her asking her to stay by his side. He loses consciousness and wakes up in the hospital and sees that she is still by his bedside even though hours have clearly passed. As a result of this he starts liking her.


By chance Kyou and Ichiya end up featuring in a play together. And the two start getting more acquainted than they were before, Kyou soon finds that Ichiya hates his guts. From the view of the people surrounding him it seems like Kyou doesn’t care about Kabuki and the only reason he gets lead roles is because he was born into a famous Kabuki family. Ichiya is the complete opposite of this, he has to work his way up doing really minor parts even though his Kabuki skills are essentially on par or even better than Kyou’s. Ichiya has been adopted by a famous Kabuki family that doesn’t have a son to carry on their lineage and he lives there because his only hope of getting better Kabuki parts is marrying their daughter and using her father’s name on the Kabuki stage.


So to sum things up this drama is really about someone who is given everything on a silver plater and takes the chances they are given for granted and another person who puts their blood, sweat and tears into something they love and pretty much dedicates their life to it(in this case Kabuki). What makes it even more interesting is that Kyou actually loves Kabuki, a lot, and has since he was a very small child. So even though the people around him don’t see it yet(or rather have forgotten), he really does have an innate ability and love for the Kabuki stage.

I’ve only watched up to episode 2 but it’s so far it’s essentially a rivalry between these two, polar-opposite types. There’s also the love-triangle mixed in, but I’m kind of less interested in that. I’m really looking forward to the next episode and I recommend anyone who reads this to watch it too. The first episode is a 2 hour special and the rest are about 45 minutes each. I didn’t know anything at all about Kabuki before watching this, but watching it has actually made me want to go see Kabuki live in Japan and made me realise it’s a lot more than what I thought it was. Especially how the family you come from plays such a big part in your status in the Kabuki community. Anyway it’s great, if you have time WATCH IT!

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