Marrying as a Job? Popularity Behind TV Drama “Nigeru wa Haji da ga Yaku ni Tatsu”
What is true happiness within a marriage to women? In Japan, like as many countries, many women became housewives without doubt when they got married. No matter how educated they are, or how wealthy their family is, there are still today, women that feel that becoming a housewife is the best choice. They also feel it takes them to the top of the “woman society caste”.
You may already know, but there is a Drama called “Nigeru wa Haji da ga Yaku ni tasu” featuring Yui Aragaki and Gen Hoshino, and this drama is a big hit even though it is said that most of the population doesn’t watch TV any more. The subtitle is “We Married as a Job!” which basically explains the basic setting of the story.
Mikuri Moriyama (Yui Aragaki) is smart, with a masters degree in psychology. However she failed to find a job during the job hunting season, ending up as a temporary worker. When the contract renewal period came, her boss chose to fire Mikuri and keep the dumb girl who wasn’t competent at all compared to Mikuri. Apparently, smart women aren’t wanted.
As a part time job, she was introduced to a housekeeping job once a week at Hiramasa Tsuzaki’s (Gen Hoshino) house. He is single, a cherry (virgin), already 36 years old and prepared to be alone for the rest of his life. One day, Mikuri has to move away with her parents and unavoidably has to quit the housekeeping job, even though she was starting to enjoy it. As a joke she makes a suggestion on a contract marriage so she can work and not move away.
On the last day of work, Hiramasa suddenly shows her the contract of their contract marriage. A housewife’s annual income is estimated to be around 20,000 yen per month which would become Mikuri’s income. Basically, they made the housewife a job. They don’t kiss, they don’t hug, they don’t sleep together. They are simply colleagues that live in the same house, and Mikuri and Hiramasa feel comfortable about this special employment relationship.
The reasons for the popularity of this drama, don’t only come from the cuteness of the two main actors. Another major reason is that the characters really fit the “real” feelings that the modern Japanese people have. Although the number of real housewives has been decreasing, maybe a new type of marriage, new form of “love” is being accepted? Japan is finally changing, why not accept a gay colleague or a 35 year old cherry boy?
Another reason for the popularity is the collaboration with many TV shows and anime. There have been scenes of parodies of Jonetsu Tairiku, Sazae-san, and even Evangelion!
The ending main theme song for the drama is “Koi” by Gen Hoshino. The characters from the drama dance during the ending, and this dance has become a big boom. Everybody’s dancing it!
Many idols, models, and even celebrities have been uploading their dance videos on their social media.
Just a few days ago, Japanese popular figure skater Nobunari Oda uploaded a video on Twitter with Yuzuru Hanyu.
This “Nigehaji” boom is almost a social phenomenon! There’s only 2 or 3 stories left in the drama, keep an eye out for what happens to the two “awkward love birds”!
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