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Farewell special for ‘Mito Komo’; drama features brother-actors Watari, Watase; CM of the week: Bathclin

Japan’s longest-running historical drama series, “Mito Komon” (TBS, Mon., 7 p.m.), ends on Dec. 19 with a special two-hour farewell installment. The series started in 1969 and has been sponsored by the same company (Panasonic, formerly National) the whole time.

The peripatetic nobleman Komon (Kotaro Satomi) has finished his wanderings around the Japanese archipelago and now spends his twilight years quietly at his home in Mito. But he makes the journey to Edo to attend the wedding of his friends Sukezaburo and Shino, which will take place at his second home in the capital. Following the ceremony, Komon and the stepfather of another long-time friend, Kakonoshin, decide to walk to Senju, but they are abducted on the way.

The stepfather is played by Tadashi Yokouchi, who played Kakonoshin in the series many years ago.

Tetsuya Watari, 69, and Tsunehiko Watase, 67, are perhaps the most famous brother-actors in Japan, and in the special two-hour-plus drama “Kikyo” (“Homecoming”; TBS, Fri., 9 p.m.) they will appear together for the first time in 40 years.

Ryutaro (Watari) is the director of a hospital in the town where he has lived since he was born. His wife, Chiharu (Junko Fuji), surprises him with the news that their daughter will visit them with her fiance on Christmas Eve. However, even more surprising is the news that Ryutaro’s brother, Shinjiro (Watase), will also come to visit that night. Shinjiro, also a doctor, left their hometown many years ago and has never been back. The reunion brings out the long-simmering fraternal conflict that prompted Shinjiro to leave in the first place. The all-star cast also features Shinobu Otake and Akira Emoto.

CM of the week

Bathclin: In a series of TV spots for its Kikiyu line of bath salts, Bathclin uses actress Ai Kato to illustrate the specific physical effect of each product. One of them promises to alleviate problems associated with hiesho, or acute sensitivity to cold.

Kato is seen soaking in her bathtub, wondering if the bath salts are as effective against her hiesho as a certain “hairy” individual was. The following image shows her snuggling up to a young man in what looks like a bear costume. Is he an ex-boyfriend? If this is funny at all, it’s because Japanese women are generally thought to find hairy-chested men disgusting.