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A 1971 thriller returns; the life of an indigo dyer; CM of the week: Nihon Waso

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‘Kuro no Shamen” (“The Black Slope”), made in 1971, is one of the most famous thrillers in the history of Japanese cinema. On Sunday night at 9, TV Asahi presents a new TV adaptation of the tale.

Takashi (Neptune’s Taizo Harada) is a hard-working employee of a major construction company. He has been married to Keiko (Rei Dan) for 10 years and they live in a beautiful home on the coast of Kanagawa Prefecture. From all appearances, they seem to have a perfect life.

However, both Takashi and Keiko, like most couples, hide things from each other. One day, Takashi comes home with a purple luggage bag, and seems out of sorts. When Keiko asks about the bag he gets defensive and tells her not to touch it. He says he suddenly has to fly to Kumamoto for business and takes the bag with him, but not before she sees him open it and notices it is filled with bundles of cash.

Okayama Prefecture is famous for its blue jeans, in particular the indigo dyeing process that local craftspeople borrowed from Levi’s, which no longer uses it. Real aficionados think that the best jeans in the world are made in Okayama, in fact. This kind of craft is the basis for the regionally produced drama, “Indigo no Koibito” (“Indigo Lovers”; BS Premium, Wed., 10 p.m).

Kenji (Hirofumi Arai) makes a living dyeing jeans. However, he has always wanted to be a jazz pianist and, while the dream isn’t dead, he hasn’t touched a keyboard in the decade since his sister, a single mother, died. He’s been raising his niece in her stead.

Then he falls in love with Miyuki, a painter who seems incapable of talking about her past.

CM of the week

Nihon Waso: Since he’s being credited with keeping SMAP together, sex god Takuya Kimura is receiving even more attention now than he usually does, so Nihon Waso, a company that offers classes in how to properly wear kimono, scored a coup in getting him to shill for their services.

Kimura is seen in his traditional Japanese pad just back from the beach and changing out of his surfing gear. He checks his watch and quickly puts on a light brown, bespoke kimono. “I’ll be waiting in a kimono,” he says in voice-over, “so please come in a kimono.” His request is granted as he’s met by three kimono-wearing beauties outside. Girls dig a guy in a kimono.