Part of comedian Beat Takeshi’s appeal is his down-to-earth image, which was boosted in the ’80s by a famous NHK drama series about his childhood — growing up in the shitamachi area of Tokyo in the ’50s. The series epitomized the sentimental memory of postwar domesticity: an artisan father who’s an irresponsible drunken lout and a strong-willed mother who sacrifices everything for her children.

This week, Asahi TV launches “Kikujiro and Saki” (Thursday, 9 p.m.), a new 10-part version of the drama series, with Takenori Jinnai as Takeshi’s house-painter father, Kikujiro, and Shigeru Muroi as the mother, Saki.

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