On Japanese television, mornings are for drama — asadora, to be precise.

A portmanteau of “asa” (morning) and “dorama” (drama), “asadora” is the colloquial term for NHK’s “Renzoku Terebi Shosetsu” (serial TV novel) — a serialized, 15-minute program that airs weekdays from 7:30 to 7:45 a.m. (The week’s five episodes are then shown again on Saturdays from 9:25 to 10:40 a.m.)

Given the format, these slices of historical drama have proven particularly easy to follow, and since first airing in 1961, the asadora has been an important vehicle for educating a general television audience on the lives of relatively unknown Meiji, Taisho and Showa era pioneers, many of them women.