• Kyodo News


Acclaimed film director Yoji Yamada has written his first novel on the childhood of Tora-san, the main character in his hit “Otoko wa Tsuraiyo” (“It’s Tough Being a Man”) series.

“Kekko Kedarake” (slang for “good enough”) is being printed in serial form in a biweekly Tora-san magazine launched Thursday by publisher Kodansha Ltd., Yamada, 79, said at a news conference Wednesday.

The novel, written as a monologue by the main character, Torajiro Kuruma, depicts his childhood, which has not been shown in the long-running film series.

“It would be wonderful if the novel is adapted for the screen,” said Yamada, who marks the 50th anniversary of his debut as a film director this year.

The late actor Kiyoshi Atsumi played Tora-san and actress Chieko Baisho, 69, played his younger sister, Sakura, in the movies.

The film series has seen 49 installments, including a special edition, released between 1969 and 1997, according to distributor Shochiku Co.

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