Top 4 Japanese drama series to learn Japanese

Bored with the same monotonous way of learning Japanese? All the intense and boring sessions could sometimes make you lose your motivation to be proficient in Japanese. So, combine watching some dramas with learning Japanese, and you’ll get the opportunity to improve while learning Japanese culture.

Here are 4 Japanese drama series you can watch online to improve your Japanese skills.

1. 1 Liter of Tears 1リットルの涙

The story: this is one of the most popular Japanese drama series. First aired on Fuji Television in 2005, this series is based on a true story of a 15-year-old girl named Aya Kitou. Most of the script is based on Aya’s diary on the degenerative disease that she faced bravely. Over 1 million copies of her diary that are entitled, One Liter of Tears has been sold in Japan.

Why is it good: As it is a story based on a true event, there is a lot of situation where conversations took place in the daily situation. Thus, Japanese learners from all levels could get a lot from watching this. It is also an inspiring drama that helps us get a new perspective on life.

2. Oshin おしん

The story: Oshin is a long series based on the fictional biography of a Japanese woman, modeled after Katsu Wada, who co-founded the supermarket chain Yaohan with her husband. The setting is in the past Meiji period. Oshin is also one of the most-watched Japanese drama of all time and has aired in 68 other countries

Why is it good: Meiji period is a really interesting time in Japan. Knowing more about this background can help us see why Japan is like this today. Furthermore, even though the story is a bit dark and harsh, it tells us the story of a wonderful woman. It is very inspiring to see such an inspiring journey. Hopefully, by watching Oshin, we could be more inspired to push through our Japanese studies.

3. Hanzawa Naoki 半沢直樹

The story: This drama follows the story of Hanzawa Naoki who works for a large bank in Japan. As he is climbing through the corporate ladder, he is faced with numerous obstacles from upper management. It has two series that aired in 2013, and 2020 respectively. 

Why it is good: Not only this drama has one of the highest ratings in modern Japan with 42.2%, it also depicts Japanese working culture in detail. Especially, the Japanese bank’s internal structure. So, even with all dramatization that is happening in the drama. We can still get a clear picture of how Japanese management and Japanese workplace systems work. In terms of level, this drama requires you to be intermediate or higher to understand and learn Japanese from it better. A big part of the scripts is spoken in 敬語 or polite Japanese.

4. Harassment Game ハラスメントゲーム

The story: This drama is not as well-known as the others. However, the way they convey the current changes in the Japanese workplace is very interesting. With a lot of emotions in the drama funny, romanticism, and sometimes seriousness, it still manages to convey their main point of informing the chance in the Japanese workplace.

Why it is good: For everyone interested in the current climate of Japan, this drama will be very interesting. Most people know about 過労死 Karoushi, or death by overwork. However, not many know that Japan has been making a lot of changes to prevent this. You can see these changes from all the harassment explained in this drama. Finally, this drama is suitable for Japanese learners of all levels.

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Hanzawa Naoki, Source image: IMDB

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