In the closing years of the Edo period, many clans in the northeast resisted the new Meiji government that was sweeping into power, including the Aizu who fought against imperial forces during the Boshin War. Borrowing from French military tactics, Aizu retainers were divided into four units, organized by age. The Byakkotai, or White Tiger Brigade, was the youngest unit, composed of samurai aged 16 to 17. Fighting valiantly for their lord and land, the young men of Byakkotai were romanticized, both then and now, for their heroic feats and adherence to the bushido ethic. The story of the Byakkotai is greatly steeped in popular culture, and has been retold in novel, manga, film, and television form.
Having previously dramatized the story in their hugely popular 1986 series, in 2007 TV Asahi presents Byakkotai once more, with an impressive line-up of photogenic young stars as our storied heroes. Yamashita Tomohisa of NEWS and Tanaka Koki of KAT-TUN lead the drama, with both taking on two roles as Byakkotai samurai and modern descendants who revisit the past. The cast also includes Fujigaya Taisuke of Johnny's group Kis-My-Ft2, Saito Shota, Tomita Sho, Yakushimaru Hiroko, and Kuroki Meisa.
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