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Churasan’ actress wows Miyako crowd

Date Posted: 2002-03-08

Tomi Hirara, the 73-year-old actress famous for her role in last year’s NHK hit series “Churasan,” appeared at Matida Theater in Miyako Island’s Hirara City on Feb. 25. The theater was packed to capacity with applauding fans. Hirara became an “idol” after turning 70 with her role as the strong-willed old woman in the morning drama series that took mainland Japan by storm. The lead actress in the drama, Ryoko Kuninaka, also attended the event.

Hirara said that she was happy because people have been calling her "Oba," an endearing term for "Grandma" in hougen (Okinawan dialect). The actress asked everyone to work to preserve hougen, which has been handed down from past generations but is gradually losing ground with young people in Okinawa. Hirara went on to receive the Broadcasting Woman Special Award 2001 on March 1 in Tokyo.

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