Hello, i'm a newbie and recently become interest in Japanese movie & drama 

i'm going to ask, is there Japanese drama/movie where the story background is royal family / the setting is on imperial palace

doesn't matter about the time, i mean if the drama about history then okay, if the drama in modern time it's okay too 

for example in the K-drama something like 

The Moon Embraces The Sun , Dong Yi, Dae Jang Geum, Empress Ki, Jang Ok Jung etc

and the modern time : The King 2 Hearts,Princess Hours 




I guess the best solution would be movies about Ooku. The Ooku was the harem of the Tokugawa shoguns.

Or movies about the Toyotomi Hideyoshi - Nene/One - Chacha/Yodo relationship.
There is also Tempest. It is set in the Royal Palace of Okinawa when it was still a seperate kingdom from Japan. 
I second what @Fumiko and @CherryBunny said, and may I recommend Atsuhime? The Tokugawa weren't royals per se, but I hope Ooku and Atsuhime aren't too far off from what you're looking for (life in a cloistered place, inner-palace intrigue, that kind of stuff).
I guess the best solution would be movies about Ooku. The Ooku was the harem of the Tokugawa shoguns.

Or movies about the Toyotomi Hideyoshi - Nene/One - Chacha/Yodo relationship.

I am interested to watch Ooku but can't find anyway to watch it with english subtitles. Do you happen to know where I can watch Ooku with english subtitles?

Where ARE the Japanese royal shows at? Now that it's been mentioned, I rarely do see shows about the Japanese monarchy but would def watch them.

Happy to see this was brought up, I was kinda curious too why don't we see shows about japanese monarchy. I've been watching japanese dramas for years and I can't remember any shows about japanese monarchy.

It's an intriguing question, indeed. 

I'm wondering if it has something to do with the way the imperial family was seen through history ( supposed divine status, or currently, of divine descent) : is it some kind of taboo?

Historically speaking, it does'nt seem that imperial family members really played a concrete and big role in building the Japanese state (at least obviously not during the Sengoku and shogunate eras). The current statuts of the emperor does not give him a big role, and he is more a moral reference or a point of stability in the moving political world than anything else. (my point of view)

I actually know the answer to this!

@sumithecat has the exactly right idea! The Japanese royal family are part of a "divine lineage" with the emperor as a direct descendant of the sun goddess. Because of this mythical prehistory, prying too closely or questioning too much is very taboo. In fact, very little information is known about the royal family and they exist behind what many journalists describe as a "chrysanthemum curtain" that is almost completely impenetrable. All media surrounding them is heavily heavily censored, and they very rarely do interviews (and the interviews they do hold are all scripted by the household agency). They also have no passports, no money in their name, no processions in their name, and no last name either. The imperial household agency wouldn't even tell the press what breed of dogs the royal family had for like, five years.
Also gonna be honest and say there's still quite a bit of controversy surrounding the royal family re: WWII war crimes, right-wing nationalism etc. 

Long story short I don't think a drama would ever get cleared!

Now that they've been doing controversial dramas back to back perhaps next is they will tackle a story about royal family, it's a long shot though hahaha.


That is so interesting and makes total sense. I was thinking along those lines but wasn't really sure.

This is an interesting topic and i believe many of us (including me previously) have thought the Japanese system would have been similar (or at least have some similarity) to the general monarchy system in the rest of the world., but that was a misconception.

While some of you (@Hanna @Sumi) might have the point about the taboo and the sensitivity of this matter, in my opinion (from what i read on wiki and observe from watching historical drama), the lack of story about Japan imperial is simply because there's nothing to tell about! Like what @Sumi mentioned, they did not play big role in building the state.

Japan always have the King even until today (the King never been thrown out), but the King have lost power since year 1000 AD and only got that back during Meiji Restoration just before WW1. You see how long was that? And that was not last long either. 

During those time, the one with most power was Shogun, and then losing to the Oda and to Toyotomi and then eventually the slick Tokugawa tricked everyone and become a new version of Shogun with more power than the traditional one. This last until Meiji Restoration.

So, to see more involvement of Japanese royal you have to watch drama/movie before the shogun era (i.e before year 1000). One that come to mind is Taira no Kiyomori. Here you can see how corrupt the palace was. Keyword: Incest.