A co-production between the BBC Two and Netflix, Giri/Haji (translated as Duty/Shame) is an ambitious international drama set in both London and Tokyo, following two estranged brothers halfway across the world from one another.
When detective and family man Kenzo’s younger brother goes missing, he must leave Tokyo and head to London to find him — and discover the truth about his brother’s life.
Here’s everything you need to know about Giri/Haji…
When is Giri/Haji on TV?
Giri/Haji begins on Thursday 17th October at 9pm on BBC Two.
The show will air on Netflix internationally.
What is Giri/Haji about?
The eight-part series is set in both Tokyo and London, and follows Kenzo, a family man and detective living in Tokyo who must travel to London to find his missing brother, Yuto. The pair have been estranged since a dark event years previously.
Once in London, Kenzo finds himself seeking comfort in a makeshift family of Londoners, while his professional relationship with Sarah, a Met detective investigating the murder case that Yuto seems to have entangled himself in, begin to veer towards personal, threatening his marriage.
Creator and screenwriter Joe Barton says: “Developing this show with Sister Pictures, Netflix, and the BBC has been an amazing creative experience and now I’m incredibly excited to see it come to life with such a diverse and brilliant cast and crew. They’re all ridiculously talented which has the added bonus of making me look better. Which was my goal all along, frankly.”
Bafta and Golden Globe nominee Kelly Macdonald (Boardwalk Empire, T2 Trainspotting) plays Sarah, a Met Police detective, while Takehiro Hira (Hara-Kiri: Death of a Samurai) plays Tokyo-based detective Kenzo.
Yosuke Kubozuka (Go, Silence) plays Yuto, Kenzo’s estranged brother who lives in London. Justin Long (New Girl, Live Free or Die Hard) and Charlie Creed-Miles (Ripper Street, Peaky Blinders) play Vickers and Abbott, two shadowy businessmen who attempt to draw Kenzo in as the latter sets his sight on expanding his empire into East Asia.
Bafta nominated Will Sharpe (Flowers) also joins the cast as a charismatic rent boy.
Where was Giri/Haji filmed?
Giri/Haji took a massive eight months to film, with a 140 day shoot across London and Tokyo.
“Any production’s got logistical issues but this one actually presented fresh, new logistical challenges,” writer Joe Barton joked.
Speaking at a screening in London, director Julian Farino told the audience that he hadn’t wanted to “do picture-postcard Tokyo” with neon lights and famous landmarks. Instead, the production focused on the backstreets and side-streets and waterways of the city.
He added: “And we also didn’t just do the shoot in Tokyo – we spent some of the story later on in the series in rural Japan very near Mount Fuji, so we spent a week or so out there, which gives it a whole different flavour.”