Prayers in the Emergency Room

Medical instruments for an operation

The new drama series, “Byoshitsu de Nembutsu o Tonaenaide Kudasai (Prayers in the Emergency Room),” begins today. It is based on a manga series written by Tamayo Koyasu. It is a story about a Buddhist monk, Matsumoto, played by Hideaki Ito, who also works as an emergency doctor. He grapples with how he can save his patients’ lives, as well as their souls, while at times making serious mistakes as he strives to face up to the challenges of dealing with people’s lives. On the one hand, he preaches feverishly about the ways of Buddha, while on the other hand, he is a monk with all the worldly desires of a depraved person, who finds himself tempted by women in swimwear, brings obscene books to the workplace, and snacks on other people’s food. That is what makes him down to earth, vulnerable, and an attractive leading character in the drama who will keep all those who watch it riveted to the screen.

I play the part of Miyake, who is critical of Matsumoto’s overly enthusiastic passion, and scoffs at his Buddhist teachings, while cultivating a trusting relationship with him as a member of the same team of emergency doctors. I calmly and sincerely devote myself to administering medical care, in order to save the lives of dying patients right before me.

Tsuyoshi Muro plays the part of Hamada, a gifted but detestable cardiac surgeon who is like a manifestation of pure conceitedness and obtrusiveness. He is in constant conflict with Emergency Doctor Matsumoto, who strives to save everyone’s lives without thinking of the consequences even if it means accepting more patients than the hospital can handle.

Honoka Matsumoto plays the part of a young cardiac surgeon, who is far from being gifted and is inexperienced, but devotes herself to her job with nothing more than a genuine desire to save her patients’ lives. Meanwhile, Ryota Katayose plays a medical intern who is like the epitome of the “Satori generation (characterized by their lack of ambition and worldly desires),” seeing the world around him with an indifferent attitude and showing absolutely no respect or modesty toward his superiors.

Masato Hagiwara plays the part of Director Tamai of Aobadai Hospital’s Emergency Center, who is conservative, yet indecisive and weak-willed, but also has an unexplainable charm, while Kimiko Yo plays the part of Chief Director, who is well versed in the ways of Buddhism, and is the only person at the hospital capable of restraining Matsumoto, like a ball and chain, when he goes out of control.

The first episode about to be broadcast at last tonight, was filmed carefully over approximately a whole month. I have been deeply moved, almost to tears, by the performances of all the guests who join us each time. But like Miyake, I hold myself back and try to stay calm at all times.

Death is a daily occurrence to emergency doctors. But even so, they mourn the deaths of those they were unable to save, and strive to keep as many people as possible alive, driven by a belief that miracles do happen.

“Prayers in the Emergency Room,” the TBS drama series, airs at 10:00 P.M. every Friday night. I hope everyone enjoys watching it.

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