'Oshin' scriptwriter Hashida Sugako dies at age 95

A prominent Japanese scriptwriter, Hashida Sugako, has died at the age of 95 of acute lymphoma. She was best known as the author of the legendary NHK morning drama series, "Oshin."

Hashida was born in present-day Seoul, South Korea, in 1925. She joined major Japanese film studio Shochiku in 1949 and later became a freelance scriptwriter of TV dramas. More than 500 episodes of her long-running drama series, "Wataru Seken wa Oni Bakari," were aired by a commercial network starting in 1990.

She also wrote the scripts for year-long NHK historical drama series, including "Onna Taikoki" and "Kasuga no Tsubone."

The NHK morning drama series "Oshin" was aired in 1983 and 1984. It followed the life of a fictional woman and the many hardships she endured from her childhood in the Meiji Period until her final days in the 1980s.

"Oshin" not only won high acclaim in Japan but also gained popularity all over the world. It was aired in more than 60 countries and regions, mainly in Asia, the Middle East and Africa.

Hashida was named a Person of Cultural Merit in Japan in 2015, and she received the Japan Order of Culture last year.

The Hashida Cultural Foundation said she died at her home in Atami City, Shizuoka Prefecture on Sunday.