Giri/Haji: who stars with Kelly Macdonald in new BBC Two thriller and when is it on

Set between London and Tokyo and starring Kelly Macdonald, Giri/Haji is making a play to become the BBC’s next hit international thriller.

Kelly MacDonald and Takehiro Hira team up to solve a murder. Picture: BBC/Netflix
Kelly MacDonald and Takehiro Hira team up to solve a murder. Picture: BBC/Netflix

The ambitious detective drama has been described by the BBC's Piers Wenger as “unlike anything we've ever seen on British TV before” and looks set to make a big splash when it arrives this week.

What is the series about?

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With a title translating from Japanese to English as Duty/Shame, the series will tell the story of Japanese detective Kenzo Mori, who travels to London in search of his brother, Yuto.

Giri/Haji is a brooding crime drama with an excellent, international cast. Picture: Netflix/BBC
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Yuto was accused of murdering a Yakuza member's nephew and is now believed to be dead, while the Tokyo gangs sit on the brink of all-out war.

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As he tries to get to the bottom of things, Kenzo befriends London policewoman DC Sarah Weitzmann and a Japanese-British sex worker named Rodney Yamaguchi.

His investigation brings him into contact with several less friendly members of the London underworld. Who stars in it?

On UK shores, the big name attached to the series is award-winning Scottish actor Kelly Macdonald. Having broken out in 1996's Trainspotting, she has gone on to star in a host of popular films and TV series, such as Boardwalk Empire, Brave, and Black Mirror.

The role of Kenzo will be played by Takehiro Hira, the prolific Japanese screen actor mostly known for his role in Takashi Miike's Hara-Kiri: Death of a Samurai.

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His brother, Yuto, is played by double Japan Oscar-winner Yōsuke Kubozuka who also appeared in Martin Scorsese's 2016 film, Silence.

New Girl's Justin Long and Peaky Blinders' Charlie Creed-Miles both feature as shadowy London suits looking to take advantage of Kenzo, while BAFTA-winner Will Sharpe plays troubled sex worker Rodney Yamaguchi.

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Where was it filmed?

As an international co-production, Giri/Haji has enjoyed a globetrotting shooting schedule.

Exploring the butterfly effects of a single incident, the story jumps between locations, languages and timelines.

To achieve this, it was filmed in London, Hastings, East Sussex and Tokyo.

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When is it on?

In the UK, Giri/Haji will air on BBC2 at 9pm on Thursday 17 October.

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It will then be released internationally on Netflix.