- Based on the life of a fictional young midwife and substitute teacher, Michiko (Kyoko Hasegawa), and her female students, who were forced to serve as war nurses in Okinawa Prefecture.
The prefecture was the only place in the nation where there were ground battles during the Showa War. It is said that more than 2,000 local minors of both sexes were dispatched to the battlefields in the prefecture and that more than 1,000 of them died.
The Saigo no Nightingale project was initiated by scriptwriter Kazuhiko Yukawa, known for his war drama Satokibi Batake no Uta, which aired on the network in 2003. It also featured the battles on the islands in the prefecture.
This time, Yukawa tried to depict not only the tragedies local people suffered but also the joy of living, as symbolized in a scene of the birth of a baby Michiko helps deliver, he said.
Atsushi Sato, producer of the drama, said he supposed that many people think of a war monument called Himeyuri no To in the prefecture whenever they hear about schoolgirl nurses during the war. The monument was established in memory of the deaths of members of a student nurse corps called Himeyuri Gakutotai.