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It is Genroku 8 during the Edo era. Master swordsman Tange Tenzen, who has come to see the cherry blossoms at night, throws his arms around Nagao Chiharu, the daughter of the Uesugi’s chief retainer, as she falls from a flight of stone steps. The two of them part without telling their names, but are serendipitously married through the good offices of Kira Kozuke No Suke. Tenzen and Chiharu feel drawn to each other by fate. However two months later, it is Tenzen’s turn for duty in Osaka and the couple gets separated. One day, on the night of the great fire in Edo, Chiharu is raped by a former attendant, Segawa Sannojo. Hearing this, Tenzen returns to Edo. After clearing Chiharu’s name, he proposes dissolving their union, but is slashed by Chiharu’s furious older brother and loses his left arm. Furthermore, he is stripped of his stipend and renounced by the family. After that, Tenzen becomes a wandering samurai, and later a bodyguard to protect Kira from the Ako samurai. However, this sets him up for a clash with his good friend, Nakayama Yasube.
Yamamoto Koji as Tange Tenzen
A master swordsman with a tragic fate – reduced from retainer to wandering samurai. He defended the honour of his wife, Chiharu, but was slashed by her brother and lost his left arm. However, through the introduction of his good friend Nakayama Yasube, he meets Kinokuniya Bunzaemon, a small merchant who built up a enormous wealth, and experiences the pleasure of being in the streets. Although made sport of by fate, he carries on loving Chiharu and continues to search for the meaning of honour to a samurai. After that, he becomes a bodyguard who protects Kira Kozuke No Suke from the Ako samurai, and has to come up against Nakayama.
Shibamoto Yuki as Nagao Chiharu
The daughter of Nagao Gonbe, the chief retainer of the Uesugis. After she becomes the wife of Tange Tenzen, she is raped by Segawa Sannojo, a former childhood attendant while Tenzen is away in Osaka. She has a lifelong love for her husband, who lost everything because of her, and sets her heart on supporting him.
Takahashi Kazuya as Nakayama Yasube
Tange Tenzen’s good friend. He made a name for himself as a second in a fight at Takadanobaba. A hot-blooded man who went from poor wandering samurai to a retainer of the Asanos of the Ako domain. He formed a strong bond with Tenzen, but was destined to face off against Tenzen, who by a curious coincidence became a bodyguard of Kira Kozuke No Suke, right before invading Kira’s mansion.
Nagatsuka Kyozo as Kira Kozuke No Suke
Head of the Kira family and the high-ranking master of ceremonies. He became the enemy of the Ako samurai because of the derangement of their lord, Asano Naganori. He cares not for his poor public image and goes his own way. He was the go-between for Tange Tenzen and Nagao Chiharu. After that, Tenzen became a wandering samurai and he hired him to be his bodyguard.
Oshinari Shugo as Nagao Ryunoshin
The older brother of Nagao Chiharu. He loses his head over his sister’s divorce, he slashed Tange Tenzen’s left arm. Later on, he learns of Chiharu’s enduring love for Tenzen. Deeply ashamed of his past deeds, he reaches out to reconcile with Tenzen.
Tatsumi Takuro as Nagao Gonbe
The father of Nagao Chiharu and chief retainer of the Uesugis. He gave his blessings to the marriage proposed by Kira Kozuke no Suke and married Chiharu off to Tange Tenzen. The sword incident makes him feel indebted to Tenzen, but cannot dispel the ill feelings.
Tomosaka Rie as Osan
The younger sister of Shirasaoya Chobe, the boss of the employment agency ‘Shirasaoya’. A hardworking person with a sweet disposition. As she looks after Tange Tenzen, she is gradually attracted to his personality.
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