From 9.00 p.m., 7 July 2007
Watanabe Shogoro takes up his new post at the Minami-machi Magistrate’s Office and Nakamura Mondo is appointed to the archive keeper from that day onwards. As this takes place, fire burns ‘Kazusaya’, a well-established rice wholesale merchant, and the couple who own the business die in the fire. Then that night, Shogoro sees a young lady brandishing oval gold coins as she approaches passersby and calls out, “Someone please avenge my parents with this money!” This lady is Sachi, the daughter of the couple who own ‘Kazusaya’. According to Sachi, the fire at ‘Kazusaya’ had been set by their business rival, ‘Harimaya’. That night, a woman approaches Sachi. She is Okiku of ‘Hanagoten’, a master of Tokiwazu. Okiku tells Sachi that there is an organisation of assassins who will help the weak and exact revenge if money is paid. Okiku leads a double life as an informer for these assassins. The assassins Okiku summons are Ryoji, a picture framer, and Shogoro. The two of them deftly carry out the assassinations and settle the score for Sachi but Shogoro is convinced that there is more to it than meets the eye, and pays a visit to Mondo. Meanwhile, Genta, a puppeteer, has fallen in love with Kaoru, the female proprietress of a small restaurant, and visits her restaurant frequently. But from the day Kaoru catches sight of Kagaya Gen’emon, a land broker, the destinies of everyone undergoes a drastic change …
Higashiyama Noriyuki as Watanabe Shogoro
A police constable of Minami-machi Magistrate’s Office. His hidden occupation is that of an assassin. He dislikes the troublesome tasks at the magistrate’s office and has no desire to rise to greatness. He amuses himself by watching plays on the pretext of going on patrol. At home, he cannot stand the pampering of his mother-in-law and wife but because he married into the family, he cannot say it. In contrast to that, once he gets a “job”, he hands down the verdict and deftly slays villains that the law cannot prosecute with his sword.
Matsuoka Masahiro as Ryoji
A painter who makes a living by producing and repairing hanging scrolls and sliding screens. His hidden occupation is that of an assassin. He has a great love for wine and food, and in his pastime, he obsesses over the cooking ingredients, methods and utensils for his homemade recipes. Unidentified people are trying to kill him because of his past. For his “jobs”, he prepares a special liquid for his writing brush and Japanese calligraphy paper with the picture of a dragon on it, which kills his targets instantly.
Okura Tadayoshi as Genta
A young craftsman who makes string puppets. He is a honest man. He has fallen in love with an older female proprietress of a small restaurant, and also loves her son. He becomes an assassin because of a certain incident that happens. To kill his targets, he manipulates his delicately crafted puppet tool. He has neat conjuring tricks and impressive skills.
Fujita Makoto as Nakamura Mondo
The archive keeper of Minami-machi Magistrate’s Office. After long years of patrolling the streets, he is assigned to the archive where he leisurely organises case documents. When he goes home, Sen, his mother-in-law and Ritsu, his wife, always treat him like a nuisance and he has nowhere to go. He is still going strong in his hidden occupation, exuding a dignified presence as the senior to the new assassins and destroying evil with his mastery of the sword.
Mizukawa Asami as Tamagushi
A wandering dancer. This identity is just to conceal her real identity as an Iga ninja. She takes pride in being the best Iga ninja and her training is second to none. She makes an attempt on Ryoji’s life. Her reason for that is somewhat a mystery. But no one can know her true feelings.
Wakui Emi as Okiku
A master of Tokiwazu. Her hidden occupation is that of an informer of “jobs”. She elusively gets hold of the movements of the villains and guides those who wish to exact revenge to a hidden world. It isn’t an easy job to get all the assassins, who have strong personalities, together. The single flower that Okiku hands to those who order the “jobs” is called the flower of vengeance. She and Mondo used to be in love.
Nogiwa Yoko as Watanabe Ko
Shogoro’s mother-in-law. She hopes that Shogoro will rise to greatness for the sake of her daughter, Fuku, and the Watanabe family. Lately, she and her daughter have been zealous in certain things for the management of Shogoro’s health, but he finds it off-putting. The people she respects are Sen and Ritsu of the Nakamura family. Her favourite phrase is of course … “Son-in-law!”
Nakagoshi Noriko as Watanabe Fuku
Shogoro’s wife. Mother and daughter are eager for the rise of the Watanabe family. The lessons she has recently begun taking is all for the sake of her husband. Because she doesn’t mean any harm, Shogoro also finds it difficult to say that this is an annoyance … She is completely unaware that her husband is an assassin.
Fukushi Seiji as Ogawara Denshichi
Shogoro’s junior colleague. He is concerned about Shogoro, who has been labelled an eccentric of the Minami-machi Magistrate’s Office, and helps him out against his better judgment. The one reason for that maybe because Shogoro somehow always treats him to sumptuous boxed meals.
Ukaji Takashi as Sakamoto Kansuke
The chief constable of the Minami-machi Magistrate’s Office. He has been aware that he is a skilled leader since his childhood and has high self-esteem maybe because he has the same name as Yamamoto Kansuke. He finds irresponsible people like Shogoro a little disagreeable but doesn’t raise his voice and get angry.
Ibu Masato as Toriyama Kageoki
Head of the Minami-machi Magistrate’s Office. A leader who manges the police constables. He wins the hearts and minds of his subordinates by issuing medals for their good performance and is said to be the most brilliant person in the magistrate’s office.
Ishibashi Renji as Kagaya Hikozaemon
An up-and-coming land broker in the Edo era. He has made central Edo his own and risen in status, possibly because of his powerful backers. Surprisingly, few at the magistrate’s office know that he interfered in the handling of the Hamagashi incident after it happened.
Sano Shiro as Kagaya Gen’emon
The son of the Kagaya. He performs rough jobs under his father’s leadership. He is greedy for sex and money. Work has started to go smoothly these days and he has been busy with the lavish entertainment of merchants intending to expand into Edo from the countryside.
Hara Sachie as Kaoru
She runs a small restaurant with her young son, Sakutaro, in Edo. It seems that her husband lost his life in an unfortunate incident. At the time when she is leading a humble but happy life with Sakutaro, she learns that Genta, the puppeteer, has fallen in love with her. On top of this, an incident happens that would influence her life. The action she takes is …
Maeda Koki as Sakutaro
Kaoru’s only son. His father died early in his childhood and he has only his mother to rely on. But he grows to trust Genta, who plays with him like an older brother and father. Genta has won Sakutaro over to win his mother’s heart.
Hoshino Mari as Sachi
The daughter of Kazusaya. Her family runs a thriving business and she grew up with the love of her parents and older sister. But one day, a fire mysteriously breaks out at her house is fire. She sees her parents die right before her very eyes. Her older sister, Oharu, has disappeared. Sachi, who has heard disturbing talk about Harimaya, is desperate for help and turns to the assassins …
Sugai Kin as Nakamura Sen
Mondo’s mother-in-law. She is appalled with his perpetual uselessness. She recently started cookery classes with her daughter, Ritsu, at their home and devotes herself to teaching the wives of Hachoubori. She is proud that she has been assiduous at the management of her son-in-law’s health for a long time, and is respected by the wives.
Shiraki Mari as Nakamura Ritsu
Mondo’s wife. Mother and daughter have been protecting the Nakamura family for a long time. The cookery classes they recently started have been an unexpected success. She gives young wives kind, careful and thorough instruction and feels happy to be called “Teacher”. She completely ignores her husband because of her enthusiasm.
Dan Jiro as Masukichi
The Kagaya’s aide and head clerk. He picks out the true meaning of Hikozaemon and Gen’emon’s words and orders the Antoku-gumi to do the work.
Nagae Hidekazu as Kisuke
The head of Antoku-gumi. In order to buy up land, he destroys Nagaya, drives out residents who oppose him and undertakes all sorts of violence.
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