Tonbi (2013)


Official Website

Sundays, 9.00 – 9.54 p.m. from 13 January 2013


It is 1998. Ichikawa Akira, who works at the publishing company Tokuda Books, makes a presentation on free gifts accompanying elementary school student magazines that does not go down well. Another editor had asked his parent for ideas. Akira asks the photograph that he has of his father on the desk if he will give him ideas. Naturally he gets no response … … In the late summer of 1972, the child of truck driver Ichikawa Yasuo, who goes by the nickname Yasu, was expected to be born any day. Yasu’s mother died when he was a child and he was abandoned by his father too. Now he had his dear wife Misako and he felt awkward about the arrival of his child. Like Yasu, Misako’s parents passed away at an early age. One day, as the two of them were on their way home from visiting the grave of Yasu’s mother, Misako started having contractions and was unable to move. Yasu carried Misako in his arms and brought her to the maternity hospital. Their new-born child was named after the singer Kobayashi Akira. Yasu and Misako who grew up without ever knowing their parents, worked hard to raise Akira and tasted happiness. When Akira was 3 years old, Misako brought the boy to see Yasu as he worked alone at his company on a day off. The three of them talked of their big dream of riding together around Japan in a truck. Then Yasu resumed work, but Akira noticed that his father had forgotten his towel. When he ran to give it to Yasu, a wooden box stacked precariously on a platform caught the towel and its contents fell on Akira. Misako promptly shielded him but was crushed by the wooden box … …

Uchino Masaaki as Ichikawa Yasuo
A truck driver working for Amagasaki Transportation. Nicknamed Yasu, he has a clumsy, uncouth personality but is loved by the people around him. He can go and on about random things but gets embarrassed and tongue-tied when it comes to the most important things. He detests being lectured, instructed and guessed right. He tends to get stubborn when the latter happens. His favourite things are alcohol, gambling, movies and songs. It is his daily routine to go to the pub ‘Yunagi’ after work is over. He loves his wife and son the most. He married Misako and suddenly became the father of Akira. For Yasu, whose mother died soon after he was born and was also separated from his father, it was an uphill struggle for him but he faced it head on. His married life with Misako was a happy one, but he lost her in a freak accident. With the support of the people around him, he raised his son by himself.

Sato Takeru as Ichikawa Akira
The only son of Ichikawa Yasu and Misako. After his mother’s death, he lived with his father, but grew up loved by everyone around him. A smart, diligent young man of fine character. He is amiable, earnest and kind but also has a stubborn side. Once he has made up his mind, he will not budge. He overcame the opposition of his father and went on to study at a university in Tokyo. He now works at Tokuda Publishing and is in charge of the free gifts that accompany the magazine ‘Elementary School Jumbo Second Grader’.

Fukiishi Kazue as Sakamoto Yumi
A fashion magazine editor at Tokuda Publishing where Ichikawa Akira works. She is a capable go-getter but … … Their relationship deepens through an unexpected turn of events.

Tokiwa Takako as Ichikawa Misako
Ichikawa Yasu’s wife and Akira’s mother. An exceedingly gentle, modest and compassionate person. Her parents died when she was a child and because she was brought up in a relative’s home, she had to hold back and could not eat with satisfaction. So she dreamt of eating an abundance of side dishes with her family. She liked setting the table with side dishes more than one could eat and she would dance a little jig of joy if she is told that Yasu wants a second helping. She loved Yasu with all her heart, did not take him to task for his behavioural problems and was always smiling. She died in an accident to protect Akira.

Kato Takako as Yukie
Shoun’s wife. Because she does not have children, she dotes on Ichikawa Akira as if he were her own child. Because she hails from a good family, she has a laidback, easygoing personality. As Akira’s surrogate mother, she has a rivalry with Taeko, the proprietress of Yasu’s regular drinking place.

Nomura Hironobu as Shoun
The son and heir of the priest Kaiun. Ichikawa Yasu’s childhood friend. They are good friends who have been like brothers since they were children. He and Yasu would get into mischief and they would both get hell from his father. He is a Buddhist priest and yet he hangs around ‘Yunagi’. Because of that, he is called a degenerate by the people around him. He is earnest but a little thickheaded. Prone to making silly mistakes so to speak. He loves Ichikawa Akira to the extent that he wishes to adopt him at any time.

Aso Yumi as Taeko
The female proprietress of Ichikawa Yasu’s regular drinking place ‘Yunagi’. She manages it all by herself. A childhood friend who grew up in the same housing estate as Yasu and is like an elder sister to him. She is the only person that Yasu is no match for and also the only person that he shows his vulnerability to. She loves Ichikawa Akira as if he were her own child. She naturally fusses over Akira and even Yasu’s health care.

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About jadefrost

This blog contains information and musings on current and upcoming Japanese dramas but is not intended to be comprehensive.
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