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Elementary school student, Tsumura Mare, has to move to a small fishing village in Noto with her mother, Aiko, and younger brother, Ittetsu, as if skipping town, because her father’s business in Tokyo is on the verge of bankruptcy. The family happens to encounter Okesaku Ganji and his wife, Fumi, who run salt fields, and are allowed to stay in the couple’s home. Her father, Toru, tries to achieve success in Noto, but fails as usual. It is a hard struggle for Mare as she tries to master the language of Noto in order to fit into the village. The family of four decide to live here and Mare wishes that they will live in happiness again. Seven years later, Mare is a third-year high school student who dislikes dreams. She helps her mother, who has become the breadwinner, and works part-time when the time permits. Her father has not returned after going away to work in Tokyo six years ago. Aiko busies herself with the salt fields and the cultivated land, and lives like a family with Fumi and Ganji. Mare is reunited with her childhood friend, Kontani Keita, who moved to Kanazawa. She participates in the Wajima Grand Festival with her classmates and carries a tall festival lantern. The next spring, after graduating from high school, Mare chooses the security of a civil service job. She joins Wajima City’s municipal office and gets a job supporting Noto’s immigrants. Mare initially keeps getting pushed around by the self-centred immigrants. But she is inspired by their pursuit of dreams, and gradually realises the importance of having one. “I want to give people that happy feeling again.” Recalling her own dream of becoming a patissier, Mare applies to apprentice at a famous French pastry shop in Yokohama against the opposition of her family. The cakes made by a stubborn patissier who came back from France, tastes just like the fancy cake she remembers. Mare faces all sorts of troubles while training to be a patissier. She overcomes these challenges and decides to return to Noto, which has found a place in her heart, to have her own shop and family.

Tsuchiya Tao as Tsumura Mare
A girl whose motto in life is to work steadily and untiringly. She is very serious and prizes stability. Because she cannot leave those in trouble alone, the helping hand she gives to others sometimes attracts rare occurrences.She helps out her mother in the salt fields and farm work while attending high school. She is also a salesgirl at Wajima’s morning market. After graduating from high school, she gets her long-desired job at the municipal office, but has a dream of being a patissier and goes to Yokohama. She undergoes rigorous training under a famous chef who came back from France, and her talent gradually starts to blossom.

Oizumi Yo as Tsumura Toru
Tsumura Mare’s father who is regarded as a hopeless case by himself as well as others. He has a speculative spirit and has never lasted long in a job since young. He tries to do his own business, but everything he does ends in failure. He would learn his lesson and try to make an honest living. Because he also strikes it rich once in a while, it is difficult for him to go down a proper path. He eventually drives himself into bankruptcy and decides to move to Noto with his family. He makes Mare, who hates dreams, listen to the importance of having one, at every opportunity.

Tokiwa Takako as Tsumura Aiko
Tsumura Mare’s mother. She replaces her husband as the main breadwinner of the family. She is usually gentle, but also has a bold side, which was displayed when she picked the place to move to with the throw of a dart. In Noto, she works in the salt fields with superhuman strength incongruous with her appearance, and raises her children with income from field work and the morning market. She always supports her daughter’s way of life, but when Mare chooses the path of a patissier, she opposes it.

Hayama Shono as Tsumura Ittetsu
Tsumura Mare’s younger brother. He masters the distinctive language of the Noto region effortlessly and adapts easily to Noto. Like his father, Toru, he loves a game. But unlike Toru, he has a knack for winning as well as the ability to coolly analyse situations. During high school days, he put his ability to use as the baseball club’s strategist. Before long, he starts to get completely absorbed in online day trading without his family’s knowledge.

Tanaka Min as Okesaku Ganji
A man who has been making salt for generations from the salt fields in the outskirts of Wajima City. His son has left Noto and he lives with his wife, Fumi. He usually works silently in this physically demanding job under the blazing sun. However, when the festival comes, he would take the lead and mobilise the festival floats. No one can stop his love of the festival. He soon becomes like a real family with the Tsumuras who end up living in the same house as him.

Yamazaki Kento as Kontani Keita
A Wajima lacquerware craftsman in training. Enchanted by Wajima lacquerware at the workshop of his grandfather, Yataro, who is a lacquer artist, he pursues the path of a craftsman. He is stubborn as a mule and gets excited when he starts talking about Wajima lacquerware and cannot stop. He and Tsumura Mare clash every so often, but they care about each other. During the last high school summer vacation, he and his classmates including Mare repair festival lanterns for the Wajima Grand Festival and they quickly start to get close.

Itao Itsuji as Kontani Hiroyuki
Kontani Keita’s father. A staff of Wajima City’s municipal office. He was seconded to Ishikawa Prefectural Office from Sotoura Village’s administration office and returned to Wajima City’s municipal office after the merger. Although an outstanding man, he is a very realistic and rational perfectionist who will drive a person into a corner. He has no interest in which Yataro and Keita have a passion for Wajima lacquerware. Later on, he becomes Tsumura Mare’s direct boss when she starts working at the municipal office. She becomes his natural enemy because of her tendency of going beyond the rules to help people.

Nakamura Atsuo as Kontani Yataro
Kontani Keita’s grandfather. A lacquerware artist who produces and sells Wajima lacquerware. He is Wajima City’s godfather. A man of the world, he usually walks with young girls, but when it comes to work, he is obstinate, old-fashioned and bossy. He feels a sense of impending crisis and responsibility to make Wajima lacquer prosper again. He and Okesaku Ganji are childhood friends, but they are still at loggerheads becuse he used to compete for Fumi.

Shinozaki Eriko (Chi no Wadachi, Kami no Tsuki)

Click here for photos from the press conference.

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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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