From 6.05 p.m., Saturdays, 13 May 2017
In 1802, 8-year-old Mio lost her parents in a river flood in Osaka and feels all alone after she is also separated from her childhood friend Noe. She is saved by Yoshi, the proprietress of Tenman Icchoan, one of Osaka’s famous restaurants, whom she happened to meet. Mio begins training as a cook because of her gift for taste in a time when females were still banned from the kitchen. However, the restaurant was burnt down in a fire and she sets off for Edo with Yoshi and her husband Kahei. By some lucky coincidence, they are invited by Taneichi, the owner of Tsuruya, to work at his soba shop. Taneichi has hurt his back and lets Mio take over his kitchen. On the first day, Mio enthusiastically makes simmers bonito which is in season in autumn. However, the people of Edo like the first bonito in spring and fight to eat it, but call the returning bonito in autumn unpalatable and do not eat it. Both Mio and Taneichi desperately promote the dish, promising that customers will learn how tasty the bonito is once they take a bite. However, no one takes notice. Mio is bewildered by the contrasting flavours between the Kansai region and Edo. Then an offhand remark by the doctor Nagata Gensai gives her an idea of an unexpected way to lure customers. Mio also has to deal with the obstructions of a rival shop and status difference in her love with the samurai Komatsubara who is a regular at Tsuruya. She overcomes these difficulties and eventually becomes a qualified cook.
Kuroki Haru as Mio
A female cook born in Osaka. After she lost her parents in a river flood, she was saved by Yoshi, the proprietress of Tenman Icchoan and became an apprentice at the restaurant. On one occasion, she was the only person who detected the change in taste of well water as the cause for the change in taste of the restaurant’s food. She was selected by the owner Kahei to be a cook. She has had strict culinary training and a life full of ups and downs since then. She demonstrates her skills at Tsuruya which Taneichi owns after she comes to Edo.
Moriyama Mirai as Komatsubara
A samurai who is a regular at Tsuruya where Mio is a cook. He constantly makes criticism that gets to the heart of Mio’s cooking and shows her not only flavours but also the way to live as a cook. Mio is gradually drawn to this stern but deep love. He usually has the appearance of a wandering samurai but his true identity is a mystery.
Nagayama Kento as Nagata Gensai
His father was a doctor to the a feudal lord but he lives in Edo as a doctor who serves the townspeople. He becomes deeply involved with the people of Tsuruya and the tenement house including Mio after he saw her offering a prayer at a shrine. He gives sound advice on her cooking from a doctor’s perspective and while encouraging her, he starts to have feelings for her which are unrequited.
Yasuda Narumi as Yoshi
The former proprietress of Tenman Icchoan, one of Osaka’s famous restaurants. She has raised Mio with more than a mother’s love ever since she saved her while she was wandering around the streets because of the flood disaster. The flavours of the rice porridge that she made Mio eat became the starting point for Mio’s taste of cooking. She lives with Mio at a tenement house in Edo but is called “madam” by Mio. She searches for her missing son Sahei and hopes to restart the branch of Tenman Icchoan in Edo.
Kunihiro Tomiyuki as Kahei
The owner of Tenman Icchoan. He spotted Mio’s talent for cooking at a young age and brought her up as a female cook, something that was unthinkable in those times. After the restaurant was burned down, he went to Edo with Mio and his wife Yoshi but worried about his missing son Sahei and collapsed.
Kohinata Fumiyo as Taneichi
The owner of Tsuruya where Mio works. It used to be a soba shop but he took in Mio as a cook at Tsuruya because the sight of her cleaning a small shrine which had fallen in ruin, with all her might, reminded him of his late daughter who died at 17. He watches over Mio who is not used to the flavours of Edo and supports her with a long-term view.
Aso Yumi as Oryo
A resident of the tenement house in Edo’s Kanazawa-cho where Mio and Yoshi live. At first, she avoids Mio and Yoshio who seem to have problems. But after she comes to understand them, she helps Mio and Yoshio in good spirits and eventually helps out at Tsuruya. She cherishes Taiichi who lost both parents in the fire as if he were her own son.
Narumi Riko as Asahi Tayu
A courtesan of Yoshiwara’s Okinaya. Although she is said to be the most beautiful in Yoshiwara, she is also called the “phantom courtesan” because she does not appear in public. She is always treated specially at Okinaya but she is also admired by the other prostitutes because of her nature. She learns that the simmered steamed egg custard that is gossiped about was made by a female cook from the Kansai region … …
Hagiwara Masato as Mataji
A cook at Okinaya in Yoshiwara. He cares about Asahi Tayu more than his own life and pays attention to what she eats every time. He brings back a bento made by Mio for her upon hearing that the food is good. He begins to learn about their unexpected relationship while telling her about Mio’s story.
Yanagishita Tomo as Sahei
The son of Yoshi and Kahei and a cook who was charged with the restaurant’s Edo branch. He is diligent and talented by nature and brought in good business at one time. However, he went missing after that. He seems to have become engrossed in prostitutes of Yoshiwara and disappeared after squandering money but the truth is not known.
Fujimoto Yuki (Chikaemon, Meoto Zenzai)
Mi o Tsukushi Ryourichou by Takada Kaoru
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