Writer - Taeko Asano
Genre - Human Interest
Network - NHK
Episodes - 8
Release - Jan - Mar, 2015
Synopsisscorned by her husband and two sons, housewife Morimura Tomomi leaves home in disgust On her 46th birthday and embarks on a 1,200 km journey. On the road, she encounters a series of traumatizing episodes: her husband's affair, a truck driver who mistakes her for a prostitute housewife, and having her car stolen. Then a good-looking young man with an elderly man offers her a ride, and she arrives in Nagasaki. She meets new people and learns more of the atomic bomb incident, becoming aware of a "wilderness" within her as she begins to explore the path to rebirth. ~ Jdrama Weblog (w/edits)
With just eight episodes at forty-nine minutes each, I figured this would be a decent enough way to pass some time in these cold, dreary spring days here in Michigan.
I was wrong and ended up watching the entire thing in one sitting.
This was an interesting story touching on a few topics that melded in a relatively seamless eight episodes of Human Interest mixed with History.
It is about people lost and in need of finding their way, which coincides directly with the old man who experienced Nagasaki first hand at the end of World War II.
Tomomi (Suzuki Kyoka) meets her husband and eldest son at a family restaurant one night, and after a series of abusive and thoughtless remarks from both men, Tomomi says good-bye and leaves the restaurant.
It was her forty-sixth birthday, which neither man acknowledged, becoming the final straw that sets the story in motion. Tomomi gets into the car and drives away with the intention of running and never looking back.
Her youngest son is a recluse whom she continues to worry about but decides that it might do him some good if she were to walk away and force him to stand on his own two feet.
She meets another lost woman in a rest-stop parking lot shortly after receiving a cup of coffee from a trucker, whom she'll run into again later in the story.
The other woman cons her into spending a night in a 'love' hotel (because its cheap, not for sex) and steals her shoes and the car.
Tomomi ends up having to hitchhike in the Wellington's she had given the other woman, and the trucker pulls over to offer her a ride to Nagasaki.
Shortly afterwards, he propositions her with the mistaken notion that she is a prostitute, so she exits the truck and waits in the rain at a bus stop.
When no one stops to pick her up, she walks into the rain, removes the boots, stands in a dirt-road puddle, and goes from despair to renewed spirit.
She's on the right path and knows it so intends to continue moving forward no matter how rough things get along the way.
This is when the 'handsome guy' (Takahashi Issei) shows up in a mini van with an elderly gentleman in the back seat. He offers her a ride, she accepts, and ends up in Nagasaki.
Tomomi has been in touch with an old school friend (both grew up in Nagasaki) and that woman is single, an established hair stylist with her own shop, and lonely -- wishing she had Tomomi's life and envying her for the family/husband she never had.
Once Tomomi arrives in Nagasaki, we learn more about the bombing of that city through the numerous retellings offered by the old man, whom Tomomi ends up staying with and taking care of.
All of these people are lost in some way and in need of renewal or change, and that is the gist of the story.