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.
During the Sengoku period, the Ii family governs the Totomi region. Due to many past wars, there are no more male successors left to become a lord. Naotora Ii (Kou Shibasaki), the only daughter of the lord, now becomes a lord. She faces a difficult period. The constant love from her fiance, whom she became engaged with at a young age, helps her to keep moving forward.
Hatoko (Mikako Tabe) goes back to her hometown of Kamakura for the first time in 8 years. She has inherited her grandmother's store "Tsubaki Stationery Store." The store actually functions to write beautiful letters on behalf of its clients. At first, Hatoko, being new to the business, seems like a rookie, but she begins to display her talent for writing letters. She gets more requests.
The story is based on the life of fashion designer Koshino Ayako, who passed away in 2006 at the age of 92. Although she was a successful designer in Japan, she also single-handedly raised three daughters who followed in her footsteps to become internationally known designers, named Hiroko, Junko, and Michiko.
Ono's character in the drama, modeled after Koshino, is named Ohara Itoko. She will play the character from her teenage years to her fifties. The story is set in the Kansai region, but Ono will have no problem with the dialect since she is originally from Nara.
It is the Bunka-Bunsei period. While the culture of the townspeople matures and flourishes, administration by the close advisers of the 11th Tokugawa shogun Ienari is rampant and characterized by a debasement of public morals in Edo. Discontent with the samurai families and local businessmen grows because the lives of the ordinary people who live in the town are getting harder and harder. All of a sudden, a whistle sounds in the dead of the night. The chivalrous thief is known as Nezumi Kozo easily escapes along the roofs with a box of 1,000 ryo and scatters the money over a shabby tenement house that is asleep. The true identity of this thief is that of the playboy called Jirokichi. Although he is nothing more than a mere thief, he is obsessed about justice and would poke his nose in cases where he will not even get a penny. This is because he loves seeing the happiness of the people living in Edo.
In the late Tokugawa Shogunate, Asa was born as the second daughter of a wealthy merchant in Kyoto, Japan. Later, in Osaka, Asa entered various business fields like coal mines, banks, life insurance. She also founded the first female university in Japan.