3.579 out of 5 from 71 votes
The year is 1956, and Japan has finally begun to rise from the depths of post-war poverty. In Tokyo, Kiba Elementary School has just welcomed a new staff member, Rieko Sakamoto, a trained vocalist who is eager to work as both a secondary instructor and choir teacher to the students. Under her tutelage, a young group of children including transfer student Shizu, troubled Gonji and sincere Akira will experience the joys and sorrows of youth and learn about the importance of traditional songs.
Taeko Okajima lives a nondescript life in Tokyo performing office duties in the day and then coming home in the evening to listen to her mother’s remarks on the phone about her unmarried status. In a bid to escape the monotony, Taeko decides to visit the countryside she once loved as a child and spend time on a safflower farm run by relations of hers. But her journey awakens memories she thought she had long abandoned, and Taeko must once again decide the kind of person she truly wants to be.