In 1964, Mineko Yatabe (Kasumi Arimura) was born and then raised at a mountain village in the northwest of Ibaraki Prefecture. She has 7 family members. Her older brother is smart and he is the first person from their village to an university. Her father goes to Tokyo to earn tuition fees for her older brother. Mineko thinks if she graduates from high school, she wants to help her grandfather and mother with farming. Mineko Yatabe's life changes after her father fails to come back.
Ranko Ando (Karina) is a detective. She is 32-years-old and single. Ranko Ando does her job well and has solved difficult cases. She doesn't listen to others and doesn't care what others think about her. She works with detective Toshio Aoyama (Shigeaki Kato). He holds a strong sense of justice and cares what others think about him.
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.
Michiko Daimon (Ryoko Yonekura) goes up against Shigekatsu Hiruma (Toshiyuki Nishida). Shigekatsu Hiruma is a new director for the best university hospital in Japan and also bears a deep grudge against Michiko Daimon.
Successful career woman Takanashi Asuka has an old-fashioned dream of getting married and becoming a housewife. After her long-term boyfriend breaks up with her to pursue his own career goals, she encounters Nanami Ryu (Yamamura Ryuta), a popular newscaster at PTV. Asuka and Ryu get along well, but the last thing she wants is to ever get married. This level-headed pair who want the opposite things in life should never get involved, except Nanami thinks people will lose their freedom once they get married. Moreover, marriage is just an escape place for a woman. "I absolutely don't want to get married," he said. For Asuka, Nanami is an ideal partner, except for his value concerning marriage. And the 'Battle of Value' begins.
Kotoha Ninomiya (Manami Higa) works in the general affairs department at a confectionery company. Suddenly, she receives an order to transfer to the public relations department. She has a hard time there. Making things worse, Kotoha Ninomiya learns that Atsushi Imagawa (Dai Watanabe), whom she holds secret feelings for, is about to marry another woman. They have been friends since they were young. Heart broken, she attends Atsushi’s wedding ceremony. At the ceremony, she is moved by Kumi Kuon’s (Kyoko Hasegawa) congratulatory speech. Kotoha Ninomiya is a legendary speech writer.
Yuzuko Nanakusa (Koyuki) was betrayed by her husband. She now raises her son and daughter as a single mom, in addition to working at a company. One day, the company she works for goes bankrupt suddenly. She loses her salary and savings. While not knowing what to do next, Yuzuko Nanakusa is contacted by attorney Shinichi Kakihara (Atsushi Ito). They went to the same high school together.
Shinichi Kakihara tells Yuzuko Nanakusa that there is a something more to her company's bankruptcy. To protect the life of her two children, she attempts to reveal a big evil.
Shinichi Sakurai (Sadao Abe) is married to Kanako (Kyoko Fukada) and they have a daughter named Kaori (Mikuu Yamada). Both, Shinichi and Kanako received only a middle school level education. Even though they don't have much money, they are a happy family. At work though, Shinichi experiences effects of only having a middle school education.
One day, Shinichi sees Kaori’s poor score for a national test. He freaks out and decides to improve Kaori's education. Thus, 41-year-old Shinichi begins studying with Kaori and instructs her for the upcoming middle school entrance exam.
In 1930 and as a young child, Tsuneko Kohashi lives at Enshu in Shizuoka Prefecture. She has a happy life with her parents and two younger sisters. Things change after her father dies from tuberculosis. Her father asked Tsuneko Kohashi to take care of the family in his place. Due to financial difficulties, her mother Kimiko decides to move the family to Tokyo where Tsuneko's grandmother lives.
In Tokyo, Tsuneko eventually graduates from school. She begins to work at small publishing company and learns editing. By 1945, Tsuneko decides to publish a magazine for women with the help of her two younger sisters. Her sisters do not know anything about the publishing world. A man then appears in front of them. The man is Isaji Hanayama.
Kurumi Ichiki (Ayame Gouriki) is 25-years-old. When she was young, she went to France. Now, after she came back to Japan, she works as a waitress at high end traditional restaurant (ryotei). She is talented with cooking.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Ichiro Ato (Fumiyo Kohinata) and Executive Secretary of Prime Minister Seiji Koga (Kenichi Takito) decide to hire a cook for the prime minister's residence for the first time in 70 years. Due to an incident, Seiji meets Kurumi Ichiki and discovers that she has a natural talent for cooking. Seiji asks her to be a cook for the Prime Minister. After a hesitation, Kurumi Ichiki says yes. She begins work at the prime minister's residence, but she struggles in a hostile environment with the chef and his subordinates at the restaurant of the prime minister's official residence.