Episode #5 "Where Happiness is" (shiawase no aru basho)

Aired: January 10, 1999

Note: This episode marks a drastic change in the feel of the dorama, as even the locations become varied. Yoshimori, Kahori, and Shiori run away on the train. Eventually they meet up with Yoshimori's long gone mother, who lives on a farm. But Hiromu goes all out in an effort to locate his wife. Still, the focus is on the general feeling of optimism felt among the three "runaways."

Synopsis The episode picks off where the last episode ended, with the powerful scene at the train station. The three runaways are riding on the train. "Ah, Tsuwako da!" Shiori exclaims, as the train passes by the lake of that name. She is excited, as well as Yoshimori. But Kahori has a pale face, and looks concerned. Yoshimori assures her that there's nothing for her to worry about. As the three of them ride through a tunnel, Yoshimori remarks that this seems like the first trip he's ever taken. Kahori asks him if he regrets what they have done. "No, do you?" Yoshimori responds. Kahori is concerned that while all she had in Kiyosumi was her daughter, Yoshimori, on the other hand, probably left many things behind. Yoshimori smiles and shakes his head no. Shiori excitedly announces that they are now coming out of the tunnel. Yoshimori and Kahori smile at each other. The opening credits begin.

It is night, and the three arre sitting together on the train. Shiori is asleep. Yoshimori wonders how far they should travel on the train. Kahori says that as long as they're with him, they'll never get lost. Yoshimori wonders if he did the right thing in taking them away. Kahori, her eyes a bit watery, replies "We probably shouldn't have done it...no, it was definitely wrong. But I'm too happy for words." She goes off to buy some cola. She doesn't return for some time, so Yoshimori goes to find her. He sees her holding some cans of soda, staring out a window. He walks up to her, grabs her, and the two embrace and kiss. She drops the sodas.

They get off at Akita station. Yoshimori is carrying Shiori on his back. She is coughing, and is appararently sick. The three find a place to stay. Shiori indeed has a fever. Yoshimori goes out to buy some food, and along the way he calls Kahori's house. No one answers. He goes back to the hotel and tells Kahori that he tried to call her husband in order to explain that he was with Kahori and Shiori. He also wanted to ask for Hiromu's forgiveness. "I don't care what he has to say to me. I have nothing to lose," Yoshimori says, as he Kahori embrace.

It is the next morning, and Hiromu discovers that there is nobody at the house. "Kahori!" he shrieks. His dad arrives, and doesn't know her whereabouts. Hiromu is frantic, but he calms down, thinking that maybe she and Shiori just went to the summer house. They aren't there, though, and he ends up visiting the station. Shimizu and another co-worker are there. Hiromu forces Shimizu into telling him what happened the day before. Hiromu becomes enraged. Next he visits Tadashi and Miki, who are together trying to ponder the whole ordeal. He asks Tadashi where his wife and Yoshimori went. Tadashi honestly doesn't know. "Your son ran off with my wife, right?" Hiromu says. "You knew, didn't you! How long has it been going on between him and my wife?" Hiromu continues. He pushes Tadashi into a table. Miki tries to ask Hiromu to forgive Yoshimori, but he just laughs and leaves.

Back at the house, the elder Watanuki chides his son for getting involved with Kahori. "She cost you a lot. This is a good lesson for you." he says. After his father leaves, Hiromu rips the covers off the bed.

The three runaways leave a hospital, where they were relieved to find out that Shiori just had a cold. Yoshimori leaves for the day, saying that he was going to visit a friend. Meanwhile, back at the Watanuki house, a determined Hiromu begins his search for his wife. He calls for two of his cronies, Wakatsuki and Harada, to help search for her.

Yoshimori rides a train through the countryside, and arrives at Koiwai station. Then he takes a bus to some farmland. It is where his mother, Sumiko Okayasu, lives. She walks out of a barn, carrying some pails. She and Yoshmori stare at each other for long moment.

Yoshimori and his mother are in her kitchen, catching up on all the past years. He tells her that he worked for Japan Rail, but that he just quit. He also mentions that he's here with two other people. She tells him to bring them over. The four of them meet at Koiwai station. At the farmhouse, Yoshimori calls his dad and tells him that mom is fine. Tadashi tells him that Hiromu is frantically searching for them. After the two hang up, Tadashi pulls out an old photograph of himself, which is stuck between the pages of a book of poems.

It is the next day, and Miki is walking back to the noodle shop from a delivery. She sees Hiromu's two cronies, driving a sport-utility vehicle, pull up get out of the vehicle. One of them questions a taxi-cab driver.

Back at the farm, Yoshimori and his mom discuss her past. The man that she ran off with was the only son of the owner of the farm. The son didn't want to take it over, but in the end he had no other choice. Five years ago, he died of a stroke, leaving her to take care of the farm. Yoshimori asks her why she never thought of coming back home after that. But she replies that she would never be forgiven if she tried to come back. "I guess it runs in our blood...that you would do the same thing," she says. "But I didn't rip up all of the photos before I left," Yoshimori says, referring to the photos that Takafumi used to take. Sumiko admits that before she ran away, she burned all of Takafumi's photos. Yoshimori had watched her do this. But she had forgotten one photo. It was the photo of dad, which remained stuck between the pages of a book of poems. Seeing that picture helped Yoshimori decide to work for the railroad. Kahori calls out that it's time for dinner. As mother and son walk back, Sumiko asks him if he's going back to Kiyosumi. "Running away is so exhausting," she tells her son, pressuring him to return home. "We wouldn't be forgiven," Yoshimori replies. "We're looking for the place where we can be happy." "You'll have to live your life knowing that you've hurt people," his mom says. "I'll make them happy even if it hurts others," Yoshimori firmly replies, as he walks off.

That night, the three of them are in their futons. Shiori is sleeping between Yoshmori and Kahori. Kahori is curious about what he and his mom were talking about. Kahori joins Yoshimori under the sheets. Yoshimori relates to her a story concerning his brother's death. Yoshimori had fallen into a river, and Takafumi had gone in to save him. He was saved, but Takafumi had drowned. When his parents arrived on the scene, Tadashi was so happy to see that he was alive. But the young Yoshimori also saw that his mother had a strange, almost disappointed look on her face. He had never forgotten that, and he wanted to talk to his mom about that fateful incident. At the time, he wished that he had drowned, instead of his brother, so that perhaps him mom would be happy. And when she finally ran away, young Yoshimori thought that it was because he was alive, and not Takafumi. As the two of them lie together, a tear forms in Yoshimori's eyes.

The next morning, Yoshimori's mother awakens the three of them. Later, Sumiko shows Shiori how to milk a cow. Yoshimori helps load a truck. Meanwhile, in his office, Hiromu is discussing plans with his two cronies. They find out about the mother's farmland in the Tohoku region.

At night, Yoshimori and Shiori are out watching the stars. Shiori asks him if he wants to stay here with his mother. But Yoshimori tells her that they can't stay for long. "This is like the Land of Memories," Yoshimori says. "Like in the book 'Blue Bird'?" asks Shiori. Yoshimori relates to her the story of Michiru and her search for the blue bird. She had stopped by to see her dead brother in the land of memories, but that wasn't her final destination. Kahori looks outside the window and smiles. She stops by the kichen to have some coffee with Yoshimori's mother. Mom tells Kahori that her son said that he wanted to make Kahori and Shiori happy. Kahori says that she also wants to make Yoshimori happy. "I don't want him to regret getting on that train."

Back in Kiyosumi, Hiromu's two cronies have discovered the exact location of Yoshimori's mother, which is Iwate-ken. They call Hiromu to let him know. He informs them that if they can't get Shiori, to leave her there. He mainly wants Yoshimori and Kahori to be taken back to Kiyosumi. They speed off.

Back at the farm, Shiori is riding on a horse. Yoshimori and Kahori look on. "It feels like I'm alive for the first time," Yoshimori says. Kahori feels the same way. He asks her to marry him. She smiles and nods her head yes.

Tadashi is at the station. He receives a phone call from the post office. They inform him that Hiromu's two cronies had discovered that Sumiko had been sending monthly payments to her son, and they had gotten her address from them. Tadashi hurriedly calls Sumiko, whom he hasn't spoken with in over 20 years. He gets right to the point, telling her that Hiromu's cronies are on the way to apprehend the runaways. Sumiko runs out and warns the them.

Sumiko drives the three of them to the train station. They are just in time, as Hiromu's cronies are only minutes behind. They make a call to Hiromu. "Just get them. If they resist, you can hurt them a little," he instructs them. As the train approaches, the four say their goodbyes to each other. Shiori calls Sumiko "obaachan." Sumiko tells Kahori "When you get tired, let him baby you a little." And finally she turns to her son. Yoshimori tells her that the photo of his dad was between the pages of a book by Nakahara Chuya. "Remember? You loved that book and read it a lot," he says. "Brother put the photo there...he wanted to show it to you."

It is nightime, and Kahori and her daughter are asleep. Yoshimori looks at them, then looks out the window.