But hard times were to follow. Poverty. Scrapping the barrel for rice. Drinking gruel to fend off hunger. Failure after failure to get the kiln’s temperature high enough. Constantly feeling crushed by dejection. Yet, despite the adversity, Kiyoko soldiered on, supported by her mentor and fellow potter, Ishii (Ittoku Kishibe), and encouraged by her flourishing children.
Some years pass, and then, one day, the kiln’s flame is steady and the first firing can proceed. In Kiyoko’s eye there is a bright reflection. Something is shining at the back of the kiln. It can just be made out as a vase or pot, beautifully glazed in various colors. After so much poverty Kiyoko witnesses the moment when her gamble on the old kiln finally pays off. After this, Kiyoko holds exhibitions in department stores all over the country and receives acclaim from pottery lovers, making her universally acknowledged as a forerunner for women potters.
As more months pass, Kiyoko’s daughter Kumiko leaves Shigaraki to live and study in Kyoto. Ken-ichi graduates a ceramics training school and starts to follow in the footsteps of his mother. He also has a girlfriend, Midori(Chizuru Ikewaki), but something is not quite right. He becomes engrossed inmotorbikes and starts to gamble, shirking his practice at pottery. “Get out!” Kiyoko screams at him. Amongst all this, Ken-ichi suddenly collapses. The doctor diagnoses leukemia. The only hope is that a donor with suitable bone marrow can be found for a transplant operation. However, neither Kiyoko or Kumiko, nor any blood relatives including Kiyoko’s younger sister, Sachiko(Eri Ishida) have a matching type. Kiyoko realizes she has to do something to save her son’s life by all means, so she throws herself into asking friends,and friends of Ken-ichi, to help her search for a matching donor. One day, a young woman, Mizuka Ushiama (Asuka Kurosawa), who likes to be a woman potter, comes from Tokyo to be Kiyoko’s pupil. On the other hand, Ken-ichi gets a breathing space and challenges higher pottery technology to make a proof of his life. Kiyoko decides to hold a mother/son exhibition, but…..
Ⓒ2004 Hibi Production Committee