This film focuses on the life of Sentaro (Masatoshi Nagase), a middle-aged ex-convict who has just started a dorayaki cake shop on the outskirts of Tokyo. The shop is quite busy, the customers include junior high school children and local residents. Even so, Sentaro's life went nowhere. After a day serving customers, he usually spends his time drinking liquor.
Once, he needed employees and posted job vacancies outside his shop. A grandmother in her 70s named Tokue (Kirin Kiki) comes to her to apply for the position. Initially, Sentaro was reluctant to accept Tokue. He is worried that the heavy work will add to the burden on Tokue who is elderly. Coupled with the condition of Tokue's hands that looked less than perfect. However, Tokue insisted on helping. He concocted the dorayaki paste and managed to persuade Sentaro to taste it. Sentaro realized that the red bean paste Tokue cooked was tastier than the pasta he subscribed to. Tokue was finally accepted to work as a pasta cook. If the shop is busy, Tokue also intervenes to help Sentaro to serve the buyers. Thanks to Tokue's red bean paste, the shop is even more crowded with buyers.
Gradually, the buyers realized the condition of Tokue's hands which was caused by the leprosy he had suffered. Rumors spread among the buyers, and eventually they started to stop coming to the shop. Sentaro has no other choice but to be forced to lay off Tokue. Wakana, a junior high school student she knows at the shop, invites Sentaro to visit the sanatorium where Tokue has been living. Tokue is one of the leprosy sufferers who was the target of the Leprosy Prevention Law of 1953 which was later revoked in 1996. Sentaro expressed his regret because he felt that he could not protect Tokue from the prejudices of his customers. However, Tokue assured him that he was grateful to have been allowed to work at his shop.