During the reign of the eighth shogun of the Tokugawa shogunate, the Yunagaya Domain in the Tohoku region is a small han. But at the han, there is a gold mine. Suddenly, Masaatsu Naito of Yunagaya Domain receives an order to perform Sankin-kotai within 5 days. Sankin-kotai is a custom that requires the daimyo to visit the shogun in Edo. Unfortunately, the time needed to visit the shogun in Edo for Masaatsu Naito is 8 days. Masaatsu Naito also learns he received the order because a high ranking government official wants the gold mine. Also, the expense for Sankin-kotai is high and the Yunagaya Domain is such a small han that it seems impossible to complete. Nevertheless, Masaatsu Naito begins an unexpected operation to complete Sankin-kotai in 5 days.
Residents in a town have a hard time due to the land tax and forced labor. 9 people, including Juzaburo Kokutaya (Sadao Abe), worry about the future of their town. They then set up a plan to save the town. The plan is to lend large amounts of money to han (historical term for the estate of a warrior) and distribute the interest annually to the residents, but if they’re caught they will lose their lives.
A husband (Isao Hashizume) and wife (Kazuko Yoshiyuki) have been married for 50 years. For her birthday, the husband asks the wife what she wants for her birthday present. She replies that she wants a divorce. The wife’s divorce announcement sends the entire family into chaos.