In 1945 Tokyo, during the American Occupation, Ayako, a teenager, wanders on a huge black market among a starving crowd. In a country destroyed by bombing, ruined by a long war and where no landmarks are left, she tries to find an aim in her life. She wants to study and find a job. But her conservative parents are opposed to it. She suffocates. She then remembers her happy childhood, in the shade of the war, with good Fumisan who had become her confidante.
From disappointing casual jobs to strange encounters, she becomes weaker and weaker. So she goes to see Fumisan in the countryside where she now lives. When Ayako eats a mochi that Fumisan has made, she can finally feel that the war is over and that peace is back. She regains her strength and goes back to Tokyo? (language of the book : japanese).