A young boy follows Tashiro home to his tenement housing complex on the outskirts of Tokyo, the boy who was separated from his carpenter father somehow and somewhere in Kudan. All Tashiro knows is that the boy and his father came to town from Chigasaki that morning. Despite Tashiro's want to house the kid until they decide what to do more permanently, Tashiro's roommate, Tamekichi, the tenement's head, won't let the kid stay, not liking children and not wanting to get involved. So Tashiro foists the kid onto their neighbor, the widowed Tane, who too protests, she also not liking children and not wanting to get involved. Tane treats the boy with disdain, which only increases by the next morning due to an overnight incident. Amongst the tenement residents, Tane is charged with going to Chigasaki to see if she can find the father or find out what happened to him. On that trip, what she learns by putting the pieces of the story together is that the father purposefully abandoned the boy as he went off to look for work. This news does not change Tane's outlook or poor treatment of the boy. Nothing changes as the week progresses, however Tane's outlook takes a one hundred eighty degree turn when there is the possibility that she may never see the boy again.