Heaven's Coins


Reviewed by: sukting

December 05, 2005

Rating: three

Foreword
It is the well known handicapped drama in the 90s. Do you wish to watch this drama which is Japan’s answer to ‘Spring Day’? Why do Noriko Sakai and Yutaka Takenouchi soar to great heights in their careers because of it? Many thanks to Gin who discovered the discs in a second hand shop and got it for me.

Story

Aya is a deaf mute girl who looks gentle and caring but she is strong. She is in love with Shuichi. Both of them work in a small Hokkaido clinic, where the foster father is the doctor. Although the village man wants to donate x-ray machines in exchange of Shuichi marrying his daughter, Shuichi doesn’t give in. He tells Aya the ‘heavenly coins’ story and gives her the book.

Takumi is mad when Yuko disturbs him to join a meeting. He has hugged his head and she thinks that he is ill but he laments that he loses a match. He sees her underwear and tells her not to give him a shock right in the morning. Many nurses complain about his poor attitude and comments that he will be dismissed if not for Mr Nagai. He is so different from Shuichi who is gentle but to be bad tempered. Yuko defends him.

Takumi takes out the wine that Mr Nagai gets – are they the gifts he gets through bribery? But they are impure just like him. Mr Nagai says that he can’t be compared to the wine. Takumi is past caring what others think of him. He joins a party and gets drunk, offending all the guests. They are despicable doctors who only accept bribes to be ugly and dirty. They throw him into the sea. Miwa tells him to be her partner.

The two go to bed – they exchange wild kisses and hug each other passionately. Mrs Nagai wonders why Mr Nagai still waits for Shuichi’s return and promises to support him to be the next director. He tells her not to care about him. She has kicked out the weak first wife and her son away. She explains that she does that as she loves him. Takumi claims that he loves as shallow as her as he dislikes Shuichi too.

The old doctor dies and leaves a letter to want Shuichi to return to Tokyo as he doesn’t want him to conceal his talents. Aya is upset, fearing that Shuichi will leave her. He promises to marry her after he returns to Hokkaido after finishing his duties in Tokyo. (Stupid man – she has wanted to go with him but he says no.) He only realizes that he loves her when getting on the plane so he can only signal to her.

But he meets with an accident at the airport as Yuki accidentally causes him to fall from the escalator. He suffers from amnesia after the fall. Yuki is unhurt but Shuichi needs time to recover. This depresses his father, the hospital director as he has wanted to hand his hospital to him but has to wait. Shuichi disapproves of his father’s method to earn money so he leaves home. The new doctor to replace Shuichi tries to rape Aya and she slashes his face, scaring him away.

Aya comes to Tokyo but a man steals her purse so she runs after him. Takumi gets his things back from the policeman catches him for speed driving. He scares the policeman by pretending to pull the trigger. Takumi should also works as a neurologist like Shuichi but seeing how incompetent he is, Mr Nagai gets him to work in the infants’ department. Mrs Nagai is a materialistic woman who only wants power for herself. Takumi is upset over the unfair treatment. So he becomes a playboy and a drunkard.

Aya meets Takumi, Shuichi’s younger brother whom she thinks that he is the thief at the police station. Takumi is stunned by her beauty and Aya returns to the scene, hoping that the thief will appear again. He gets her a burger but he refuses. She sees the man and runs after him. The money is missing but she is glad that Shuichi’s doctor robe button is still in it.

Later, he brings her to hospital as she has nowhere to stay and sees Mr Nagai. She is shocked when policemen ask the two men to identify Shuichi’s things. She is shocked to see the book and upon seeing the unconscious Shuichi, she gets upset. She asks Yuko if Shuichi can be saved. She answers that all will try to save him since he is the hospital director’s son.

Aya is taken aback by the news – so Shuichi is a rich man’s son. Takumi sees Aya sitting at the staircase and worries about her. He gets her to pose as his new girlfriend. Miwa doesn’t know that Mr Nagai has another son. Mr Nagai replies that Takumi can’t be Shuichi’s match as he is top of the class yearly. He is born to be a doctor and thus he trains him to be a doctor. He has called Mr Nagai to be the money’s slave but now he is dependent on the ‘slave’ as life support.

Takumi’s fresh love splashes Aya with wine and Aya slaps her. (This shows how strong-willed she is.) Takumi then laughs but Aya splashes him with wine too. He is low grade indeed. Aya runs out in the rain and Yuko lets her into the nurse quarters. Takumi tells Mrs Nagai that her dream will never come true since Shuichi is back. Shuichi is more outstanding than him while he can only do small operations.

Mr Nagai leaves Miwa to be Shuichi’s doctor in charge. He doesn’t want anyone involved in the power struggle with Komori, the deputy director to hinder Shuichi’s recovery so leaving him in the hands of a newcomer is safer. Aya sees that Takumi gets panicky so she tries to help him out to revive a man sent into ER. He has not tried saving someone before and feels happy over it.

He is a doctor after all and can leave the job to the next person on shift. He smiles when she wakes up.
Now she starts to have a better (he changes to a lot better) impression of him. Aya is shattered when Shuichi can’t recognize her. She begs Takumi to let her be a nurse in the hospital, threatening to reveal that he uses her, a non-staff to help. He laughs – she is so daring to extort the hospital director’s son?!

Aya becomes Takumi’s assistant and sees Shuichi in a temper. Mr Nagai suspects that Takumi gets help to save the patient and thinks that he is despicable. Takumi nearly fights with his father but cries – why doesn’t he trust him? He sees a cat in the rain and takes it back home. Shuichi thinks he is still single since he has no ring. He sounds lonely – why no one visits him at all? Does he have someone he loves? He must have forgotten an important agreement with the person he loves.

Takumi decides to move out – it is not because of Shuichi. Everything is high class but the people are down grade. Mrs Nagai knows that Mr Nagai must have said something hurting to him. He wants Aya to help him move his home and she is attracted by the cat. Takumi’s friends wonder why he looks for a traditional woman and not a hot chick as his new flame this time. Takumi is dismayed that the cat follows Aya although it stays with him for a longer time.

Takumi helps Aya into the nurse quarters when she is back late through the window. He is nearly hit by the nurses and lies that he wants to look at more undergarments. Shuichi falls onto the ground and can’t stand up. Yuki blames Aya not taking good care of him and helps him back onto the wheelchair. Shuichi asks why Takumi isn’t close to him. Mr Nagai invites Yuki and Miwa to join them for dinner. Miwa assures them that Shuichi is fine but Mrs Nagai insists that they should not give him doctor assignments.

Takumi returns home and sneers that Shuichi enjoys the company of Shoko. He also brings Aya home and Shuichi smiles at her but she is uneasy to see them. Yuki studies sociology in the university so she likes doing volunteering work. Yuki offers to help in the physiology process and Takumi jokes that Aya doesn’t have to worry anymore. Aya protests in vain as Shuichi also thinks that way. (Her sad expression tells all.)

Aya is angry with Takumi for ruining her chance and forces him to stop the car. Aya is unhappy to see Yuki helping Shuichi. Later, she is happy to see him trying to walk up the stairs but Yuki never leaves his side. Mr Nagai chooses to be with Miwa than to be with Mrs Nagai on her birthday. Shuichi presses the nurse’s bell and Aya rushes there, thinking that something has happened to him. He just wants to get out.

Both go shopping and come to the aerospace centre. He takes out the book and yearns to go to Hokkaido but what can she let him know? Takumi is unhappy when Aya doesn’t turn up for their date and he has waited till 9pm. He calls the hospital and is angry to know that she isn’t back. He lies to Yuko that he is happy to hear her voice. You will laugh when she offers to give him her undergarments but he rejects it. He wonders why she doesn’t call him…..yes, what can she say if she can’t reply?

Takumi is unhappy when he joins his friends instead. He is angry with women for talking too much with an empty brain. Aya sees Shuichi buying a present and thinks it is for Yuki. Shuichi asks Aya why she comes to Tokyo and she replies that she comes to look for a person. How can he help her? She only smiles.Takumi is angry to see Aya with Shuichi on the street.

Aya is unhappy that Yuki brings sushi for Shuichi when she brings him food. So stupid of Yuki – she asks Aya if she has a girlfriend – if he has, she should be here looking after him now. (Alas – isn’t Aya the one - can’t she see it? She is really blind!) Mr Nagai sees ambition in Miwa’s eyes and hopes that she doesn’t become his enemy in future.

Takumi demands to know who Aya is with the last night. No woman has made him wait in the past. Upon seeing Takumi so fierce to Aya, Shuichi comes over. Takumi claims to lecture Aya for bringing a patient out of hospital. Shuichi tells him that it is not her fault as he is the culprit. Takumi is bitter – he loses his memory but his reaction is sure fast – especially in woman chasing. He has not treated him like his elder brother and pushes him aside but stops when Aya protects Shuichi.

Shuichi gives Aya the present – it is a pair of star ear rings and he believes that she will look nice with them. He is very grateful to her as he owes her help to recover so fast. He has the feeling that both have known each other for a long time and he feels calm with her. He asks if she has liked someone – so will he be angry if he gives her these? She wears and he starts to tell her to be more steadfast in love. So is she secretly in love with the guy? (I start to feel that he is as stupid as Yuki.) She nods and weeps after covering him with her sweater.

Shuichi now works at the front desk. The nurses lament that the hands that saves lives can only issue waiting numbers now. (That is truly sad.) What if he is going to do this all his life? He overhears it and gets upset. Shuichi doesn’t want Yuki to say that she likes him as she knows nothing about his past. Yuko tells Aya that she loves Takumi but Aya will not love anyone anymore.

A man, Kenji has a brain tumour and he dreams to be his own chef. Of course, before he can die, Takumi comes and urges him to fly instead. He isn’t a woman and many women have threatened him that they are dying but nothing happens. He even pulls a nurse’s clothes aside to reveal her bra – how can Kenji do this when he hasn’t seen much of the world? The poor woman screams. Takumi then tells him that he will die an ugly death if he jumps and Kenjj breaks down. Miwa finds him too much – so do the nurses. (Magnificent acting from Yutaka here.)

They wonder why they do not do that to Aya as she is closer to him. Are they sharing a close relationship? Aya encourages Kenji – both of them are orphans so they have to be independent. Takumi teases Yuko to be like a bun when unhappy. She is angry when he tells her to pass a map to Aya to ask her out. She is not from Tokyo and he is afraid that she will get lost on their date without it. (He is caring, isn’t it?)

Yuko lies to Aya that she needs to see a relative so that she will replace her night duty and Yuko can go to Takumi’s date. Takumi waits for Aya at the restaurant on Saturday but is disappointed to see Yuko instead. She lies to him that Aya doesn’t wish to come. Takumi gets drunk and Miwa comes to see Komori after Mrs Nagai leaves. Miwa tries to seduce Mr Nagai in vain. Yuko sends Takumi home and both are trapped in the lift. He kisses her but calls her Aya to request her to stay by her side.


Aya sees Kenji in pain and runs to find Mr Nagai. She breaks his window and he comes with her. Shuichi comes to see him and he suddenly has a headache too. He knows nothing – how to save him? Both of them arrive with Miwa and see that Kenji isn’t in bed. The light in the ER is suddenly off. Mr Nagai is relieved that the operation is done smoothly.

The first operation for Kenj is a success as Shuichi manages to save him on time when Takumi isn’t around. There isn’t any specialist around and he operates. It is really a miracle as he forgets everything but his medical skills is still intact. He faints after suffering from exhaustion. Aya covers him with her sweater.
Shuichi sleeps for 3 days as it is a difficult operation. Mrs Nagai is unhappy that he only thinks of Shuichi and he snaps that Takumi nearly causes Kenji’s death.

Takumi is jealous when the nurses wish to work with Shuichi again. Mr Nagai decides to let Shuichi be a doctor again. Things become negative for Takumi and he admits holding Yuko in his arms like a beast when Kenji is in danger. He risks his own career to wake Shuichi up. Shuichi isn’t prepared to work immediately as his memory hasn’t returned.

Takumi sees Shuichi looking at the doctor’s robe – he laughs haughtily – he should wear it like a virgin. Shuichi remembers how Takumi dresses like a transvestite during a class party and tells him that he is unfit to be a doctor since he skips his night duty. The brothers nearly fight again. Komori knows that Shuichi can resume his doctor duty soon but promises Mrs Nagai not to punish Takumi harshly. Takumi is scared of blood and has never wants to be a doctor.

He jokes that he will faint monthly if he is a woman. He also takes steak which is fully cooked. Aya tells Takumi to handle Kenji’s second operation as he isn’t as bad as he thinks. Takumi walks away and Yuko begs Aya to help Takumi as he is in low spirits. Sure enough, he is at the bar with his friends. Komori is determined to make Takumi the scapegoat to meddle the accounts.

Yuki loves Shuichi and requests Aya to give up Shuichi. This is really sickening – Shuichi insists of returning to Hokkaido to retrieve his memory and Shoko accompanies him. He sees the starlit sky but can’t remember who he has been with. Aya is shocked to know that the two are together from Takumi. She pushes him away when he tries to kiss her. She cries when sitting on the swing.

Shuichi sees the book and faints when he returns. Aya passes by and sends him to hospital. She holds his hand in the ambulance. He wakes up but wants to have more time to remember who he actually loves. She places the book by his side and touches Shuichi’s face in the hospital. Yuko sees this and gets shocked.

Yuki fakes that his ‘old flame’ has married and is now with a son, hoping that he will give up. Aya nearly blows up when Shuichi shows her the photograph and eyes Yuki with despair. Takumi draws comics of the cat to apologise to Aya but his feelings for her are genuine. Takumi whistles and Yuko thinks that he is too much to try to force himself on Aya. She doesn’t understand – Aya can’t hear him saying sweet words.

He doesn’t know what to so with her so he commits the mistake. He imitates the serious way how Yuko will want her boyfriend to say to her. But Takumi hesitates – he always doesn’t get serious when the crucial time comes. He can only do this during rehearsals. Komori wants Kenji’s operation to be a success but Shuichi’s a failure but Miwa doesn’t want to be a doctor to kill others.

Takumi wants to be the doctor in charge for Shuichi but Mr Nagai doesn’t want it to fail as Shuichi is an important figure of his hospital. Takumi decides to leave after Shuichi’s operation and Shuichi tries to dissuade him. Takumi can’t win Shuichi and it doesn’t matter as one can only try his best. Shuichi sees that a woman changes him. Shuichi knows that he has the doctor’s ability as the children like him very much.

Takumi tries practicing his lines to Aya but she cries before he can tell her. Komori decides to make Takumi Shuichi’s doctor in charge as he is wary that Miwa will support Mr Nagai instead. Takumi himself is startled that he himself makes such a request. Shuichi has confidence in him and Takumi says that he is very brave. Takumi insists of leaving. There is no way that both of them can work together.

He hopes to leave Tokyo with another person and Yuko runs away after hearing this. Yuko tells Takumi that Aya loves someone. Takumi gets angry – she is like his other women who become jealous to turn awful. He is shocked that Aya loves Shuichi. Yuko chases Aya out. Mrs Nagai forbids Takumi to leave the hospital and he is sick to be under her control for so long.


Takumi still insists of leaving with Aya to Yamasaki to start a new life. He doesn’t need anything except a peaceful life but she refuses to leave. He says that he is only joking as he wants to see her reaction on sex. threatens to kill Shuichi, cutting his x-ray with a penknife and hatred (He does look ghastly here.) unless she talks to him.(that is a very scary scene.) He pushes her aside – he gives her a roof when she is helpless in Tokyo. Has she been cheated by Shuichi or she seduces Shuichi?

He has thought that he will never love but he loves her deeply but how can she make fun of him? Only he and Shuichi are qualified to be the next hospital director. Does she think that she can marry Shuichi (a miracle that she doesn’t suffer from a concussion being pushed by him here and there.) Is she telling him to kill him? Aya begs to him on her knees and manages to mumble the words – don’t do it.

Takumi steps into the ER in grief but he still control his emotions to operate on Shuichi. It turns out to be a success. Shuichi can become a neurologist again. Miwa tells Aya that the operation is a success. Takumi stares at Aya – she doesn’t have to thank him. He will chase Shuichi away and only give her back to Shuichi after toying with her. But on second thoughts, he will not give her to anyone.

Mrs Nagai is overjoyed that Takumi changes his mind as she if afraid that he will get angry with her turning down his job opportunity in Hiroshima. He asks her how to make someone love him. Kenji’s parents can’t afford the fees and decides not to have the operation. Shuichi is alarmed – Kenji has only 6 months to survive if he doesn’t have the operation. Money isn’t that important to Mr Nagai now but doesn’t he care about glory? Miwa reminds him that Shuichi has said him to be a money slave bitterly.

Shuichi goes with Aya to see them and his parents decide to sell the shop to save him. Takumi gets drunk and falls drops into the pool. He sees the pool as a whole pool of wine and jumps into it. His friends try to woo Aiko in vain earlier and Aiko dives in to save him. Aiko gives him CPR and he celebrates her birthday with her. He plays the song on the piano and wins her heart.

Kenji celebrates his birthday with Aya and Shuichi. He teases both looking like a couple and takes a photo of them. Aya keeps the photo – this is the first and last of them together. Shuichi plucks up his courage to say that she is a person who touches everyone’s heart. Aya looks at the ear rings and decides not to tell the truth, seeing Yuko so upset over Takumi. She wants to return to Hokkaido.

Takumi is angry when Shuichi wants to get well soon to work with Takumi. Takumi blasts that he gets Aya’s heart to pretend to be a saint. He can never give Aya to him – he has endured giving everything to him in the past but not her. (Does Xiu He’s case look similar here as Qi Zhu also gets everything?) How well does Shuichi love Aya? Shuichi only sympathsizes with her and Takumi leaves in tears.

Yuko regrets saying hurting words to her and informs Shuichi before he is discharged. Yuki says it might be better for her to return but Shuichi will not accept this. He hasn’t recovered but gets to the train station with Yuko to get her back. Yuko regrets saying hurting words to her. It is only now then Shuichi discovers that Aya loves him. Shuichi gets anxious upon seeing Aya at the opposite platform but she can’t hear him.

He runs to check on every cabin of the train and is shattered not to see her at all. Why because he is right behind him. She can’t leave as they have arranged to celebrate Kenji’s birthday the following year. He has also hoped that she will stay. Yuko apologises to her and she agrees. The second attempt on Kenji ruins Takumi’s confidence totally. Why? Not because he is incompetent but because he is an unlucky pawn in the power struggle. Mr Nagai has wanted to complete the operation but he is suddenly unwell so Takumi takes over. Mrs Nagai becomes Komori’s mistress, hoping that he will help Takumi to succeed.

But Komori wants the seat for himself so he frames both father and son. He lies to Miwa that Mr Nagai rejects treating her father because they are too poor then to cause his death. So Miwa’s mother overworks till her death too before Miwa’s high school graduation. Shuichi and Aya rush back upon hearing the bad news. Shuichi performs CPR, refusing to let go of any chance although his heart stops.

Mr Nagai is angry with Takumi for getting drunk. Takumi might get jailed if Kenji’s family sues him. He doesn’t care to get dismissed. Takumi is puzzled why this happens as everything gets on smoothly. Kenji becomes a vegetable and the hospital has to pay damages. The children patients are bored as Takumi isn’t around and Shuichi takes over his duty. Yuko comments that Takumi may be a joker but he likes children. Shuichi also wonders why he wants Aya to stay.

Takumi is at a bar and tells Aiko that he prefers women with short hair. But she refuses to change for him.
Shuichi is angry that Mr Nagai is dismissing Takumi as he believes that Miwa will not make a mistake. He should consider a young doctor’s future. Mr Nagai wants money in the past to get the best equipment. Mr Nagai has liver cancer at the final stage and he has kept it from his family all along – only telling him now.

Shuichi wants Aya to visit Takumi as only she can save him. He must save him and hopes that this is not too hard on her. Takumi stays with Aiko and he notices that she cuts her hair. She lies that the weather is too hot but it is because of him. Takumi’s hand shivers after the operation. Shuichi needs to do something to make sure the hospital can go on but he has no confidence.

Takumi is too shameful to face Aya and she is so angry that he is avoiding the world that she keeps slapping him. It is best that she slaps him till he loses his memory. He hits his head till his forehead bleeds. Shuichi should love but he dreams of another woman at night. All doctors opt for Komori to be the acting director since Mr Nagai is unwell.

Mrs Shoko agrees to take over the hospital but the condition is Shuichi must marry Yuki. Shuichi is surprised to know that Yuki is from a rich family and their family has settled their marriage long ago as old friends. She doesn’t tell him as she hopes that he knows her better to love the real her. Komori is angry that he hasn’t checked Shoko’s background before hand. What they can do now is to find Shuichi’s past in Hokkaido to see if he has any lover in the past.

Aya brings Takumi to apologise to Kenji’s parents. They don’t blame him for the failure and he feels worse. Takumi thanks Aya as he will not dare to go there alone. He knows Shuichi will know Aya’s affections for him one day. Shuichi is glad to know what Takumi has done and thanks her but she knows Takumi is a strong man. She is devastated to know that Shuichi and Shoko are getting engaged.

It is their engagement day and Yuki finds it blissful upon seeing the ring. She knows that they get engaged because of the hospital but she doesn’t mind. He tells her that he truly loves her. She has been waiting for him to say that for a long time. Aya requests Takumi to save Kenji again but he weakens in front of him. Shuichi and Shoko hug each other, promising never to leave each other.

Aya burns the photo and Komori is proudly brining his team out for inspection. Mr Nagai leaves it to the Shuichi to decide his wedding day. Takumi resigns and becomes a waiter. Aiko is worried about him. 5 years ago, Aiko’s husband died on their wedding day and this has a bad impact on her. She has thought that she will never love again. Mr Nagai refuses to let Takumi return to the hospital. He can’t be a doctor now in this state. Komori discovers that Shuichi’s ex-lover is Aya.

Kenji’s parents are upset to see him still in a vegetable state. They think it might be better to let him die and Miwa feels bad. Takumi plays the piano in the restaurant and Yuko mistakens Aiko as Aya in the dark. Yuko is shocked to know that Shuichi gets engaged. Yuko knows that Takumi will not lie to himself. Takumi apologises to the guests for Aiko’s offence and they step on his head – doesn’t he feel disgraced?

Takumi gets so angry that he hits the old man. Kimori tells Shoko’s mother Aya’s identity and even asks Yuko to translate in sign language. Aya keeps denying the past. Shoko’s mother believes Aya but Aya feels insecure. Yuko chides her for keeping it from her. Kenji’s father attempts to shut off the life support but Aya stops him on time and Shuichi comes too.

Kenji’s father refuses to let them re-operate on Kenji and all see that Kenji sheds a tear. He can hear them. Shoko knows that she is born without love and her mother is in love with Mr Nagai secretly. So she is determined to marry the man she loves. Aiko is angry that Takumi is still in love with Aya and wants to leave her. So he has been treating her as her substitute. But Aya tells him no to avoid failure so he decides to return to the hospital. Aiko is recalled of the past when Takumi leaves.

Yuko reveals to Shuichi of his past – Aya is his past love but he thinks that it is a joke. But upon knowing that it is the truth. Yuko reminds him that he has no recollection when looking at the photograph but when he is with Aya, he recalls something. Moreover, he tries getting her back from the train station too. Aiko is jealous of Aya and stabs her in the stomach. Shuichi thinks it is impossible and calls the nurse station. She is unable to pick up the call so Shuichi goes over. He is shocked to see her hurt and she faints in his arms.

Shuichi quickly tends to her and Takumi is now working as a construction worker. He thinks of her slapping him. Shuichi is alarmed to see a deep cut near Aya’s kidney and feels the stab in his heart. Shoko wants to ask Shuichi on the wedding gown design but he is now in ER, frantically saving Aya’s life. Shuichi recalls Yuko’s words – he has a wedding agreement with her in the past. After watching the news, Takumi gets on his motorcycle to rush to hospital.

The policemen inform Takumi that Aiko is the culprit and brings him back for questioning. There is a sudden blackout and Shuichi recalls how he trips from the escalator and …also his life with Aya in Hokkaido. He recites the ‘heavenly coins’ story in a solemn voice with tears in his eyes. (Splendid acting from Takao as although he wears a mask, we can see the tears in his eyes.) and Miwa is puzzled.

Aya is saved and Miwa gets to see Shuichi’s excellent healing skills – which she has not seen before. Takumi takes Aya secretly out of hospital and Mr Nagai decides to take Takumi back. Miwa also wishes the same too and is shocked to know Mr Nagai’s illness. Takumi wants to take care of her personally. Shuichi is worried as he rushes into the ward – Aya’s condition will worsen if someone moves her – who did this? Takumi begs Aya to forgive him. Even if she doesn’t forgive him, let him take care of her.

He is willing to do anything to make her smile again. Yuko deduces that the culprit might be Takumi. Shuichi is angry – no one sees Aya out of hospital and has run in and out frantically to look for her. There is no transfer to other hospitals too and he gets very anxious. Komori wonders if it is due to Shuichi’s conscience being a doctor or love for her. Yuki comes at this time to make Shuichi feel worse.

He is in no mood to look at anything to do with his wedding and flares up at her when she suggests leaving to the police. (Takao shows his anxiety well.) How can he not worry when she just completes an operation? Imagine Takumi’s embarrassment when he has to buy women’s stuff for Aya. He also buys a flower to place near the window. Aya feels the pain at night and Takumi doesn’t sleep at all to take care of her.

She opens her eyes and sees Takumi holding her hand. Takumi’s friends refuse to tell Shuichi where the two are. Shuichi flies into a rage and pulls his friend’s collar – where are they? Aya wonders why Takumi treats her so well since she is a deaf mute. Takumi knows everything just looking into her eyes – her eyes tell everything. They can share their feelings together and they need nothing else. He loves her and he learns how to do it in sign language.

The brothers quarrel as Shuichi is afraid that her condition will worsen while Takumi insists that he is a doctor who also knows how to care for her. Shuichi tells Takumi that he has recalled everything. Takumi gets so mad – he will kill Shuichi if he comes again. Shuichi should be contented to have Yuki and the hospital. Shuichi doesn’t give up - he will love Aya forever. Mrs Nagai wants a divorce.

Shuichi is shocked that Miwa is responsible for Kenji’s plight. Shuichi writes a letter to Takumi to tell him that he intends to annul the engagement and he wishes to meet Aya at nine at Tokyo Tower. Takumi should return to work since Miwa admits her mistake. Shuichi will give up if Aya doesn’t turn up. Shuichi wants to leave Tokyo with Aya. (He should have told Yuki after seeing Aya and not before – silly man.)

Yuki can’t take the shock and slashes her wrist. (Just like what Xiu Zhi does in ‘Save the last dance for me’ – see how this repeated formula works in many dramas regardless the gap in the years?) Miwa apologises to Takumi as she only knows that she wrongs Mr Nagai now. Komori has sponsored her to be a doctor till now and she begs him to return. Mr Nagai opposes to Shuichi backing off the engagement – he can’t hurt Yuki again. The other nurses say hurting words of Shuichi having another woman to cause Yuki’s suicide. Shuichi tells Aya that he has completely recovered to know what happens during the 2 years. Aya can see it as he knows sign language.

They hug together and she cries in his arms. They decide to return to Hokkaido after Kenji’s operation. He promises never to let her cry again. Takumi is back for Kenji’s operation and Aya is happy. If he doesn’t return, Shuichi can’t leave with her. So he can be the next director as planned. But Mrs Nagai tells him that Komori will be the next director since Takumi is still inexperienced.

It is then discovered that she is pregnant and Aya decides to leave under Mrs Shoko’s demand. Mrs Shoko tells the past that she also loves Mr Nagai in the past but marries another man because he focus his whole attention on the hospital. So she doesn’t want the same to happen to Yuki. Kenji’s operation will consist of the 3 father and son team but Komori opposes as it may fail again. Miwa doesn’t like a person to be referred to a vegetable. Mr Nagai will resign to let Komori be the next director if this operation fails. This is the bet the three are betting on.

Takumi only realizes Mr Nagai’s condition in the midst of Kenji’s operation. Seeing him disheartened, Aya has no choice but to slap him. This calms his nerves and he returns to help Shuichi. It is a success and Kenji should recover. Actually Kenji’s father’s words strike him to try his best. They should thank Shuichi for being the doctor in charge but the nurses insist that he plays a part in it.

Shuichi tells Aya that he can’t tell her the story anymore as he is forced to marry Yuki. She cries in the rain with the cat. Shuichi is in despair too. All are delighted that Kenji wakes up. Shuichi reprimands Yuki for keeping the truth from him. He will pretend to love her in future. Mr Nagai refuses to be admitted. Mr Nagai chases him out of hospital as he embezzles the accounts and Miwa plus his assistant are prepared to be his witnesses. Komori has given up on patients after so many die.

Takumi nearly bursts upon knowing that Shuichi and Shoko are getting married from Yuko. Mrs Shoko wants to silence Aya with money but the amount she puts is….she loves Shuichi. The cheque is the lost time of the 2 years that both have and she can’t fill in any amount. (A very touching description which is better than Yan Zhu’s reply to Mrs Jiang in ‘Save the last dance for me’.)

Komori says that Mrs Nagai is no longer young and she has left Mr Nagai for nothing. She is so angry that she stabs him to death to get jailed. Kenji tells Aya that he likes to go to the beach. Takumi asks Yuko out but she rushes to get on the bus, thinking that he is dating her. She thinks that a man is trying to molest her and drags him off the bus. She cries – why do molesters always get close to her.

Miwa discovers that she loves Mr Nagai. Before Mr Nagai dies, he apologises to Mrs Shoko for neglecting her in the past. He tells Takumi that he doesn’t lose to Shuichi as he is sensitive. But this can also hinder him from being a good doctor. He is worried about him in the past so he is harsher on Takumi. He can still remember the time he is born. Shuichi and Mrs Nagai take turns to carry him. Takumi weeps and Mr Nagai tells Shuichi that he hurts many in the past but he wants a hospital to save lives.

Mr Nagai wants Miwa to be the last person to watch him die. She has done the hospital wrong so she must saves many lives in future to atone for her mistake. Miwa bursts into tears but agrees willingly. Miwa tells Mrs Nagai that she loves Mr Nagai deeply but he refuses to look at her. Mr Nagai loves Mrs Nagai all along. His liver cancer causes him to lose his sexual ability and this is why he doesn’t say anything about her affair. Of course, he is upset by it. He doesn’t know that she is in jail and that’s why he doesn’t want her to see how he dies. Mrs Nagai regrets her doing and cries. (She is the only one who can’t cry properly as compared to others.)

Shuichi knows that he is deserted in the hospital and he leaves for Hokkaido – not because he hates him but to give the chance to Takumi – Mr Nagai’s own son to be the hospital director. He thanks Mr Nagai for training him to be a doctor. Mr Nagai chides him – he is his son. He wants Miwa to continue being a doctor to atone for the mistake made for Kenji’s operation. Yuko and Kenji realize Aya wants to drown herself in the sea and they save her. Kenji chides her – he comes out from the dark and how can she do this?

Takumi sees Aya packing up and hugs her cat. He returns Shuichi’s doctor robe’s button to her. Don’t thank her like praying to the Buddha’s statue. Shuichi can’t make Aya stay as he is forced to marry Yuki. Shuichi becomes the hospital director and Takumi tells him that Aya nearly kills herself. Takumi tells him that there is no need for him to go if he is only going to bade her farewell unless he is giving up everything. Why doesn’t Shuichi find another sponsor so that Takumi can settle for him?

Shuichi is too honest but ends up hurting himself. Why can’t he be selfish for once to hurt others to be tur to himself? He will apologise to Shoko and her mother for him. Yuki comes and tries to hold him back with the unborn baby. But she lets him go to the airport – she loves him when he loses his memory but the one who regains his memory – unlike Aya who loses him when he has amnesia.

Shuichi wants to leave with Aya but she refuses. He gives her the book while she gives him the button. He is in tears when Yuki comes to fetch him at the airport. (Smart woman – she knows that he will not leave.) One year later, Kenji writes Aya a letter. Yuko is shocked that the ‘molester’ is working in the hospital with her. Miwa is still working hard while he is a chef now in his father’s sushi eatery.

Aya recalls how Shuichi reads the ‘Heaven coins’ story to her when looking at the starlit sky. A new doctor is coming and she wonders if he is as good in skills as Shuichi. She is surprised that Takumi arrives. He laments that the hospital’s reputation will be ruined with him around. So he comes here although the women who try to stop him are as many as the stars in the sky.

He is an impatient person but he will give her a special offer. He will give her a bit more time for her to come to him. But the time is only 100 years. He signals ‘I love you’ to her before walking into the clinic. He yells – how can the utensils be so old and rusty to use?!

Introduction on characters

1. Aya Kuramoto – Noriko Sakai
She is 24 years old. She is a deaf mute but her foster father trains her to be ea good nurse. She represents the traditional Japanese woman. She is kind, tolerant and a sadistic to avoid loving others. Although she looks optimistic, she is weak and can’t control her own life. Actually, she has to blame herself for causing the mess. She has lots of chances to be with Shuichi but she gives up because of others or her weak personality.

But if we think it this way, she looks so vulnerable. Not to mention Shuichi, any other man will beg for her attention to leave with her. The obvious example is Takumi. But I really dislike seeing her playing the role as an onlooker to see how Yuki gets Shuichi but never stops it!

Noriko is such a credible actress to make this character so realistic. She shows how Aya tries to accommodate to mix into the working world and communicate with patients. She deserves the credit of winning the best actress for the year.

2. Takumi Nagai – Yutaka Takenouchi
He is 26 years old. He is capable but has low self esteem to his capable elder doctor. That is why he is either in the infant unit or to work night time in ER to see less cases. But he genuinely loves children and can work well with them. This is the role that attracts most females. A guy who is wild, rich and also talented. He does that to conceal his urge to look for true love. When he truly loves, he makes the initiative and is firm not to change his mind.

When he knows that he loves Aya, he can give up everything – that includes a few women who loves him. Although he knows that she doesn’t love him, he is different from Shoko. He doesn’t want to possess her completely but he wants to be her guardian. Perhaps the director wants to reflect perfect love from him.

Yutaka’s Takumi has a big personality jump from one to another. He is such an acting genius and we can see endless potential from him just in one serial. From a playboy, he becomes an earnest and devoted lover. His character simply overshines Shuichi but it is an undeniable fact.

3. Shuichi Nagai – Takao Osawa
He stresses a lot of responsibility. To him, an honest person will think for others to hurt himself. He is a good example. He loves Aya deeply and he shows the love unknowingly although he loses his memory. But the strong responsibility causes him to ensure that they can’t be together. When I look at him, I find him tired living for the sake of others. He has cared too much on how others think but hurt himself and the person he loves instead. Even so, this makes him a respectable man. This also attracts others in a way.

I like how he acted when Shuichi lost his memory. Shuichi is stiff and likes mumbling to himself. That touches me. Although he also gives a powerful performance, he is overshadowed by Yutaka because Shuichi is a ‘yes’ man – many will not like that.

4. Mr Nagai – Ryu Raita
The men’s father who is the hospital director. Although he dies a miserable death, he is contented that his sons turn out to be outstanding. He also gets the love of 4 women this lifetime – so his life is fruitful (from his two wives, Mrs Shoko and Miwa – what more can we expect?) He cares for the patients when he grows old. His acting can be over melodramatic – reminding me of Qiong Yao characters will behave.

5. Mrs Nagai
She is Takumi’s materialistic and vain mother. It is just Takumi’s luck to have her as his mother. How he suffers under her high hopes since young to become an unhappy adult. She is sarcastic to Shuichi when he is home. This actress must learn how to cry – her crying is really bad.

6. Komori Toshihiko – Ibu Masato
He is the deputy director who aims for Mr Nagai’s post. I still think that Mrs Nagai is stupid to be his mistress. She should look for a rich man or the hospital sponsor to strengthen the position. Or maybe the person is Mrs Shoko so she stands no chance?

7. Koizumi Miwa – Tanaka Minako
She seems to be an insensitive and cold person but she becomes a doctor to care for patients. But the lie that Komori tells her nearly ends Kenji’s life. She tries to seduce Mr Nagai in vain. This is a surprise to her as men can’t get away from her crutches as she is attractive and young with long hair. (Just like Yin Mei who is capable to win others but only Xiang Zhe is the one to slam his door at her face in ‘All About Eve’). They might seem a mismatch in appearance but she knows him so well!

Minako projects to all like an ice mountain but I like the part when she voices out her opinion of disliking Komori to refer Kenji to be a vegetable. The part where she has to watch Mr Nagai die in front of her is truly heartbreaking as she handles it well.

8. Yuki Shoko – Hosokawa Naomi
She is very direct in presenting her love and she has the right to fight for a chance too. Love is fair in war, isn’t it? But she is extremely selfish and insensitive. She only wants to possess Shuichi – to deceive him and is shrewd like a businesswoman – like her mother. She is manipulative, selfish and scheming.

But I will say that she knows Shuichi better than Aya. She knows that Shuichi regards saving lives more important than anything else. So she manages to make him return to her. She allows him to go to the airport to see Aya but also waits for his return. He knows that both will not disregard the existence of her unborn child. This actress’s acting is only passable.

9. Mrs Shoko – Oka Mitsuko
She is Yuki’s mother who pampers her rotten. Agreeing to help the Nagais’ might be rekindling her love for Mr Nagai (an excuse to say that she is doing it for Yuki’s sake to help her.) But her reason is acceptable as she owes Mr Shoko too much for loving another man all this lifetime and Yuki is her only child. Stage like acting from this actress too. Maybe this is the way veterans act in the past.

10. Yuko – Nishimura Tomomi
She is also a nurse in the hospital who is in love with Takumi for a long time. She learns sign language because of Aya. After knowing that Takumi likes Aya, she becomes jealous and sets to break them up but she straightens her thoughts later when Aya wants to leave.

Favourite character
Takumi – he is wild, approachable and humorous. A close second is Shuichi – he is gentle and also considerate. Both brothers are equally attractive.

Most hated character
Mrs Nagai for loving the wrong man to hurt Mr Nagai and ruining her own future. A close second is Yuki for using her suicide and pregnancy to break Shuichi and Aya up.

Song
‘The jade green rabbit’ is sung by Noriko. It becomes a hot item in all shops as the singing is good.

Interesting facts

At first, this serial was called ‘white love’ but Noriko says that it is better to call it as ‘heaven’s coins’ because Aya was a deaf mute but her eyes were as shiny as stars to see the world better. The producer agreed with her idea. So both names were kept. Not everyone was optimistic when they started filming as Noriko’s career was at low tide. Takao was also an unknown while Yutaka just started out.

When it was shown in April 2005, many focused their attention on the news of the cult. The first episode had a rating of 7.2% and TBS was disappointed but few will miss a good drama. Without much promotion, the last episode to 23.9% while the average went over 20%. According to Tokyo station, it was even up to 27%. The newspaper even said that ‘the whole Japan was in tears’ to mention the effect. They called it the most astonishing drama in Japanese drama history having the biggest ups and downs.

Many started learning sign language. Noriko got into NHK ‘red and white’ contest to sing the theme song. She also appeared in Ms Hong Kong Asia contest to sing the same song too as a guest star. I was fascinated by her performance when I saw the programme. She became an A list actress again.

Noriko won the best actress award. Before fimling, she took time to observe the living of the deaf mutes. That was how she gave a splendid performance. Yutaka won the ‘golden arrow newcomer’ award and it opened his doors to act in different roles later.

The two actors were former cover magazine models. It was coincidental that both worked for rival magazines and many already compared the two then. Even though they acted in the same serial, the comparison never really stopped!

Many said that this story was what Ye Dao Shen Si did to promote Noriko.(Both of them were lovers then.) but all knew that the script writer, Long Ju you Jia Li was also a famous love stories writer. She becomes a very popular script writer after this success. The viewers did not see the shadow here but saw the repeated and multiplied tragedies in Part 2 suited his style more.

Normally good guys didn’t go as well with the new generation. Takumi won major votes as Shuichi’s kind nature was seen to be indecisive and weak. Some even said that they wanted to give him a kick to wake up his senses. Moreover, many like Yutaka’s bigger eyes than Takao’s smaller eyes.

Conclusion

The repeated mentioning of the book, the mentioning of Aya keeping Shuichi’s hospital robe button is very descriptive. Many lines become classic. Takumi tells Aya – there are many girls going after him which are as many as the stars in the sky but he will wait for her to love him. But he can only wait for 50 years. Just like what Aya tells Shuichi – she doesn’t regret meeting him so he should not regret meeting her too.

I have the feeling that all amnesia stories start from here as the other Japanese and Korean dramas start following well after that. Plus murder, suicide, terminal illness, villains and also cheating cases – what you see in Korean dramas can be found right here. You name it and it will definitely have it. It is truly a 100% soap opera masterpiece.

I like the tension shown between Mr Nagai and Takumi. It shows how desperate he is to live up to his expectations. I don’t really like the silly ER scenes – they are not up to standard. The so called good doctors don’t seem good enough. This is a sure ‘no’ to be called as a medical drama.

The cast is great but the ending really sucks for me. The pace is too slow and dramatic with too much crying. Luckily it is saved by Takumi to be with Aya. That is why I stopped watching Japanese dramas for a long time. Noriko simply glows in this drama. Do watch out for her. It is a tragedy drama for those who love to cry buckets (although it doesn’t work on me.) because it is a true classic.


Sukting’s ratings :

On acting : ***1/2 (Scale of 5)

On story : **1/2 (Scale of 5)

On song : *** (Scale of 5)


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