24-year-old Murakami Maiko is a very sheltered girl who has never had a relationship with a guy. It is decided that she will go for a matchmaking session with someone recommended by her father Genichiro who owns a company. The man Hanasato Harumi is 20 years her senior and also a divorcee. Although Maiko is less than thrilled, she discovers when they meet that he is a charming man with an air of maturity and she instinctively makes a move on him. Harumi had intended to meet Maiko once before he turned her down since she is the daughter of the CEO of an important client. However, she turns out to be more than he had imagined. Maiko confounds him the whole time but he is attracted to her straightforward, pure, and dignified nature. He accepts the completed marriage registration form from her on their third date after she presses him for a kiss. They get married despite their 20-year age gap, and their life as newlyweds begins. (Source: jdrama) ~~ Adapted from manga Toshi no Sakon by Nakama Atsuki Edit Translation
Where to Watch Toshi no Sakon
Cast & Credits
Good short watchWhat I liked about the drama here was that it did not really affect Harumi and Maiko’s relationship - no breaking up or big fights due to misunderstanding, or jealousy when the exes and the pasts appeared. They remained trusting of each other but it was also nice to see their insecurities and jealousies which was a natural reaction but they did not let it influence them in making irrational decisions.
Maiko’s two pasts were such annoying characters - I think the only ones that I didn’t particularly care for in the whole drama. But it was good to watch how Maiko and Harumi handled the situation.
Age Gap MarriageToshi no Sakon, which literally translates to age gap marriage, struck me with its cinematography. It's beautifully shot, and I liked how vague the first five minutes about the identity of Murakami Maiko's (Aoi Wakana) husband were. I found some elements of the show refreshing, despite some other elements being a typical Japanese rom-com genre where a sheltered female who has never been in a relationship meets a handsome young man falls in love and end of story.
Toshi no Sakon is different in that things happen in reverse. The sheltered girl is more or less forced to go on an arranged marriage matchmaking session. When she meets her match, she instinctively attracted to him and his agreeable nature despite the huge age difference. He, Hanasato Harumi (Takezai Terunosuke), who decides to only meet her to appease his client Murakami Genichiro (Fukikoshi Mitsuru) Maiko's father, is taken by her forwardness, and before we know it, they are married. And this is when the story begins.
I liked Maiko as a character, and Aoi Wakana for her ability to portray Makio in a way that made me believe in her sincerity, innocence and maturity despite her young age, and for boldly pursuing her heart's desire in a culture where one, especially a female, isn't always open about their emotions. She even initiatives the first kiss before their third date, and practically proposes to him. But I enjoyed most about her loudly expressing her inner voice, which is probably what endeared her to Harumi for being the complete opposite of him. As for Harumi, I admired his honesty and how amiable he was to Maiko despite being much older, and more set in his ways, how intrigued he was both physically and mentally. I can't even say it was simply opposites attracted, it was much more than that. It was like the old age meeting the new age and forming an intergenerational connection that's bounded by the differences rather than pulled apart.
I think if Toshi no Sakon had just stopped at that, it would have been your average rom-com with an age gap. But the fact that it dived into the fears and insecurities Maiko faces in her inexperienced love versus Harumi experienced one, and his insecurity with his age and fear of not being able to compete, and the very realistic way the show addresses those insecurities from the Japanese presepctive, is what made Toshi no Sakon stand out even if from my cultural standpoint I may not have understood but that's okay since the show was not for my perspective I still liked and respected the options and directions it takes. The trail and tribulations Maiko and Harumi face as they attempt to measure up to what they each believe are their shortcomings, and the ways the drama tackles and addresses those trials in age, societal and cultural differences, terminology, not only from the perspective of an older man and younger woman, but also from the perspective of an older woman and younger man, and how the intergenerational gap experience despite being the same affects men and women of the same age differently.
The message Toshi no Sakon is so simple -- open dialogue is essential for experiencing, expressing and fostering love in marriage. Despite men and women, be they younger or older, acting differently and communicating in different ways, be in tone or attitude, the need to develop certain attitudes that express love and encourage authentic dialogue is key. Often spouses regardless of age aren't necessarily looking for their other half to find a resolution, they simply want to know their partner is paying attention to them, and acknowledges their fears, and insecurities. And most importantly, not to let societal or cultural differences be they in age or otherwise to limit them or dictate their happiness, because the combination of two different ways of thinking rather than hinder can be the source that elevates them to the next level of their co-existence and ultimately their happiness. Highly recommended, I enjoyed this short but very sweet drama.