“Hi Grandma, it’s me. I need to borrow some cash…” A young scammer travels through Japan and convinces unsuspecting elderly people to entrust their savings to him. However, ‘grandma’ Tsuyako is not about to become just another prey of the tricks that Japanese fraudsters commonly play on old people. She is lonely but not helpless. She invites Shota, her false ‘grandson’ who she had not seen in ages, to her home. Despite his initial resistance, she eventually makes him help her. In return, he is shown kindness that he had never experienced in his life before.
In the film’s secondary plot, radio anchor Kiora explores the golden era of the Amakusa Gintengai shopping mall, which is currently operated only by elderly shop owners. In her search for vintage films and photos, she comes to Mrs Tsuyako’s music shop. Against his will, the false Shota gets dragged into this project as well and discovers that young people can have nobler goals than personal profit alone. Browsing old family photo albums, he discovers the history of a great fire and the story of the people’s tremendous solidarity during the subsequent recovery. It may prompt him to realise that he, too, could live a different life. Kind and nostalgic in form, the film points out several problems that the Japanese society is facing today.
The times when the community of Gintegai merchants operated like a family gave way to an era of anonymous department stores. The denizens recall their youth with painful realism, though. The shopping gallery’s name, Gintengai, means ‘a shining quarter with a silver ceiling’. Malls just like it with similar stories can be found in the majority of Japan’s cities.
The Japanese police have been dealing with fraudulent phone calls from fictitious family members, targeting primarily elderly people, for more than 20 years. Taking advantage of the loneliness of old people is an issue that has not avoided Japan.
Nosari in the Japanese title of the film is a word used in the Kumamoto Prefecture that expresses kindness. The concept behind it is that you accept whatever comes your way as a heavenly gift, whether it is good or bad.