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[Yamadas mainpage] Houhokekyo Tonari no Yamada-kun
(My Neighbors the Yamadas)

Synopsis - Page 3


Dad plays catch with Noboru. He won't let his son play as Noboru would like. But everything is resolved when they break a neighbor's window.

Repetition Fails To Help Noboru Study Dad is listening to a recording. Repeating his English lessons helps him learn, he explains to his son. His son doesn't agree. We see Mom telling Noboru to study. Mom start multiplying till there is a whole chorus of Moms endlessly telling Noboru to study. It still doesn't help him to do it.

Dad is drinking sake. He offers Noboru his first ever drink of sake, now that he is old enough to taste it. Noboru takes a sip and says that THIS sake is too dry. He is chased out of the house.

Dad tries to get his son to play catch with him. "Why?" Asks Noboru. "It is a form of bonding", replies Dad. "Forget it", says Noboru.

Dad, all alone, bounces the ball against the wall.


Father scolds Noboru for his table manners. "Instead of pouring rice over broth, you should pour the broth over the rice". He illustrates by taking his son to see construction workers mixing concrete, "See? The fluid goes over the solid".

Father scolds Noboru for his indecisiveness with chopsticks. "Use chopsticks with purpose", he illustrates with his example. The problem is, he eats from Grandma Shige's plate.

Noboru needs to choose a free study topic for school, and cannot make a decision. He requests help from his Father. But as his Father realizes he can choose ANY topic with absolute freedom he also cannot come to a decision. Father is left in a philosophical quandary; he doesn't help Noboru at all. Mother sees Father in a daze and remarks that he is probably thinking about his retirement.


Takashi is playing golf in the yard. The first snow of the season falls. Takashi hopes to take a photograph with his family. He goes into the house to look for the camera, but his family is watching an exciting movie about an expedition trapped in an avalanche: they cannot be bothered. Takashi manages to take a family photograph by placing the camera on top of the TV set and using its timer. Nobody seems to even notice him doing this as they are all fully focused on the TV. After the photo is taken Takashi steps out into the snow again and walks away.

A lone figure
Back turned
Receding into the mist
-Santoka (1882-1940)


New Year Cards Are A Big Deal Takashi sorts the family's New Year cards in record-breaking time.

The thick of winter (song).

Spring showers. Takashi has left his umbrella at home and is caught in the rain after work. He calls Matsuko home asking for somebody to bring it to him. On the phone he can overhear their discussion: NOBODY wants to bring it to him. He tells Matsuko to forget it; he will buy a new one. When she hears he will go shopping, she asks if he wouldn't mind also buying pork. Upset, he hangs up.

At the store, he debates whether to also get the pork or not. He gives in and buys it. On his way back, his whole family meets with him, bringing him his umbrella. He opens the umbrella they brought, and they all go home together.

A spring shower
Dressed for rain
Talking as they go
-Buson (1716-1784)

Matsuko and Grandmother Shige are doing the laundry, they wonder about the fate of many disappearing items of clothing. In a moment of insight both run to the family table (this is where the whole family gathers) and turn it over. All the missing items are underneath it. "The Black Hole", says Shige.


The Black Hole Matsuko feels like Shige's sushi, and tries to trick her into preparing it. Shige takes the bait and goes into the kitchen. When Matsuko goes back into the kitchen she finds out that Shige is making something else. Shige felt like something exotic and decided that instead she would make Beef Stroganoff. She however is not familiar with the dish. She can't even pronounce it even after several attempts, or after reading it from the recipe book. Matsuko is upset: she really felt like sushi.

The next time Matsuko goes back into the kitchen she finds out that not only has Shige given up on the cooking, but has also left a mess.


Takashi goes to the breakfast table to find a pleasant surprise: an excellently balanced breakfast is waiting for him. On closer examination he finds out it is all made from yesterday's leftovers, plus what his children did not eat for their own breakfasts.

"When are we having lunch?" Shige asks Matsuko. "We already ate. You are too young to be senile" Matsuko responds, but immediately realizes she ate everything, alone.

Matsuko prepares shabo shabo for dinner, "since it's perfect for winter, she says". But in reality, "because she doesn't need to cook" (it is a buffet style dinner), as Shige comments.

"The menu of the meal is the same every day: cold noodles", Noboru complains. "And it will remain the same since there is lots of free ginger from the garden to go with it", says Matsuko.

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