In August, 1945, the Soviet Union invaded the area around Sakhalin Island. Tetsu Ezure (Sayuri Yoshinaga) escaped with her two sons from Sakhalin Island and arrived in Abashiri City, Hokkaido Prefecture, Japan. What awaited for them was extreme cold weather and famine. They worked very hard. In 1971, Tetsu’s second son Shujiro (Masato Sakai) returns to Japan after finding success in the United States. He visits Abashiri for the first time in 15 years. His mother Tetsu Ezure lives alone there.