This is director Yasujiro Ozu’s first post-WWII film following his return from Singapore.
New homes are gradually being built amidst the rubble of post-WWII Tokyo, as old acquaintances reunite. Otane, a widow who lost her only child, runs her old general store alone. One day, Tashiro, a fortune teller, who lives behind her house, brings along a boy named Kohei, who appears to be a war orphan. He entrusts the boy to Otane's care, as he himself cannot raise him. Though vexed, Otane agrees to take him in for a night as she has no one else to turn to. The next day, she seeks help from her neighborhood, but finds no family suitable to care for Kohei. Taking him to her hometown where she and her father once lived proves fruitless as well. Faced with no other option, she brings Kohei back to her own home. As they live together, Kohei's childish ways stir memories of Otane's own lost child. All the families around seem to have happy lives revolving around children. It dawns on Otane that children are just children, regardless of who their real family may be, and so she decides to raise Kohei as her own. As Kohei grows attached to her and she starts thinking about his future education, Kohei's father unexpectedly appears. He had become separated from Kohei while searching for work in Tokyo. As the father and son express their gratitude to Otane, she bids them farewell and wishes Kohei a life of true happiness.