Born in Aomori prefecture, Yuki Nomura was 23 at the time of filming. After graduating from school, Yuki became delinquent and spent his days driving his Matsuda RX7, becoming involved in frequent traffic accidents and being arrested several times. One day he realized that he was wasting his life and decided to move to Tokyo, where he started to take acting classes. He aspires to express through his performances the individualist values he adopted during his delinquent years.
Born in Tokyo on Christmas Day, 1986, Mayu Sato has launched a busy professional acting career in the short time since performing in Deep in the Valley, appearing in several films, including One Missed Call - The Final, Hero, Tabidachi: Ashiyori Yori, and Love Exposure, and on the TV series Aibou - V and Full Swing. She also sings and plays Japanese drums. Her next film will be Hirokazu Kore-eda’s Kuki Ningyo.
Born in Yanaka and a life-long resident of the neighborhood, Katsuhiro Kato, now 79 years old, is a specialist of local history. He has a vivid memory of playing in the hallways of Five-Story Pagoda as a child. He is now an active member of the campaign for the reconstruction of the pagoda. Though the Yanaka area has many steep streets, he doesn’t mind at all driving through the neighborhood in his wheelchair. He wrote the song Flower of Hope:Rebuilding Five Story Pagoda, which he performs in the film.
Miyoko Ogawa, now 80, has worked at the cemetery of the Jozaiji Temple in Yanaka for 36 years. Though she has lost her eyesight, she clearly remembers the location of each of the more than 500 tombstones in the cemetery and all the inscriptions on them. Every day she opens the gate at 5 a.m., cleans the tombs and parts of the temple, makes shikibi (a magnolia ornament placed on family tombs), and does other chores before closing the gate at 4 p.m. While he was filming something else, director Atsushi Funahashi met Ogawa for the first time and became so impressed with her that he instinctively started to film her.