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Machisu, the only son of a rich collector, has a childs love for painting. Praise from a famous artist friend of his father inspires the young boy to dream of becoming a painter himself. Precocious Machisu begins to paint everyday and everywhere, even during class, to the dismay of his teacher. When tragedy strikes, little Machisus privileged life ends, leaving him orphaned, but with an incomparable passion for art ...
As a young man, poor loner Machisu manages to attend art school with money earned from working. He is introduced to an unconventional world of bold creativity but he also gets his first bitter taste of harsh criticism from a dealer. Encouragement comes in the form of attractive clerk Sachiko who is convinced that she alone understands him. Marriage is soon followed by a daughter, as love and hope drive Machisu to commit even more deeply to his art ...
Upon reaching middle age, Machisu has yet to sell a painting. But he remains dedicated, supported by his devoted wife Sachiko, who has become his indispensable creative partner. With each new work, Machisu tries to push himself to greater limits of inspiration. Hungry for recognition, their creative attempts escalate beyond what neighbors and even their own teenaged daughter Mari can tolerate. Will Achilles ever overtake the Tortoise?
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