Tamako redirects here. For the anime series, see Tamako Market
Tamako Kitashirakawa (北白川 たまこ Kitashirakawa Tamako) is the main protagonist in the 2013 anime television Tamako Market and the 2014 anime movie Tamako Love Story. She is the daughter of Tama-ya's owner in the Usagiyama Shopping District.
Tamako has black hair with blue tones that she always keeps in two pony-tails, kept together with white bands at the height of her ears. The ponytails fall over her shoulders. She often has a few strands of hair springing from her head. She has sapphire-blue eyes and is often seen with a gentle smile and a slight blush. She also has a mole on her left side of her neck, the same as her late mother.
Tamako is generally seen wearing her school's uniform, which is composed of a dark blue dress and a white shirt. The dress has two wide straps over her shoulders, four buttons on the chest area and a small belt around her waist. The bottom part of the dress looks like a regular skirt, reaching her knees. She wears the white shirt under the dress, which has a wide, flipped down collar and a red ribbon. Her calves are wrapped by white socks and she wears plain black shoes.
As a child, she was noted to wear rather large glasses but still kept her trademark pigtails.
A kind and friendly girl who cares a lot for her friends, she makes friends easily and is shown to be idealistic with a love for mochi. Tamako is slow in catching up to love and romantic feelings from others, indicated when she hadn't realized Anko's crush on her friend, Mochizō's crush, and also Midori's.
She is shown to be highly creative, always sketching plans for mochi designs in her spare time. She is rather eccentric, as she had considered "butt-mochi".
She doesn't appear to think very ahead into her future and doesn't have much rich desires, comfortable with settling in a life in her family's mochi shop. However, she is generally acceptable to change in contrast to her father's traditional values, as she constantly brings up modern suggestions for mochi designs to his irritation. This acceptance to change is present so as long as she is happy and familiar with her surroundings that are memorable to her, such as her refusal to leave the marketplace to marry the prince.
Tamako Kitashirakawa was born to Mamedai and Hinako. Since birth, she lived across from Mochizō's family. According to Tamako, she and Mochizō have been together since infancy, though much of their earlier childhood consisted of him teasing her in some way or another.
At one point, the toddler Tamako consulted her grandfather to why they owned a mochi shop, only to be scolded by her father for asking foolish questions. Her mother comforted her, cradling her daughter's face, and was told Mochizō had bullied her. Tamako was told that Mochizō found her cute and simply didn't want to admit that he liked her a lot, and she was then addressed as "cute princess Tamako".
Some time in Tamako's childhood, her mother died from an unknown illness. From then on, she associated the warm mochi with her late mother, and developed a belief that mochi would comfort her at the worst of times. This would establish her love for mochi. When first sad, she was comforted by a mochi with a face on it, and mused that it was probably her dad. She later realizes this was Mochizō.
She is graduating her third year, and plans to become a successor for Tama-ya's manager.
Tamako is first seen returning home from school with her friends, Midori and Kanna. After parting ways, she tosses up her baton in the air, only for it to land on her head. As she is roaming through the market place, she stops by Kaoru's flower shop. While observing a certain bundle of flowers, a pink and white bird flings out from the flowers and onto her face. She sneezes, and it falls off, and it consequently poses as though flirting, confusing her sneeze as a confession of love.
The bird introduces himself as Dera Mochimazzi, and Tamako is bewildered at the fact he has speaking abilities.The flamboyant bird stands on Tamako's head, and she is forced to go home with said bird on her head. The shop owners confuse the bird as a hat, at which she denies glumly. In front of her family mochi shop and the "rival" mochi shop across from it, her father and the owner Gohei Ōji are arguing about Gohei's new sign. She amusedly watches her father criticize Gohei's sign, and she speaks to Mochizō, Gohei's son.
Before New Year's arrives, Dera chokes on mochi, and she tells everyone. Mochizō confuses her to be choking, and smacks her back to dislodge the mochi from her throat. Dera is revealed to be fine, to which she is relieved. The commotion of this resulted in everyone in the market district forgetting to deliver Tamako's birthday present. She, although slightly saddened about it, brushes it off due to the fact she forgets her own birthday every year, anyway..
As Valentine's Day approaches, Tamako considers the theme of the market to be pink with hearts in dedication of the holiday. She attempts to serve heart-shaped mochi miso to her father. At breakfast, Tamako introduces the idea of heart-shaped mochi to her father, however she is turned down (once again). She asserts that the world will leave them behind if they do not keep up with modernization, and suggests (after stuttering loudly) in the market meeting for the market to be Valentine themed, and everyone but Mamedai agrees.
In a commercial recorded by Mochizō, she dresses up in a pink bunny suit with Kanna but stutters once again on the first try and she is told to act more naturally by Mochizō, to which she jokingly threatens to pound him up into mochi. At home, her father gives her heart-shaped mochi, to which she gladly accepts and thanks to. They all watch the commercial from Dera's projection beak, and later see a video of a boy calling for Dera.
As a new school year starts, Tamako and Kanna wind up in the same classroom of 2-A as a bandminton member by the name of Shiori Asagiri. When Shiori escorts Dera home, she convinces Shiori to stay and try out their sakuramochi. After Shiori receives a call that her mother would be coming home late, Tamako finds this opportunity to allow Shiori to stay for dinner. Shiori ends up making dinner, and Tamako along with her family praises it. Due to Shiori's bath at home not functioning, they also go to the public bathhouse with Anko following suit.
At school the following day, Tamako attempts to greet Shiori, but is ignored. Shiori returns that afternoon to escort their homeroom teacher who was lost and the two girls go to a coffee shop. Shiori thanks Tamako for the fun from the other day, and Tamako says the same. From then on, they become friends. Midori later calls Tamako and tells her of Shiori speaking to the bathroom mirror the other day, and Tamako muses it must have been hard for Shiori to confess her real feelings.
In the summer, Tamako goes to the pool with Midori and Kanna for them to teach her how to swim. She is unable to swim any distance, and they settle on her swimming with arm floaties. Later at the school trip to the beach, Tamako is asked by Midori (who had discovered of Mochizō's plans to confess to Tamako and infiltrated his attempt of confessing with Dera's assistance earlier) what is Midori to Tamako. Tamako, oblivious, simply replies that she loves Midori. Due to her casual saying of this, it is indicated that she said this in a friendly way and nothing more.
She, Kanna, Midori, Dera, and Mochizō watch the fireworks at night. Tamako shouts to promote her family's mochi shop, with Mochizō doing the same for his family's. She remains unknowing to Midori and Mochizō's tension.
Realizing that not many people come to the market in the summer due to the intense heat, Tamako brings up a solution by suggesting a haunted house to attract attention. Tamako, Midori, and Kanna prepare building the haunted house, with Tamako planning to play as a ghost. When her father claims to have seen actual ghosts earlier, this leads to the shopkeepers in a panic. When Shiori disputes this, Tamako relaxes and the haunted house becomes a success. Kanna later reveals to Tamako and the others that she and Dera had been behind the supposed ghost haunting Mamedai had witnessed. Dera's beak projects a film again, and Tamako discovers someone named Choi will be coming to the market.
One morning, Tamako awakens to Dera desperately attempting to fly. He tumbles down the stairs and Tamako discovers a girl named Choi Mochimazzi at the end of it criticizing how she's never seen a bird fall down a flight of stairs before. The girl is revealed to be a fortune teller from the island Dera comes from, and she is part of the royal family and serve the prince. Due to Dera's lies about Tamako holding him captive and forcing him to consume mochi, Tamako's acts of kindness are rejected constantly by Choi. After Choi faints due to a fever in the public bathhouse, Tamako decides to nurse her back to health by treating her homesickness with an ocean waves CD borrowed by the record store owner. They grow a bit closer, and at the end of the day Choi notices a particular scent on Tamako.
After being addressed Dera's weight problem, Tamako and the other girls decide to put the bird on a mochi-free diet until he loses enough weight to fit into Kanna's hand-made birdhouse. Tamako goes to school with Choi for her to watch over Dera as well as a used clothes store. They are unable to find any clothes, but she watches as Midori gives Choi a hoodie
Tama-ya has a mochi-pounding event on Mochi Day — the tenth of October — as well as Mochizō's birthday. She seemingly forgets his birthday and is instead focused on the day itself for mochi. Anko requests Tamako to make some daifuku for Yuzuki, Anko's friend. Anko does not inform Tamako why, and this leads Tamako to express her worries to Mochizō. She is oblivious to the possibility of Anko having a crush on her friend.
After being told by Mochizō from his investigation, she learns that Yuzuki is moving to another school. She encourages Anko to see him off before his departure, and gives her some fresh mochi to deliver to him. Later that day, Tamako finds her father playing a familiar song from her childhood and discovers that it was a song he composed with his band (Dynamite Beans) for their late mother back in high school. She praises her father, much to his embarrassment, and notes that he had loved somebody as well, and that person was her mother. That night, she thanks Mochizō for his assistance and delivers a cake for his birthday, to his tearful expression of happiness. She doesn't react much to this, only smiling in response innocently.
With the school festival approaching, the Baton Club manage to get a good timeslot for the festival. Midori is instructed to create the choreography, but unknowingly to Tamako, she is extremely stressed about it. Tamako speaks to Mochizō that night on their cup phone line, and addresses his fever from filming his ninja movie for the festival. She expresses her concern about Midori. Tamako is later informed by Shiori regarding this, so Kanna and Tamako reach Midori's hlouse to discuss it. Seeing Midori burst into tears from guilt, Tamako embraces Midori and reassures her that it was okay. She, Kanna, and Shiori assist in creating a choreography, and are filmed by Mochizō at the festival. Choi, while watching their performance, notices the mole on Tamako's neck and announces that she is the candidate for the prince's bride.
While word goes around that Tamako is apparently a princess, she is entirely focused on collecting enough loyalty points to win a medal from the shopping district. Throughout the day, she is constantly reminded about her alleged status about being a princess, but she continues cheerfully directing her attention on winning the medal by receiving stamps from the shop owners.
She wins the medal, and discovers that Choi has fixed Dera's projector beak and has a conversation with Mecha, the prince. They exchange a few words before Dera breaks down once again. Her father, is notably distant about this and is concerned about the whole problem. The district has a meeting, deciding that she should probably go with the prince to be married despite Tamako feeling otherwise. That night, Mochizō contacts her with the cup phones (going so as far as to accidentally hit her head) and after hearing him wishing her well, Tamako wonders why they wanted her to leave so badly, throwing a small tantrum. The next morning, she is unable to find the medal she won after the commotion, only to be returned it by none other than the prince himself.
With Mecha arriving, the entire shopping district directs their attention towards the prince. Tamako is confused about the situation, and grows worried. The empty shopping district reminds her of the day her mother passed away. Dera asks her what is her opinion regarding this marriage and she replies that the district means a lot to her. She mentions the memories she had there, and upon coming to terms with her feelings, she rushes to turn down Mecha's proposal only to learn that she isn't actually a candidate. The scent she had was derived from the florist's flowers, and the mole was something she inherited from her mother. She sees Choi and Mecha off with Kanna and Midori. Near New Year's Eve, she receives a box of flowers from Mochizō for her birthday. She opens it and discovers Dera had been left behind and was attempting to return to his home. He flutters around her, confused, but she is happy that he's returned.
Tamako Love Story
See Tamako Love Story (2014) for the plot.
In a short story published by Mutsuki Ichinose entitled Anko's Lovey Dovey Diary, Tamako's younger sister records the new couple Tamako and Mochizō's actions in their relationship.
Tamako and Mochizō, due to a rainy day, share an umbrella. Once they come inside Tama-ya, it's remarked by Anko that while Mochizō seems embarrassed, Tamako seems happy as usual (although Anko can't tell if her smile is any different). Tamako asks if Anko is looking after the shop, to which Anko responds that Mamedai is out making a delivery while Fuku is at his knitting class.
To the rain pouring outside, Tamako sits with Anko after Mochizō leaves and they sing Mamedai's Koi no Uta song together. They notice Mochizō is now looking after his family shop; Anko watches as Tamako's eyes keep glancing up and down. Whenever Mochizō looks up at her, she shyly glances away.
Tamako remembers she had something to tell Mochizō earlier, but forgot. She brushes this off, thinking it as unimportant. After Mochizō peers up at them, confused, and Tamako looks away, she abruptly tells Anko that Mochizō's hand was warm. She pulls out her cell phone and pauses, remarking that she's never sent him a text before. While she's typing, she suddenly becomes mortified and says that she's just sent a "strange" text.
It's revealed that the text Kanna meant to message Mochizō in the activities during Tamako Love Story was saved as a draft, and Tamako has just sent a text filled with heart emojis asking Mochizō to build a house for her. Mochizō notices the text, and is visibly just as embarrassed. Tamako hurries upstairs to avoid him and he abandons his shift to run over and shout upstairs for her to give him five—three—years. Tamako shouts back that she sent the wrong text and requests Anko to explain.
After Mochizō makes his departure, Tamako returns downstairs and apologizes to Anko for leaving her. Fumiko Mitsumura, the woman who runs the Just Meat store in the district, comes over and asks what happened, having heard Mochizō scream earlier. The two girls do not elaborate and can only smile it off.
Tamako is consistently brimming with ideas for mochi designs, and is sometimes seen sketching down plans for such. She enjoys creating, as she also attempts to design costumes for advertising the market place as well as the festival performance.
She creates mochi efficiently from practice, although she had been hesitant to even make any when she was a child, and this further established her love for it.
- Mochizō Ōji: Childhood friend of Mochizō Ōji, they are shown to have a happy, comfortable relationship. Living across from each other, Mochizō had behaved mockingly to Tamako as a child as a way to conceal his small childish crush, to the point Tamako had cried to her mother about him bullying her. However, over time they grew closer most particularly after her mother's death when he had comforted her with a face drawn on a mochi, though Tamako had remained oblivious to his feelings. She appears to hold Mochizō very dear nevertheless, as she had baked a cake for him on his birthday despite him never properly being able to give her a birthday present. They often speak to each other at night via cup phone. She later comes to terms she returns Mochizō's feelings for her after his confession, and tells him so at the train station.. after that they finally become a Sweet Couple.
- Midori Tokiwa: Another childhood friend of Tamako, though knowing of her after Mochizō. She is shown to adore Tamako to a point of attraction, and behaves protectively of her consequently. Tamako loves Midori, however in a platonic manner, and just like with Mochizō is unaware of Midori's feelings towards her. Tamako is shown to care about Midori deeply, confronting Midori when she was stressed about festival plans, and embracing her in order to comfort Midori's crying state. She appears to trust Midori as well, and discussed her dilemma with Mochizō's confession to her.
- Dera Mochimazzi: After encountering him at the florist's flower shop and sneezing on him, Dera has remained deluded to believing Tamako is in love with him. In reality, Tamako is platonically affectionate to him, and often feeds him mochi to the point he was bloated and was unable to fly. She is seen thinking of him fondly when he leaves, wondering if he was doing just fine at home. She, despite acknowledging how obnoxious Dera is capable of behaving, continues behaving in a friendly manner towards him.
- Kanna Makino: Though their relationship isn't truly fully fleshed-out, they have been shown to have a happy friendship. Kanna often teases Tamako and her obsession for mochi, to which Tamako compliments Kanna's architecture abilities.
- Anko Kitashirakawa: Older sister of Anko ("An"), Tamako often tells Anko of her ideas for Tama-ya's mochi shop, to which Anko usually puts down on though Tamako simply reacts with slight offense. They appear to be polar opposites, where Tamako often has her head in the clouds about mochi, Anko is more level-headed but has tendencies of behaving childishly. Despite their differences, Tamako adores her younger sister, exemplified when she checks on Anko in her morning ritual and checks on Anko's habits (i.e. whether or not she had washed completely when bathing).
- Shiori Asagiri: The two girls become classmates in their second year, and they are shown to mutually have a desire to become friends with each other. Despite Shiori's initial distant attitude and her aversion to social contact, Tamako nevertheless kept a friendly personality with Shiori and wholeheartedly gave her opportunities to stay longer the day she had visited, hoping to establish a closer friendship. After Shiori is able to confess her gratitude, their friendship deepens over time.
- Mamedai Kitashirakawa: Daughter of Mamedai, Tamako is seen most often having light arguments with her father over decisions of running Tama-ya, with Tamako complaining about him behaving like an old man. They have conflicting values, with Mamedai preferring traditional mochi and Tamako accepting change. Despite their arguments, Mamedai is shown to truly care for his daughter, agreeing to her idea of heart-shaped Valentine's mochi and was worried when she had appeared sick.
- Choi Mochimazzi: In spite of Choi's suspicious attitude towards Tamako, the mochi shop daughter still behaved kindly towards her, caring for her when she had a fever by bringing home an ocean waves CD and giving her dinner. They become friends, despite all odds and Dera's lies about Tamako kidnapping Dera and forcing him to consume mochi.
- (To Mochizō) "Mochi is so small, yet it makes all kinds of people happy. I'm like several times bigger than mochi now, but I still can't compare. It's soft... white, gentle, smells good, and warms you up."
- (Referring to Mochizō crying in front of the bathroom door) "Huh? It's Mochizō! What's wrong? ...You couldn't make it to the toilet? Poor you."
- (To Anko) "Be more careful of my 'emochions'! Emotions...! Just kidding!"
- (To Mochizō) "I love you, Mochizō." 
- Her blood type is O.
- Tamako cannot swim without arm floaties and is unable to give a proper speech without stuttering.
- According to an interview by director Naoko Yamada, Tamako is seventeen in Tamako Love Story.
- In the transition to the film, her character design involved touch-ups on her eyelashes and eyebrows to make them neater.
- An alternate reading of her name (玉子) was to mirror the Japanese term for "prince" (王子) in the initial planning for Tamako Market.
- Her original design included braided hair. The early model was featured in one of Kyoto Animation's commercials advertising their shop.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Tamako Market anime, Episode 1.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Tamako Market anime, Episode 5.
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 3.8 3.9 Tamako Love Story film, 2014.
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 4.7 Tamako Market anime, Episode 2.
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 Tamako Market anime, Episode 12.
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 6.2 Tamako Market anime, Episode 9.
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 Tamako Love Story film, 2014.
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 8.2 Tamako Market anime, Episode 3.
- ↑ Tamako Market anime, Episode 6.
- ↑ 10.0 10.1 Tamako Market anime, Episode 7.
- ↑ Tamako Market anime, Episode 8.
- ↑ 12.0 12.1 Tamako Market anime, Episode 10.
- ↑ 13.0 13.1 Tamako Market anime, Episode 11.
- ↑ 14.0 14.1 14.2 14.3 14.4 14.5 Tamako Guidebook: Anko's Lovey Dovey Diary.
- ↑ Tamako Market anime, Episode 2.
- ↑ Tamako Market, Official Art Book.
- ↑ http://tamakolovestory.com/special/interview/ >後ろ向きではなく、１７歳の少女が前向きな一歩を踏み出すにはきっと「恋」がいいんだと思いました。
- ↑ 18.0 18.1 Tamako Love Story pamphlet
- ↑ Animage Magazine (Naoko Yamada and Reiko Yoshida)