Only Yesterday: Characters

Taeko Okajima (Adult)
A 29-year-old office worker. Taeko is thoughtful and described as hard-working. Taeko takes a vacation from her job to visit her brother-in-law's family in the countryside in Yamagata and help with the safflower harvest. Shortly before leaving on the trip, Taeko begins having flashbacks of various unrelated events from her childhood. Taeko spends a lot of time trying to discover the reason for her flashbacks. Elder Taeko provides the narration for the entire film.
Taeko Okajima (Young)
Elder Taeko as a 10-year old schoolgirl. She is the youngest in a family of three daughters. Younger Taeko is easily excited and has a tendency to have her spirits crushed by reality. Elder Taeko's flashbacks of her younger self range from her first taste of pineapple to her inability to divide fractions.
A farmer in Yamagata. He is Kazuo's second cousin. He is very helpful and knowledgeable about many different topics. He is also a fan of Hungarian folk music. Toshio comes to Kazuo's farm to help with the safflower harvest. Taeko develops a liking for him during her trip.
A teenage girl who also helps with the harvest. She is Kazuo and Kiyoko's daughter. She is like most other teenagers in 1982, and is up-to-date on the latest fads, such as PUMA sports shoes and the movie "E.T.". She is friendly and a fast runner.
Taeko's Father
Taeko's father is strict and very formal. He maintains his leadership role in the family, having the final word on all decisions.
Taeko's Mother
Taeko's mother is less strict than her husband, but is still firm. She stands by Taeko's father in most of his decisions.
Nanako Okajima
The oldest sister in Taeko's family. She attends art college. She is a fan of the Beatles and is the first to try out new fashions, including the mini-skirt. She is much kinder to Taeko than Yaeko is.
Yaeko Okajima
The middle sister in Taeko's family. Yaeko is a good student and seems to dislike her sister in general. She seems to take pleasure in angering Taeko. She has a crush on a female member of the Takarazuka acting troupe for a short while.
Taeko's Grandma
Taeko's grandma is mostly silent, but when she speaks, everyone listens to her. She accompanies young Taeko to a trip to the hot springs in Atami.
Shuji Hirota
A boy in the classroom next to Taeko's. He is an excellent pitcher on his class's baseball team. He has a crush on Taeko, but it is only discovered when a few girls in his class write about it on the wall in an alley. When Taeko watches him play baseball, he seems to pitch even better than normal.
One of Taeko's classmates. She is shy and quiet, and mature for her age. She temporarily becomes extremely unpopular with the girls in her class when she tells a male classmate about menstruation, who in turn tells it to all the 5 th-grade boys in the school. This makes the boys tease the girls unrelentingly for a while. She is also good at fractions, which elder Taeko attributes to her later success in life.
One of young Taeko's close friends. She seems to be the leader of Taeko's group of friends. She is up-to-date on current events (the Vietnam War) and is very persuasive. The boys in her class think she is a goody-two-shoe.
A transfer student to younger Taeko's school. He is somewhat dirty and has a few bad habits, causing his classmates, especially the girls, to despise him. Taeko sits next to him during the second half of the school year. Elder Taeko remembers him and feels guilty about how she let her friends treat him.
One of Taeko's close friends.
One of Taeko's classmates. He can't stand drinking milk, so he agrees to eat Taeko's radishes, which she hates, in exchange for having her drink his milk instead.
One of younger Taeko's classmates. He is known for being the only baseball player who can hit Hirota's pitches; however, he is struck out when Taeko is watching the game, since this makes Hirota pitch better to impress her.
Toshio's Mother
Toshio's Mother helps also helps out in the safflower harvest. She is friendly, although a little presumptuous.
Toshio's second cousin and Naoko's father. He is serious and hard-working.