Initially set in the aftermath of World War II, Ayako focuses its attention on the Tenge clan, a once-powerful family of landowners living in a rural community in northern Japan. The war and American occupation have begun to erode the fabric that binds them all together. The increasing influence of political, economic and social change begins to tear into the many Tenge siblings, while a strange marriage agreement creates resentment between the eldest son and his sire.
When the family seems to have completely fallen apart, they decide to turn their collective rage on what they believe to be the source of their troubles: the newest member of the Tenge family, the youngest sister Ayako.
Story and art by Osamu Tezuka.