I was first drawn to check out Volume One of this series after reading this Unshelved.com review. I enjoyed it enough to keep reading, and got this volume from Barnes and Noble. It's a slice-of-life story about a young calligrapher who moves to a remote village to try and recharge his creative energies, and finds himself increasingly caught up in village life - for better or worse!
This volume picks up after the events of Volume 13, with some significant changes in Handa's life. (The books do not, sadly, include a story-so-far summary. Here, Handa has decided to quit working as a calligrapher for his long-time friend and agent Kawafuji, in order to start a calligraphy school on the island. Meanwhile, youthful Kousuke, a calligraphy prodigy, has been staying on the island and annoying everyone - and coming very close to ruining Handa's daikon crop, which could result in Handa losing his house...)
Handa and little Naru get back to the island after their trip to Tokyo, and Handa sets about advertising his calligraphy school, only to find that while many people would like to take classes, nobody wants to pay his fees!
Hiroshi tries to run interference re the daikon-growing contest - Kousuke had cheerfully pulled up all the daikon, and re-planting them may not meet the "perfect roots" criterion of the contest. Things play out in highly amusing fashion, with a hilarious reveal of the... exotically-shaped... diakon that changes the results of the bet.
Other storylines include a sudden heavy snow on the island, Handa's amusing attempts to learn to prepare pickled daikon with all those roots he's harvested, the impending failure of one family's business due to competition from bigger shops, and a marvelous new-year celebration featuring a lively Lion Dance.
[There's a TV Tropes page on the series. And there's an anime, which I'd like to see.]