Gengo is a samurai warrior whose code of honour is as rigid as the social stratification of the world through which he passes. Whilst his strength and courage in conflict is as admirable as that of 'the Westerner', his inability to come to terms with the limitations of his inflexibility is fraught with another kind of danger.
When he is first seduced, then robbed by Koman, a young geisha, his one thought is to avenge himself. This is his route to the preservation of his honour. His pursuit of Koman and her husband, Sango, is merciless and bloody, and all those he believes to be connected with the couple, are ruthlessly slaughtered.
A bitter irony emerges when it is revealed to what end the money stolen by Koman was to be used.
What began for Gengo as a quest against those who have wronged him, now becomes a journey into his own despair.