Japan in the late 16th century was a land in turmoil. Lords of the great clans schemed against each other, served by samurai bound to them by a rigid code of honor. Bennosuke is a high-born but lonely teenager living in his ancestral village. He was raised by his uncle Dorinbo, a Buddhist monk who urges him to forgo violence embrace the contemplative life. But Bennosuke worships his absent father, and when Munisai returns, gravely injured, Bennosuke must confront his family's history.