Munezo Katagiri (Masatoshi Nagase), an honest and low ranking samurai is trapped in a state of personal and professional imbalance. Secretly in love with his family's maid, Kie (Takako Tabata), Munezo begins an uneasy courtship with her, knowing that a relationship is impossible. Raised to respect traditions from the past and the demanding moral code of the samurai, circumstances have now forced Munezo to look to the future. Required to master western military strategies, particularly the art of artillery, Munezo is ordered to find and kill Yaichiro, a former friend, samurai, and brilliant swordsman. Munezo knows that he cannot beat Yaichiro with fire power alone, so he enlists the help of his old teacher, Kansai Toda, a master swordsman who entrusts Munezo with the secret and power of the Hidden Blade.