Peace in Seventeenth-century Japan causes the Shogunate’s breakup of warrior clans, throwing hundreds of samurai out of labor and into poverty. An honorable finish to such destiny underneath the samurai code is ritual suicide, or hara-kiri (self-inflicted disembowelment). An elder warrior, Hanshiro Tsugumo (Tatsuya Nakadai) seeks admittance to the home of a feudal lord to commit the act. There, he learns of the destiny of his son-in-law, a younger samurai who sought work on the home however was as an alternative barbarically pressured to commit conventional hara-kiri in an excruciating method with a uninteresting bamboo blade. In flashbacks, the samurai tells the tragic story of his son-in-law, and the way he was pressured to promote his actual sword to help his sick spouse and little one. Tsugumo thus units in movement a tense showdown of revenge in opposition to the home.