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In ancient Japan, Tsukue, a brooding and violent samurai of aristocratic heritage, believes that a man can control his destiny only as well as he can handle his sword. Feeling the need for a woman, he cuts down a friend and takes the man's widow, Ohama, for himself. His action arouses the wrath of the murdered man's younger brother, Hyoma, who enrolls at a fencing school to prepare himself for the day when he will take his revenge. One day Tsukue visits the school and challenges Hyoma to a duel; Tsukue wins, and the two men part without knowing each other's true identity. When Hyoma eventually learns that Tsukue was his brother's killer, he sends him a formal note of challenge, but Tsukue kills Ohama and leaves for Kyoto. Hyoma follows him there but learns that Tsukue has been killed in a sword fight with his samurai clan.