Kenta, a young minstrel playing in saloons, is approached by a gang of thugs, who claim he is encroaching on their territory. Although he appears strong enough to defend himself, Kenta offers no resistance when the thugs beat him. A wandering poet finds him and offers him refuge in a slum, which includes the ruins of a manufacturing firm bombed during the war. The daughter and son of the factory owner still live there, dreaming of some day rebuilding the business, but a group of gangsters also are interested in the land. The gangsters have attempted to drive off the local inhabitants, but the slum dwellers side with Michiko, the manufacturer's daughter, in resisting the mob. With Kenta's arrival, the people feel they have a champion, but he refuses to help during the next attack by the gang. Curious about Kenta's background, one of the mobsters learns he is a former prizefighter whose overwhelming strength once killed his best friend in the ring. When it is revealed that the dead fighter was also Michiko's older brother, the slum residents drive Kenta away. Kenta finds the poet in the street nearly dead from a gangster beating and becomes so enraged that he returns to help the slum people drive off the gangsters.
Released in Japan in 1961 as Higashi kara kita otoko.