Yukiko Takayama directs this period romantic drama about the conflict between beauty and love. The film centers on Princess Hagi (Kaori Takahashi), a beautiful Heian era (794-1192) aristocrat who lives in regal splendor replete with silk robes and a stables full of servants. Though she quietly longs for the love of handsome yet debauched court official Yasumaro (Hiroshi Abe), she is committed to be the courtesan for the Emperor, a role she fears in spite of its great honor. Meanwhile, other less auspicious suitors gather at the gates, hoping for her hand in marriage. One is Jiro (Shinobu Sakagami), the wholesome yet uncouth son of a provincial lord who ventured to Kyoto to make his name. Another, more sinister alternative is a mysterious thief who will stop at nothing -- including rape -- to have his prize. Shima Iwashita also appears as a shaman who helps the bumbling Jiro.
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