Set in the 17th century, this earnest religious drama follows the struggle of the Catholic church to establish itself in Japan. Through missionaries and young Japanese converts, the Church seems about to solidify its position in the Nagasaki area when a Shogun, wanting to protect Japanese culture and traditions, rebels, and orders the slaying of four Japanese priests. The story then jumps to modern times and centers on Jane Powell, a lovely European cultural commissary who has come to Nagasaki to see a new opera about the killings by Edward Ishita. The story of one of the priests who is tortured while the Shogun attempts to force him to give up his faith unfolds in even greater detail as she visits the city's historical sites and muses upon the city's changes since her last visit.
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