Ushimatsu (Rentarô Mikuni) is a member of the burakumin caste, a Japanese minority descended from the outcast communities of the feudal era. Discrimination against the burakumin has been officially outlawed, although it is still the de facto way of life in early 20th century Japan. Disguising his background, Ushimatsu is able to attend university and eventually become a schoolteacher himself, but after a friend is murdered, he must risk everything to seek justice.
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