Aging samurai Hanshiro Tsugumo arrives at the home of Kageyu Saito and asks to commit a ritual suicide on the property, which Saito thinks is a ploy to gain pity and a job. Saito tells Tsugumo of another samurai, Motome Chijiiwa, who threatened suicide as a stratagem, only to be forced to follow through on the task. When Tsugumo reveals that Chijiiwa was his son-in-law, the disclosure sets off a fierce conflict.
Taking its title from an archaic Japanese word meaning “ghost story,” this anthology adapts four folk tales. A penniless samurai marries for money with tragic results. A man stranded in a blizzard is saved by Yuki the Snow Maiden, but his rescue comes at a cost. Blind musician Hoichi is forced to perform for an audience of ghosts. An author relates the story of a samurai who sees another warrior’s reflection in his teacup.