Set in rural Japan in 1895, a housewife, Seki (Kazuko Yoshiyuki) has a torrid affair with a younger man, Toyoji (Tatsuya Fiji), a soldier recently returned from the first Chinese war. Following a passionate encounter when Toyoji shaves Seki's pubic hair, the couple decide that Seki's elderly husband Gisaburo (Takahiro Tamura) must die rather than discover their sordid secret. Having committed the murder and disposed of the body, then explain his absence by claiming that Gisaburo has departed for Tokyo to find work. Three years after his death, Gisaburo's ghost starts appearing to the lovers and other villagers. The threat of discovery and retribution heightens the murderers' guilty desperation and, perversely, their illicit passion.