1922, Tokyo - Harry Niles is a 'wild child', an American boy in a strange country, ignored by his missionary parents. So Harry begins to lead his own life in the Tokyo underworld. One night, he is charged with delivering a painting to an enigmatic figure, the samurai Ishigami. It is an encounter that will haunt Harry Niles forever.
1937, Nanking - China is under attack. The Japanese army is brutally and systematically murdering and raping the local population. In the midst of this horror, Harry finds himself face to face once again with Lieutenant Ishigami. But for the samurai warrior, their meeting leads to the greatest possible dishonour - public humiliation.
1941, Tokyo - with the attack on Pearl Harbour only days away, Japan is on the brink of war with the United States. Harry Niles has become a man of many faces. Allying himself with both sides, he treads a dangerous - but profitable - path between the fading glory of the Chrysantheum Club, where the city's banking and industrial elite meet, and the shadowy Tokyo underworld.