Reiko Murata is shocked and dismayed when she receives a haiku poem from her late husband, an admiral in the Japanese Imperial Navy, suggesting she follow his example in committing seppuku, ritual suicide, an appeal she strongly resists.
It’s 1947, and Reiko lives a solitary and uneventful life. As she grieves his death, and struggles to deal with her loneliness, she feels torn between her desire for autonomy and the rigid customs that define Japanese society.
In her search, she encounters a younger man, Akira Kusano. They begin an affair, but she is wary of a deeper relationship, especially when she discovers he is connected to the yakuza. She’s drawn into the crime syndicate’s orbit when Akira introduces her to Kazuo Fujita, the yakuza godfather. Despite her misgivings and warnings from Akira, she begins working with Fujita, and finds herself at the center of a mystery involving secret maps to a hidden fortune called Golden Lily.