The story centers around a young man named Utsumi Bunzo, the son of a direct vassal of the Tokugawa shogun. The novel has no ending because apparently, Shimei did not want it to end with a happy ending. Additionally, he also did not finish the book because somehow he didn't really know if a career as a writer was worthwhile. He gave up writing altogether despite his obvious talent and the novel was never completed. He made a comeback as a writer later, however, twenty years later, but the novel was never completed. This book, while it was never finished, strongly influenced fellow authors in his day with its realist style.