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It's 16th Century civil war wracked Japan. Takezo, a handsome, hard-drinking: master swordsman-poet-ninja-kabuki actor-detective-bodyguard, is in love with the famous geisha Miou, and dreams of retiring with her to the mountains. Hired to find a missing noblewoman, the trail leads him through a string of puzzling geisha murders. Joined in his adventures by a diverse band of shipwrecked foreigners, he escapes several assassination attempts as he fights his way to the heart of the mystery.