Early in 1945, Naval Lieutenant Kenji Minato is in internment in San Diego as a Japanese spy. When his offer to spy for U.S. Intelligence is accepted, he asks that an old school friend, Corporal Tom Okada, be his control. In Tokyo, their mission is to identify members of a Peace Faction in Japan and estimate its strength. Natasha Cairns, the mixed-blood widow of an English agent, becomes their wireless operator. Amidst the terrors of the blanket bombing of Tokyo and the devastation of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Minato and Okada find out more about themselves than they do about the Peace Faction as they both struggle to come to terms with the Japanese dogma that links death for Emperor with honour, and surrender with dishonour.