Kutsukake Tokijiro is a lone gambler and yakuza who wanders from place to place. Wandering gamblers were frequently regarded as outcasts and were not welcomed in highway inns. Instead they stayed at residences of the gambler-bosses along the way, incurring a debt of obligation in exchange for a night's lodging. Usually that debt of obligation is to murder someone.
Kutsukake Tokijiro's debt of obligation is that he has to join a plot to slay Mutsuda Sanzou, the last survivor of the Nakanogawa Family. Tokijiro admits to Sanzou, "I am a wanderer and gambler. A worm! I don't have any grudge and or hatred against you. However, I have to kill you because of my 'debt of obligation' to my gangster boss."
After a duel in which Tokijiro kills Sanzou, Tokijiro can't leave Sanzou's pregnant wife, Okinu, and his son,@Tarokichi,@because Sanzou's last wish was for Tokijiro to take care of them. So he embarks on an aimless journey with them.
Tokijiro tries hard to live a normal life for Okinu and Tarokichi giving up his life as a gambler and yakuza. But he must face the stern realities of life. One day, during their stay in a highway inn, Tokijiro gets a lucrative job offer from Yasubei, the owner of the inn. It's a very dangerous job but Tokijiro wants to take itcthen he accepts a deal.
Okinu and Tokijiro have fallen in love by now and Okinu is uneasy about Tokijiro taking this job. "Don't worry," he tells her. "I will be back! I must be back!" Tokijiro leaves with Yasubei hoping that with this last job, he will be able to leave his old life as a yakuza behind forever.