1868. In Japan's exotic pleasure quarters, sex is for sale and the only forbidden fruit is love ... Hana is just seventeen when her husband goes to war, leaving her alone and vulnerable.
When enemy soldiers attack her house she flees across the shattered city of Tokyo and takes refuge in the Yoshiwara, its famous pleasure-quarters.There she is forced to become a courtesan. Yozo, brave, loyal and a brilliant swordsman, is pledged to the embattled shogun.
He sails to the frozen north to join his rebel comrades for a desperate last stand.
Defeated, he makes his way south to the only place where a man is beyond the reach of the law - the Yoshiwara. There in the Nightless City where three thousand courtesans mingle with geishas and jesters, the battered fugitive meets the beautiful courtesan.
But each has a secret so terrible that once revealed it will threaten their very lives ...