Ryuichi Okagawa, a Japanese writer who worked as a reporter in China has been sick ever since his return home. While in China, Okagawa had met a devoutly religious girl named Jin-hua. Okagawa was born with a predisposition to agonizing recurrent migraines, but found happiness with Jin-hua and married her. Unfortunately, he already had a wife in Japan, and this revelation crushed Jin-hua. When Okagawa returned home, leaving Jin-hua behind, she was forced to work as a prostitute, catching both a severe case of the flu and a rather less socially acceptable condition. Meanwhile, Okagawa's guilt has torn him apart enough for him to return to China in an attempt to bring Jin-hua home with him to get medical attention, but the girl is already too far gone for his help.