Komayo, a geisha in Tokyo's Shinbashi entertainment district, meets an old patron, Yoshioka, an industrialist, for the first time in a long while. He makes love to her that night, and proposes to buy her freedom. However, she loves Segawa, a kabuki actor who plays female roles. By way of revenge, Yoshioka instead buys the freedom of Kikuchiyo, another geisha in the same house as Komayo. Meanwhile, Segawa is seeing Kimiryu, a geisha who inherited property, and avoids Komayo. The master of the house, Gozan, takes pity on Komayo, and gives her stock in the geisha house so that she can become its madam. Nagai uses his story to criticize prevailing attitudes in Japan as it entered the modern era.
Iwanami Shoten, Publishers