Senko Ikenobo, a joyful young monk, shows virtuoso talent with his astonishingly beautiful but unusual ikebana (flower arrangements). When he is promoted to head monk, the pressures of leadership weighs down on the free-spirited Senko. However, it was through a chance meeting with the austere tea master Rikyu that he was able to find peace and reignite his passion for life and ikebana. This also marked a life-long friendship between the monk and the tea master.
Whilst domestic wars have yielded to a peacetime of flourishing culture and arts, the unpredictable new shogun keeps people on their toes. His temper eventually causes a misunderstanding with Rikyu, one of his confidants. Despite their friendship, he orders the tea master to commit ritual suicide.
After Rikyu’s death, the shogun continues to mete out severe punishments for minor offences. As Rikyu continues to lose people close to him, he decides to confront the shogun—armed only with flowers, artwork and conciliatory Buddhist teachings.