Tatsuya Nakadai stars as Genta, a former samurai who became disillusioned with the samurai lifestyle and left it behind to become a wandering yakuza (gang) member. He meets Hanjiro Tabata (Etsushi Takahashi) a farmer who wants to become a samurai to escape his powerless existence. Genta and Tabata wind up on opposite sides of clan intrigue when seven members of a local clan assassinate their chancellor. Although the seven, led by Tetsutaro Oikawa (Naoko Kubo) rebelled with the support of their superior, Ayuzama (Shigeru Kôyama), he turns on them and sends members of the clan to kill them as outlaws.
The film is a comically exaggerated exploration of what it is to be a samurai. The characters in the movie either give up samurai status or fight to attain it, and samurai are seen behaving both honorably and very badly. The film has a parodic tone, with numerous references to earlier samurai films.