In 1613, four low-ranking Japanese Samurai, accompanied by a Spanish priest, set sail for Mexico on an unprecedented mission: to bargain for a Catholic crusade through Japan in exchange for trading rights with the West. Among the first Japanese ever to set foot in Europe, they travel to Rome and gain an audience with the Pope. All are baptized, hoping to curry favor with their European hosts. But upon returning to Japan, they discover that the Shoguns no longer wish to forge links with the West, nor will they tolerate the Christian religion. The seven-year mission has been in vain. Disgraced and tormented, the Samurai begin to identify deeply with the crucified Christ they formerly reviled. Based on historical fact, this is a powerful examination of the impact of external events on our deepest beliefs.