The story centers around Ryouken, a young man who lamented his misfortune and despised temples and monks. He had placed all his hope on his unborn child, but an unfortunate incident took everything away from him. In his time of despair and suffering in the dark, Ryouken came across the preachings of the holy priest Rennyo. They tell the answer to why we live, as revealed by the monk Shinran. Finding new meaning, Ryouken becomes Rennyo's apprentice. Angry at the increase of followers at Hongan-ji temple, the other Buddhist sects chase Rennyo and Ryouken out of Kyoto. Seeking a new place of worship, the two arrive in Yoshizaki (Fukui) in the Hokuriku region.