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Hironoshin is a samurai of the Echigo-Nagaoka clan. One day, Hironoshin attends a party at a mansion in Edo where his lord, Tadakiyo is invited to recite poems. Hironoshin is asked to give his opinion and foolishly comments that the piece was plagiarized. Infuriated, Tadakiyo orders Hironoshin to live his life without honor as a ‘cat flea picker’, which is in fact a pseudonym for a male prostitute. The honest and straight-shooting Hironoshin convinces himself that he has no other options, and resigns himself to live as a sex worker. Hironoshin becomes an apprentice to a flea-picker boss who encourages him, convinced that Hironoshin is exacting revenge in the guise of a prostitute.