|Keira Knightley||Helene Joncour|
|Michael Pitt||Herve Joncour|
|Koji Yakusho||Hara Jubei|
|Miki Nakatani||Madame Blanche|
|Sei Ashina||The Girl|
|Kenneth Welsh||Mayor Joncour|
|Callum Keith Rennie||Trader|
French silkworm trader Hervé is married to the beautiful Hélène . When an outbreak of disease ravages European silkworms, Hervé must travel to Japan to retrieve healthy eggs. After a long journey, Hervé finally arrives at a village where he can buy them. Here he becomes infatuated with a young concubine and goes to great lengths to see her again. But, when war breaks out in Japan, the concubine flees, forcing Hervé to return home to his wife.