Torii Enshin was the son of a high-ranking warrior in the late-fifteenth century and a skilled swordsman. He was disturbed at the sad lives of the common people and became a priest. He intended to devote his life to healing the poor who suffered everywhere in war-torn Japan. But then found himself reluctantly having to use his samurai skills once again… These short stories, drawn from his own accounts, follow Enshin and his faithful companion, Kuroi-san (or Mr Black), a black ox, and later both joined by a former carpenter who served Enshin’s father. Together, the three wander across Japan, their adventures presenting a fascinating picture of life at a number of levels in the centuries of unrest before the Tokugawa at the beginning of the sixteenth century subjected the country to their iron grip.