In Japan in the 1970s, a calligrapher delicately writes a birthday greeting on his daughter's face. When the little girl grows up, she remembers the event with such fondness that she begins a search for a calligrapher-lover who will use her whole body as his personal paper. Eventually, she comes across an English translator (Ewan McGregor) who convinces her to be the pen and not the paper. He takes her writing, on his body, to publishers in what seems to be an ideal situation. However, the plan is too successful, and petty jealousies begin to tear apart their passionate relationship. Peter Greenaway directs.