Shôhei Imamura directs this classic Japanese drama following the life of a working-class woman who attempts to overcome the poverty of her childhood. Born in 1918 to a poor family, Tome Matsuki (Sachiko Hidari) falls pregnant at 20 and takes up work at a factory. After ending an affair with her boss, Tome leaves her daughter behind and heads to Tokyo hoping to find a better life. While there, she gets a job as a maid at a brothel but, picking up trade tips, soon becomes the house madam. Will the wealth and comfort she has sought follow?