Sanjuro, a wandering samurai goes into a country community in nineteenth century Japan. After gaining from the innkeeper that the town is separated in between two mobsters, he plays one side off against the various other. His efforts are complicated by the arrival of the cunning Unosuke, the son of one of the gangsters, that owns a revolver. Unosuke has actually Sanjuro beaten after he rejoins an abducted woman with her other half and child, after that massacres his daddy's opponents. Throughout the massacre, the samurai gets away with the aid of the innkeeper; but while recovering at a close-by holy place, he learns of innkeeper's abduction by Unosuke, and go back to the town to face him.