While staying in Washington, D.C., Tennessee-born Gwen Harold falls in love with and marries Japanese diplomat Hidenari Terasaki, despite the objections from her family. When the Japanese attack Pearl Harbor, Gwen, Terry and their daughter Mako are sent to Japan in exchange for American diplomats stationed there. Because of Terry's long opposition to the war party, he is stripped of his rank and carefully watched by the Kempei-tai, the secret police. In addition, Gwen is torn between allegiance to her native country and affection for her new home, and is treated with hostility by the Japanese. When Japan eventually surrenders, Terry is appointed to act as a liaison between Emperor Hirohito and General MacArthur, but the war years have taken a toll on Terry's health. To spare his wife and child, Terry insists they return to the U.S., however, where he will join them later. Gwen has learned of her husband's illness and is torn between staying with him or respecting his wishes.