Delpeut's exquisitely crafted drama is at once a travelogue, a love story, a tribute to Mizoguchi, and a gentle satire about Western attitudes toward Japan. Felice (Leysen) is a nineteenth century photographer and explorer who returns to Japan after an absence of six years in search of O-kiku, his former wife. Delpeut, a film historian and archivist, uses old photographs to bring Felice's journey to life. Felice is an observer who always seems to be looking in on life. Delpeut's approach likewise veers toward the academic. Nevertheless, the final encounter between the traveller and the woman he lost is all the more affecting because it is handled with such detached, understatment.