Otogizoushi takes place in the mid-Heian period (roughly 1000ad). Kyoto is ravaged by starvation and epidemic, nevertheless the lords and samurai continue their ugly struggle for political supremacy.
The Imperial Court, sympathetic towards the suffering of the people, orders Minamoto no Raikou, a master archer, to find and retrieve the sacred jade jewels that promises to restore peace to Kyoto. Raikou, however, also falls ill due to the epidemic. His youngest sister, Hikaru, decides secretly to make the journey in his place.