In 1970 Dr Akizuki leaves his hospital in Nagasaki to undertake a lecture tour of America on behalf of the Paper Chance Peace Foundation in preparation for the 25th anniversary commemoration of the dropping of the bomb on Nagasaki.
Left alone Nurse Hana sings of half remembered images from her past that trouble her, and her hope that by remembering more fully she might be reconciled to them.
In America a Roman Catholic priest, Father Marshall, resists the wishes of his curate to respond from a request from Dr Akizuki to speak to a meeting in his church. The mention of the name Akizuki reawakens memories for Father Marshall of his past as a young man in Japan after the war - married to a japanese girl Hideko; of how they heard the news that they were to become parents and also that Hideko had been diagnosed as having radiation sickness.
Father Marshall reveals to the curate that both his wife and child subsequently died. He gives permission for the visit of Dr Akizuki to go ahead.
On the day of the vsit Dr Akizuki arrives and while the curates search for Father Marshall, Dr Akizuki recalls visiting Hideko in hospital on the day she is reunited with her brother, Hayashi, upon his release from prison, having served a sentence inposed as a result of his role as a prison camp commandent during the war.
Hideko and Hayashi recall their childhood together. Hideko's daughter Hana, now a five year old, arrives followed by her father, John Marshall.
The atmosphere between John Marshall and Hayashi is acrimonious and Hayashi gives vent to his bitterness at the treatment after the war and the fact that his sister married an american.
Father Marshall and Dr Akizuki are reunited. Marshall reveals that when he returned to America he too served a prison sentence after which he took holy orders. They recall the last time they met,late in Hideko's illness, as she tried to prepare Marshall for the prospect of bringing up Hana alone. As people assemble for the meeting Dr Akizuki asks Father Marshall why he has never returned to Japan. Father Marshall says that after he heard that his daughter too had died, there seemed no reason to return.
Dr Akizuki reveals that Hana didn't die, she is in fact a nurse working at his hospital in Nagasaki.
As Father Marshall leaves for Japan, he is apprehensive at the propspect of being reunited with his daughter
In Japan, Dr Akizuki tells Hana that he has met her father and that he is coming to Japan to meet her. She is resentful that he is retrurning after so many years absence and asks DrAkizuki to tell him that she does not want to meet him
Her uncle Hayashi arrives and confronts Dr Akizuki, who reveals that he now knows that Hayashi sent a letter to Marshall in jail, telling him not to return as Hana, like her mother, had died of radiation sickness. hana overhears this and challenges her uncle. Hayashi tries to expalin why he behaved as he did and takes them back to the day in 1945 when in Fukuoka 14 prisoner of war camp adjacent to the Mitsubishi shipyard in the heart of Nagasaki, Hideki, her mother arrived and told him that their parents had been killed in the Tokyo bombing raids. Marcshall, a young bomber pilot in the camp, takes the brunt of Hayashi's anger
On the mmorning of the commemoration ceremony, Hana and her father are reunited in the Nagaski Peace Park. An irate Hayashi arrives and forces Marshall to tell his daughter why he was sent to prison. It is finally revealed what happened at the prisoner-of-war camp on the moring of August 9th 1945 and also how Hideko came to die, eight years later.