Alton Burrage, once an Air Corps bombardier, returns to Japan ten years after the war, superficially on assignment as foreign correspondent for his home town Tennessee newspaper But he has deeper reasons though he can never quite define them. It was on a mission over Yamato that his twin brother was killed (""murdered"" Burrage puts it) and he received the scar which disfigures him. He arrives in Yamato full of resentments which he does not hesitate to express: refers to the Japanese as ""Japs"", ""Nips"", etc. The relationship between his attitude and his work never seems to occur to him. He does get one story though which creates a stir: he discovers that the residents of a nearby village had raised a monument to an American flyer who was shot down during the war and buried in their village. This knowledge and the fact that he has fallen in love with Amiko leads Alton to suspect that the Japanese may be human after all. He also wonders if the dead pilot might be his brother. Eventually he learns that the pilot was murdered by the villagers, that Amiko, who was then still a child, was involved, and that the monument was raised by the righteous Nagata as a rebuke to the community. This increasing complexity, however, serves to clarify matters for Burrage and he comes away from the situation purged of his hatred and in fuller possession of himself. And the likelihood is that he will marry Amiko. All of this might make for an interesting and convincing story if Burrage himself were more of a human being. But then Bowen Hosford's triteness, superficial knowledge and unbearable patronizing attitude is probably too much to overcome.