Spring Snow is the first part of a four-part series. The story starts in 1912 when Meiji Japan sees aristocracy dissolve as westernization and democracy take over. Shigekuni Honda is study law and is friends with Kiyoaki Matsugae, who possesses samurai heritage. Honda is pragmatic and duty-bound. However, Kiyoaki becomes enamoured with childhood friend Satoko Ayakura when another pursues her. Honda and Satoko have a clandestine affair, and Honda acts as the communicator between the lovers. Satoko isolates herself in a nunnery, and Kiyoaki dies from grief, declaring that he will meet her again. This first volume sets the scene for the next installment, where beauty and love are darkened by futility.