Inugami (literal translation "dog spirit") are familiar spirits created by burying a dog up to his neck and letting it starve to death. Their owners receive wealth and success, at the expense of being shunned by other people. But the Inugami are fickle, and if their owners offend them they will turn on them instead of their enemies. Akira Nutahara is a young grade-school teacher who gets transferred to a school in a remote mountain village. There he falls in love with lonely spinster and paper maker Miki Bonomiya. It isn't long before he discovers the Bonomiya family is shunned due to their connection to the Inugami, and because of other, darker family secrets.