This tale of love and loss, based on a story by Teru Miyamoto, opens with the twelve-year-old Yumiko mourning the loss of her aged grandmother. Years later, Yumiko, now a graceful young woman, lives in a small Osaka apartment with her husband, Ikuo, and their infant son. Their lives together are happy--until the day the police come to tell Yumiko that Ikuo has thrown himself in front of a train, leaving no note or clue why. Heartbroken, Yumiko fears that she somehow brings death to those she loves. As she recovers from this second tragedy, Yumiko marries a kind widower, Tamio, and moves in with her son to his remote seaside village. The new family makes a harmonious start in this wild, breathtaking place. But when Yumiko revisits Osaka, old memories are reawakened and she falls into a state of inconsolable grief and confusion. Seeking to explain Ikuo's suicide, Tamio tells Yumiko about the maborosi, a mysterious, captivating light that appears to sailors and lures them far out into the sea.