as the ancient order of samurai lost influence in japan through the late 19th century, once- noble families and centuries-old traditions were cast aside. powerful families became destitute and dishonoured.
yumiko's parents, descendants of a samurai archer dynasty close to the royal family, gift thier first-born at the age of ten to the reclusive emperor, taishō, as a concubine. this pleases him and he accepts others from these age-old families into the rarified atmosphere of the imperial household. they become his most trusted aides and bodyguards. each geisha embodies a different samurai heritage, their inherent skills are nurtured and encourage to preserve the tradition of "bushido".
germany and japan form political and trade agreements to open up vital new supply routes and as a symbol of this new alliance gift a new, retro-fitted zeppelin and military aid to the emperor. japan has been attacked by a bolshevik-inspired china and the now old and poorly emperor takes to the skies to command his campaign, defended by his trusted geish bodyguard. the best are trained as pilots and yumiko excels in her new role.
agile, silver-camouflaged pfalz triplanes become their fighter aircraft and, though armed with spandau machine guns, yumiko carries her heirloom bow and arrow in the cockpit and prefers to despatch her enemies at close range... her flight mask is attached to liquid oxygen breathing apparatus, vital at 20,000 feet.
she and her geisha sisters swarm from the zeppelin's flight deck to defend "the imperial cloud" and their beloved emperor.