Tôyô and Yoshiko Mahiru, two Japanese scientists, settle in a small town surrounded by forest in France’s Jura region.
Tôyô, a musicologist, is searching for a dog that sings. Yoshiko, his wife, is researching an ancient religious settlement once found in France and Japan. They’ve bought everything they need with them – tatamis, dried seaweed and portraits of their ancestors – thereby arousing the curiosity of the town’s inhabitants.
Tôyô is quickly overtaken by a strange, compelling and almost crazy idea. He feels that one of the locals desires Yoshiko and sees this as a way to ensure a descendant to their childless marriage. He secretly organizes his disappearance to leave the young man room to be near his wife.