In 1939, Kay Jeynes goes to work for the only Japanese businessman in town, the elderly Mr. Miyashita. Despite differences in their age, race, and class, a friendship develops between them in the peaceful vacuum of Mr. Miyashita's office. But as war looms, relations between Canada and Japan grow steadily worse. Travel outside North America becomes impossible for Mr. Miyashita, so he asks Kay to cross the Pacific Ocean to Hong Kong to collect a precious family heirloom, even as the Imperial Navy is maneuvering into position for the attack on Pearl Harbor. On this journey, Kay commits some seemingly small sins of omission. But in the paranoid climate of the times, these little white lies put Mr. Miyashita at risk of being arrested as a spy.