This novel pivots around Nagata Tokuhon, a traveling physician who existed during the Warring States period in Japan.
Regardless of what kind of treatment Dr. Tokuhon provides, his patients are charged a small remuneration of 16 'mon' ('mon' is an old Japanese unit of currency; 16 'mon' would roughly equal US$7 nowadays). Due to his generosity with the affordable fees, people gladly call him "The 16 'mon' doctor".
In this novel you will also meet Nisuke, the second son of a peasant, who becomes Dr.Tokuhon's trusty disciple.
The current time is 'the 10th year of Tensho' (A.D. 1582). While Nobunaga Oda of Owari Province and Katsuyori Takeda of Kai Province are fighting, Dr. Tokuhon and Nisuke travel in order to provide medical treatment and meet various patients.
Under Dr. Tokuhon's teachings, Nisuke thinks about life and death while chasing after his ultimate dream: to become a physician as laudable as his mentor.