It is 1991, the 50th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, when Japanese businessman/Karate master/Zen Buddhist Hiroshi Nakamura goes deep into the heart of Texas to salvage a land deal. At stake are family honor and the survival of his father’s Tokyo company. All because the volatile widow who owns the Lazy T, the cattle ranch he must have, has backed out of a verbal agreement to sell.
When Hiroshi and his associate, Takeshi, arrive at their destination, their presence detonates an explosion of incidents that affect Jesse Trent Tucker, the strong-willed widow who is fighting to keep her family's fifth-generation ranch, and ensure the future of her precocious 10-year-old daughter. Unresolved are the conflicting emotions she feels for C.C., the taciturn Lazy T foreman she has secretly loved since childhood, and an unexpected mutual attraction between her and Nakamura.
The "gentlemen from Japan" also ignite racial confrontations when locals become fearful that a World War II enemy is planning to take over Texas land. But the most serious issue is that the pair has inadvertently interfered with a major land swindle involving the Lazy T, and this places their lives in jeopardy.
In an effort to buy time before escrow closes on the Lazy T sale, Hiroshi manipulates Jesse into letting him and Takeshi, both experienced Western-style riders, help with an upcoming roundup, which sparks humorous cultural incidents. But soon incidents of a threatening nature begin to occur.
Hiroshi survives a vehicular manslaughter attempt on his life and uses karate to avenge the near-death beating of Takeshi; Jesse refuses to give in to vandals and faces down a mob of racists; and C.C. fights for the woman he loves and saves Hiroshi’s life.
By the novel's end, the banker orchestrating the land swindle and the cohort responsible for the attacks on Hiroshi, Takeshi and Jesse, have been apprehended. Character arcs have altered those involved in finding resolutions for personal, business and cultural problems. And Hiroshi Nakamura returns to Japan a changed man because of his experiences as a Tokyo cowboy.