Botchan is one of Japan's most popular novels for young people for its meditations upon Japanese culture, lively characters, and coming-of-age theme. The titular character is a young, headstrong and reckless youth who is nevertheless possessed of a serious sense of honor and integrity. Although his temper and impulsiveness create problems, Botchan's moral convictions underpin his journey: indeed, whether he will compromise his morals is the central question. After taking a job as a junior teacher in a local middle school, Botchan comes into conflict with Red Shirt; his school's eloquent but manipulative and conniving head teacher. Vying for the hand of a local beauty, Red Shirt will stop at nothing to achieve his aims, using his position and the system to undermine or defeat others. However a hot tempered but justice-seeking mathematics teacher, Yama Arashi, is determined to oppose such underhand behavior. Who will Botchan side with in the end?