Wolverine is re-imagined as a 17th century Japanese ronin - a samurai without a master, and one who seemingly cannot die. He has vowed to avenge his fallen master, but has strayed from that path. But when death comes to his door, he finds a new path.
FULL PLOT: SPOILERS
In the year 1600, at the battle of Sekigahara, a master of a group of samurai is killed. His samurai - now ronin, masterless - vow vengeance, but as time goes by their vengeance remains unfulfilled.
On the roads of the Shogunate, a ronin (with facial hair like modern Wolverine) hears of a legendary ronin who seemingly cannot die. Reading a hidden message in a prayer left at a shrine, he travels for a week to a secret meeting place near the city of Mito. There is ambushed by a masked armoured warrior, and uses metal claws to fight him. The armoured warrior is revealed to be his fellow samurai, once bound by the same master. The armoured warrior beheads the ronin while a wandering drunk secretly observes the scene, and the armoured warrior steals the ronin's metal claws.
Five weeks later at a tavern, the locals debate the Daimyo - a new leader who has arisen. One man claims he is keeping bandits at bay on the roads, while others claim he is too preoccupied to lead and hint he is no good. Near by is the same drunkard from near Mito city, and a tired ronin, who looks exactly like the one the drunkard saw beheaded (bearded like Wolverine).
The drunkard, not knowing they are two different men, commends the ronin on pretending to die, and acts out the scene. The drunkard claims this ronin must be the legendary ronin that cannot die. Knowing something strange has happened, the ronin (essentially Wolverine in the story) travels to the meeting place outside Mito city.
There he finds the buried remains of the beheaded samurai - his "brother", once serving the same master. The armoured warrior appears again, and the two skilled fighters battle. The armoured samurai is unmasked, and it is revealed that he too looks exactly like Wolverine; he explains that their old master made all his samurai look the same, to remove their individuality. But when he was captured by the Daimyo, he was forced to change sides, and was tasked to kill his brother samurai.
"Wolverine" hates this new world, forgetting the way of the samurai, and hates his failure for not avenging his master. Disgusted with his one-time "brother", Wolverine kills the armoured warrior, taking the stolen metal claws. Renewing his vow, knowing now the Daimyo is the one he must kill, Wolverine sets off to find him.