Park Yeol (played by Lee Je-hoon) is a Korean poet living in Tokyo in the early nineteen-twenties. Being a poet doesn't pay much, so he has to moonlight as a rickshaw driver and also makes appearances at the local Korean bar. Park Yeol is also a terrorist, albeit not a very successful one, on account of the fact that making working explosives is hard. But in the wake of an unexpected calamity, Park Yeol turns the situation to his advantage, proving to be a master of media manipulation.
Now, Park Yeol was a real person, a storied hero for Korean independence. But far from being portrayed as noble in any obvious way, director Lee Joon-ik instead makes him out to be a base hooligan. Park Yeol's behavior would seem psychopathic except for the fact that he's fighting, and more importantly outsmarting, Japanese racists who are immediately deplorable and a Japanese Empire that has since been discredited by history.