Kim Doo-han lost his mom at the age of eight and he survives on the streets as a singing beggar. His natural born fighting skills places him on the mean streets of Jongro with the kisaeng house Woomigwan at the center. He is soon recognized for his incredible strength and ability. He finds out through Shin Ma-jeok, the head of a student gang, that he is the son of General Kim Jwa-jin who fought against the Japanese army. Meanwhile, the Yakuzas expand their sphere of influence and try to take over the Jongro streets but Doo-han protects the Korean vendors of Jongro and wins their respect. When the head of Woomigwan, Kim Gi-hwan is arrested, Doo-han becomes the leader of the Jongro gang.