Filming in 1946, just after the war, many of the cast and crew were living very poor lives, going hungry quite often. One of the actors recalled a personal story of his stomach growling during filming, causing the scene to have to be shot again.
The two piano pieces that Yukie is heard playing are the final movement ("The Great Gate of Kiev") from Pictures at an Exhibition by Modeste Mussorgsky and the Prelude in E-flat Major, Op. 28, No. 19, by Frederic Chopin.
The film, co written by Akira Kurosawa and 'Eijiro Hisaita' over twenty days, was based on the true stories of persecuted liberal professor Yukitoki Takigawa in the early 1930's and expelled student Hotsumi Ozaki who was executed for treason in 1944.
Four days before the film was released, the workers at Toho went on strike, which lasted 51 days. Almost all of the studios most recognizable actors had walked, along with a few prominent directors, which opened up more opportunities for director Akira Kurosawa and unknown actor Toshirô Mifune.
The scenes of the student demonstrations, filmed outside the gate of Kyoto University, contains fairly older looking students. That was because, aside from the main cast of characters, the rest of the "students" were played by all the assistant directors in an effort to keep costs low.