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I Live in Fear (1955)

Ikimono no kiroku (original title)
An aging, industrialist Japanese man becomes so fearful of nuclear war that it begins to take a toll on his life and family.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Kiichi Nakajima
Domestic Court Counselor Dr. Harada
Jiro Nakajima
Eiko Miyoshi ...
Toyo Nakajima
Kyôko Aoyama ...
Sue Nakajima
Haruko Tôgô ...
Yoshi Nakajima
Noriko Sengoku ...
Kimie Nakajima
Akemi Negishi ...
Asako Kuribayashi
Hiroshi Tachikawa ...
Ryoichi Sayama
Kichijirô Ueda ...
Mr. Kuribayashi father
Eijirô Tôno ...
Old man from Brazil
Yutaka Sada ...
Ichiro Nakajima
Kamatari Fujiwara ...
Ken Mitsuda ...
Judge Araki
Masao Shimizu ...
Yamazaki, Yoshi's husband (as Gen Shimizu)


Kiichi Nakajima, an elderly foundry owner, is so frightened and obsessed with the idea of nuclear extermination that his family decides to have him ruled incompetent. Nakajima's fervent wish is for his family to join him in escaping from Japan to the relative safety of South America. Harada, a civil volunteer in the case, sympathizes with Nakajima's conviction, but the old man's irrational behaviour prevents the court from taking his fears seriously. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

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Release Date:

25 January 1967 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

What the Birds Knew  »

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Company Credits

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Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


This film was one of two that Toho had produced at this time about the threat of nuclear disaster and damage from radiation poisoning - the other film was "Godzilla." See more »


Referenced in Rhapsody in August (1991) See more »

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User Reviews

Story of patriarch, thought mad by family, who wants to re-locate to South America for fear of nuclear attack.
27 July 2004 | by (windsor ontario) – See all my reviews

I Live in Fear is yet another masterpiece by Akira Kurosawa. It tells the story of an aging patriarch who is terrified nuclear attack will destroy his family and the business he has worked to build up his entire life. His children do not wish to leave the comfortable life in Japan which his labours have provided. They believe he is mad and take him to family court for mediation. It becomes the difficult duty of a mediator to decide whether his fears are rational or not. The shadow of Hiroshima and Nagasaki are palpable in the feverish eyes of legendary actor Toshiro Mifune as the father. A thought-provoking time capsule of post-war Japan, the combination of Kurosawa and Mifune should never be missed.

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