I Live in Fear (1955)
"Ikimono no kiroku" (original title)

 |  Drama  |  25 January 1967 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 2,579 users  
Reviews: 24 user | 32 critic

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
Minoru Chiaki ...
Jiro Nakajima
Eiko Miyoshi ...
Toyo Nakajima
Kyôko Aoyama ...
Sue Nakajima
Haruko Tôgô ...
Yoki 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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Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


The original Japanese title, "Ikimono no kiroku," is literally translated into "Record of A Living Being." See more »


Referenced in Rhapsody in August (1991) See more »

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User Reviews

Good film
1 April 2005 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

I felt I had to post because this film, not one of my favorites by Kurosawa but still a one of quality and intelligence, keeps getting bashed by reviewers. The low score (compared to other Kurosawa films) shouldn't discourage potential viewers. Granted, this film takes more patience than some of his other films. However, the subject matter of the atomic bomb and how Japanese society and individuals deal I thought was very seminal. The whole concept of fear is deeply imbued into the film and it questions the sanity of the viewer and the world who live under the constant threat of universal destruction with ignorant self-assurance. The ideas are intelligent and presented with clarity. This film is complete and good in itself and doesn't need to rely on the name of Kurosawa to justify itself. Not a good Kurosawa film to start off with if one is trying to nurse an interest in his fecund movies but a good movie to watch nonetheless particularly if one is at all curious about how Japanese people feel about the horror of the atomic bomb.

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