Up 4,647 this week

The Human Condition II: Road to Eternity (II) (1959)
"Ningen no jôken" (original title)

Not Rated  |   |  Drama, History, War  |  February 1961 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 8.5/10 from 2,623 users  
Reviews: 10 user | 25 critic

As a conscript in war-time Japan's military, a pacifist struggles to maintain his determination to keep his ideals.



(screenplay), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
0Check in

On Disc

at Amazon

Celebrate IMDb's 25th Anniversary with Photos We Love

IMDb turns a classy 25 on October 17! To celebrate, we put together a gallery of some of our favorite movie, TV, and event photos from the last 25 years.

See the Photos We Love

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 25 titles
created 12 Sep 2012
a list of 28 titles
created 20 Sep 2012
a list of 39 titles
created 02 Feb 2013
a list of 21 titles
created 01 Mar 2013
a list of 30 titles
created 18 May 2014

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: The Human Condition II: Road to Eternity (1959)

The Human Condition II: Road to Eternity (1959) on IMDb 8.5/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Human Condition II: Road to Eternity.

User Polls

3 wins. See more awards »


Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama | History | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.8/10 X  

His ideals challenged by life as a conscript in war-time Japan's military, a pacifist faces ever greater tests in his fight for survival.

Director: Masaki Kobayashi
Stars: Tatsuya Nakadai, Michiyo Aratama, Tamao Nakamura
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

A Japanese pacifist, unable to face the dire consequences of conscientious objection, is transformed by his attempts to compromise with the demands of war-time Japan.

Director: Masaki Kobayashi
Stars: Tatsuya Nakadai, Michiyo Aratama, Chikage Awashima
Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

The mother of a feudal lord's only heir is kidnapped away from her husband by the lord. The husband and his samurai father must decide whether to accept the unjust decision, or risk death to get her back.

Director: Masaki Kobayashi
Stars: Toshirô Mifune, Yôko Tsukasa, Gô Katô
Harakiri (1962)
Action | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  

An elder ronin samurai arrives at a feudal lord's home and requests an honorable place to commit suicide. But when the ronin inquires about a younger samurai who arrived before him things take an unexpected turn.

Director: Masaki Kobayashi
Stars: Tatsuya Nakadai, Akira Ishihama, Shima Iwashita
Kwaidan (1964)
Fantasy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A collection of four Japanese folk tales with supernatural themes.

Director: Masaki Kobayashi
Stars: Rentarô Mikuni, Michiyo Aratama, Misako Watanabe
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

In mediaeval Japan a compassionate governor is sent into exile. His wife and children try to join him, but are separated, and the children grow up amid suffering and oppression.

Director: Kenji Mizoguchi
Stars: Kinuyo Tanaka, Yoshiaki Hanayagi, Kyôko Kagawa
Action | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Through his unconscionable actions against others, a sociopath samurai builds a trail of vendettas that follow him closely.

Director: Kihachi Okamoto
Stars: Tatsuya Nakadai, Michiyo Aratama, Yûzô Kayama
Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Kobayashi's pitiless take on Japan's professional baseball industry is unlike any other sports film ever made. An excoriation of the inhumanity bred by a mercenary, bribery-fueled business,... See full summary »

Director: Masaki Kobayashi
Stars: Keiji Sada, Keiko Kishi, Minoru Ôki
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

From the Criterion Collection: "Among the first Japanese films to deal directly with the scars of World War II, this drama about a group of rank-and-file Japanese soldiers jailed for crimes... See full summary »

Director: Masaki Kobayashi
Stars: Kô Mishima, Torahiko Hamada, Keiko Kishi
Black River (1957)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Perhaps Kobayashi's most sordid film, Black River is an exposé of the rampant corruption on and around U.S. military bases following World War II. Kobayashi spirals out from the story of a ... See full summary »

Director: Masaki Kobayashi
Stars: Ineko Arima, Fumio Watanabe, Tatsuya Nakadai
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  
Director: Masaki Kobayashi
Stars: Tatsuya Nakadai, Mayumi Ogawa, Kie Nakai
Moeru aki (1979)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
Director: Masaki Kobayashi
Stars: Shinsuke Ashida, Hisashi Igawa, Tsunehiko Kamijô


Cast overview, first billed only:
Michiyo Aratama ...
Kokinji Katsura ...
Sasa Nitôhei
Jun Tatara ...
Hino Jun'i
Michirô Minami ...
Yoshida Jôtôhei
Kei Satô ...
Shinjô Ittôhei
Kunie Tanaka ...
Obara Nitôhei
Ryôhei Uchida ...
Hashitani Gunsô
Kan Yanagiya ...
Tanoue Nitôhei
Kenjiro Uemura ...
Bannai Jôtôhei (as Kenjirô Uemura)
Kaneko Iwasaki ...
Tokunaga Kangofu
Mayumi Kurata ...
Obara's Wife
Taketoshi Naitô ...
Tange Ittôhei
Hideo Kidokoro ...
Kudô Taii
Yoshiaki Aoki ...
Soga Gunsô


Kaji is sent to the Japanese army labeled Red and is mistreated by the vets. Along his assignment, Kaji witnesses cruelties in the army; he revolts against the abusive treatment spent to the recruit Obara that commits suicide; he also sees his friend Shinjô Ittôhei defecting to the Russian border; and he ends in the front to fight a lost battle against the Russian tanks division. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | History | War


Not Rated | See all certifications »




| |

Release Date:

February 1961 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Human Condition II: Road to Eternity  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Kageyama Shôi: You're a clever man, but picking the army as the stage for your battles was a fool's work. It's wiser to play it safe than be stubborn.
See more »


Followed by The Human Condition III: A Soldier's Prayer (1961) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Full-Metal Jacket for Grown-Ups
8 March 2013 | by (Switzerland) – See all my reviews

Part II of Masaki Kobayashi's "Human Condition" follows the noble Kaji (Tatsuya Nakadai), now forced into military service, as he tries to hold on to his conscience despite increasingly absurd circumstances.

If Part I was a POW drama with a love story sub-plot, influencing many that followed it, then Part II is one of the best and rawest of the original boot-camp films, planting seeds for, in particular, "Full Metal Jacket". In fact, Kaji's training with the Imperial Army makes US Boot Camp look like daycare, uninclined as director Kobayashi is to pull punches when it comes to the ritual sadism of the Japanese military, which he personally endured in real life. The film bravely confronts Kaji's attitude, an almost holier-than-thou morality than annoys bullying veterans. This forces Kaji to deeply transform as a character and as a human being, from preppy moralist to actual, worn hero, a transition Nakadai pulls off with tremendous effect and efficiency.

But back to the bigger picture. Like Kubrick's similar – and, one should point out, lesser – film of the same genre, this is two pictures in one: a boot-camp film about the dehumanization of the military, and a war film. The first two thirds are all intensive training, with bullying veterans and hapless recruits. Here Kaji faces an interesting contradiction: he rejects the war with all his heart, yet he has it in him to be a perfect warrior. There is the inevitable inept recruit pushed to the brink subplot, but it is handled with more humanity and sense of absurdity than most other similar films could dream of.

Finally, the film takes us to the front, where all the bluster and empty honor fades in front of a line of charging enemy tanks, a startlingly effective battle scene that separates the men from the boys, though not in ways they had anticipated. Kobayashi's film rejects the traditional "bridge syndrome" typical of middle installments in film trilogies, and gives us the perfect Part II: a self-contained enough story with enough substance and depth to stand on its own, while drawing from its predecessor and opening up interesting possibilities for the finale.

Roll on part III.

6 of 9 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Realistic portrayal of Japanese military musashi7007

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: