The Human Condition III: A Soldier's Prayer (1961)
"Ningen no jôken" (original title)

Not Rated  |   |  Drama, History, War  |  5 August 1970 (USA)
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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.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Michiyo Aratama ...
Tamao Nakamura ...
Hinannmin no Shôjo
Yûsuke Kawazu ...
Terada Nitôhei
Hinanmin no Chôrô
Taketoshi Naitô ...
Tange Ittôhei
Reiko Hitomi ...
Keijirô Morozumi ...
Hironaka Gôchô
Kôji Kiyomura ...
Hikita Ittôhei
Nobuo Kaneko ...
Kirihara Gôchô
Fujio Suga ...
Nagata Taii
Tatsuya Ishiguro ...
Dôkutsu Taichô
Kazuo Kitamura ...
Kitagô Sôchô
Toshio Takahara ...
Chôsen e Iku Heichô


Part three of a trilogy. After the Japanese defeat to the Russians in the last episode, Kaji, the Japanese soldier and humanist protagonist, leads the last remaining men through Manchuria . Intent on returning to his dear wife and his old life, Kaji faces great odds in a variety of different harrowing circumstances as he and his fellow men sneak behind enemy lines. Ultimately, he finds himself in the exact opposite position he held in the first episode: then a labor manager, Kaji is now a prisoner of war, forced to work for the Russians, whom do not seem to hold to the Communist ideals in which Kaji himself had put his faith. Written by

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Drama | History | War


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Release Date:

5 August 1970 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Human Condition III: A Soldier's Prayer  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


Kobayashi is the name of the Japanese character in the Bryan Singer film The Usual Suspects (1995). The role was played by British actor Pete Postlethwaite. See more »


Follows The Human Condition I: No Greater Love (1959) See more »

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User Reviews

The End of Kaji's Journey
14 February 2013 | by (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) – See all my reviews

The Japanese troops are defeated by the Soviets and Kaji (Tatsuya Nakadai) heads with three survivors to South Manchurian expecting to meet his wife. Along their crossing through the enemy line in the Manchurian land, other Japanese survivors join Kaji's group, but they need to fight against the Chinese militias and the Soviets.

When they reach a Japanese village with women and one old man, a militia arrives in the place and Kaji and his men surrender to the Soviet to spare the women. The POWs are sent to a labor work camp and Kaji sees no difference between the treatment of the Japanese fascists and the Soviet communists, in which principles Kaji believed. He decides to escape from the camp to meet his beloved Michiko again.

"The Human Condition – Parts V & VI" is the last sequel of the heartbreaking anti-war masterpiece by Masaki Kobayashi. The story is impressively realistic and magnificently shot with top-notch camera work, giving the sensation of a documentary. I have seen many powerful movies about war, such as "Der Untergang", "Taegukgi hwinalrimyeo", "La Battaglia di Algeri", "Paths of Glory" and "Apocalypse Now" among others. But "The Human Condition" is certainly the most scathing antiwar movie that I have seen and I did not feel the 574 minutes running time in a black-and-white movie spoken in Japanese, Mandarin and Russian with English subtitles.

It is impressive to see the treatment spent by the fascist Japanese soldiers for the rookies and how Kaji grows-up and learns how his idealistic concept of communism is shattered when he becomes a POW and swaps his initial position of supervisor to the one of prisoner. The hopeless conclusion fits perfectly to this masterpiece and shows that in times of war, people are far from the condition for being human to survive. My vote is ten.

Title (Brazil): Not Available

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Easily one of the 100 greatest films ever!! blueorangeusa2

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