IMDb > The Human Condition III: A Soldier's Prayer (1961)

The Human Condition III: A Soldier's Prayer (1961) More at IMDbPro »Ningen no jôken (original title)

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Zenzô Matsuyama (screenplay) &
Kôichi Inagaki (screenplay) ...
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Release Date:
5 August 1970 (USA) See more »
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. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
5 wins See more »
User Reviews:
Possibly the greatest anti-war statement See more (16 total) »


  (in credits order)

Tatsuya Nakadai ... Kaji

Michiyo Aratama ... Michiko
Tamao Nakamura ... Hinannmin no Shôjo

Yûsuke Kawazu ... Terada Nitôhei

Chishû Ryû ... Hinanmin no Chôrô
Taketoshi Naitô ... Tange Ittôhei

Kyôko Kishida ... Ryûko
Reiko Hitomi ... Umeko
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
Akira Yamanouchi ... Kira Jôtôhei
Hiroshi Nihon'yanagi ... Noge Shôsa
Kôichi Hayashi ... Minagawa Tsûyaku
Kô Mihashi ... Rôkyôshi
Kichijirô Ueda ... Sekitan'ya
Saburô Bôya ... Zakkaya
Masahiko Naruse ... Chôsenjin
Takashi Sue ... Ogura Heichô
Kin Sugai ... Dôro no Hinanmin
Miyoko Nakamura ... Zakkaya no Tsuma
Yoshie Minami ... Rôkyôshi no Tsuma (as Yoshi'e Minami)
Noriko Ishimoto ... Sekitan'ya no Tsuma
Takayuki Shindô ... Hinanmin no Shônen
Fumie Kitahara ... Buraku no Hinanmin (as Fumi'e Kitahara)
Gen'ya Nagai ... Heitai A
Hideo Fukuhara ... Heitai B
Tadayoshi Hirosawa ... Ide Ittôhei
Tetsuo Mizoi ... Hoshô
Daijirô Minami ... Ikkenn'ya no Rônôfu
Kanji Ôsugi ... Hatake no Chûgoku Nômin
Mamoru Hirata ... Fukumoto Jôtôhei
Hideo Hirosawa ... Heitai C
Takao Tsuge ... Heitai D
Kôtarô Hirasawa ... Dassô Suru Heitai A
Masatoshi Kanematsu ... Dassô Suru Heitai B
Yuichi Kikuchi ... Ujii'e Jôtôhei (as Yûichi Kikuchi)
Hachirô Maruyama ... Tsûyaku
Akira Kimura ... Chûgokujin no Wakamono
Yasuo Minami ... Naganuma - Chûi
Hideko Aki ... Hinanmin no Onna
Mikiko Suzuki ... Hinanmin no Onna
Yumiko Oguri ... Hinanmin no Onna
Kazuko Hirano ... Hinanmin no Onna
Yoshiko Watanabe ... Hinanmin no Onna
Yôko Hayashi ... Hinanmin no Onna
Fumiko Kondô ... Chôsenjin no Tsuma
Edo Kîn ... Sorengun Shôkô
Ronarudo Serufu ... Chabâefu
Pôru Rafaero ... Tôbatsutai no Shikikan
Wiriamu Bassun ... Shisatsu Sareru Hoshô
Henrî Ban ... Manjûya

Hideko Takamine ... Hinanmin no Onna

Directed by
Masaki Kobayashi 
Writing credits
Zenzô Matsuyama (screenplay) &
Kôichi Inagaki (screenplay) &
Masaki Kobayashi (screenplay)

Jumpei Gomikawa (novel) (as Junpei Gomikawa)

Produced by
Masaki Kobayashi .... producer
Shigeru Wakatsuki .... producer
Original Music by
Chûji Kinoshita 
Cinematography by
Yoshio Miyajima 
Film Editing by
Keiichi Uraoka 
Art Direction by
Kazue Hirataka 

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Ningen no jôken" - Japan (original title)
"Human Condition III: A Soldier's Prayer" - USA (DVD title)
"The Human Condition III" - USA
See more »
190 min | West Germany:143 min
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Stereo (RCA Sound Recording)
USA:Not Rated | West Germany:16 (f) (heavily cut)

Did You Know?

Is the first Japanese movie in stereo.See more »
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48 out of 53 people found the following review useful.
Possibly the greatest anti-war statement, 4 November 2007
Author: Trouter2000 from Canada

When people think of anti-war films titles such as Platoon, All Quiet on the Western Front and Schindler's List almost immediately come to mind; such films have defined the genre in American culture. However very few directors have provided the perspective from the axis point of view, and fewer still were able to do so in a way that humanizes all countries, not just the protagonist's. Masaki Kobayashi, who is most well known for his samurai pictures such as Seppuku and Samurai Rebellion is able to form such a film, without even a hint of pretentiousness.

The series of films spans nearly ten hours, following a pacifist named Kaji (Tatsuya Nakadai), as he struggles to keep his principles during war times. First as an overseer of a P.O.W. camp, then as a soldier. Due to the length of the film, the level of character development and acting quality, we end up feeling his frustration, pain and triumphs, as each occasion leaves room for both a triumph of the human spirit and subjugation of it. Kaji despises both warfare and violence of all kinds, yet tries to rationalize it for the good of those around him. We become so attached to him and his struggle, that we begin to feel similarly, and as a result we are left with one of the most moving chronicles of the loss that war becomes. I won't spoil anything, but any viewer will be floored by the end, it left me utterly breathless.

So overall I recommend it quite highly, its one of the few great anti-war statements that has aged VERY well in the modern day, and possibly Kobayashi's greatest work. Never slow, yet at the same time never glorifying the action, it is a film that I eagerly await to see re-released.


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