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Under the Flag of the Rising Sun (1972)

Gunki hatameku motoni (original title)
One woman's search to find the truth about her husband's death in World War II.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Tetsurô Tanba ...
Sergeant Katsuo Togashi
Sachiko Hidari ...
Sakie Togashi
Shinjirô Ehara
Sanae Nakahara ...
Mrs. Ochi
Yumiko Fujita ...
Sakie's daughter
Noboru Mitani ...
Pvt. Tsuguo Terajima
Taketoshi Naitô
Kôichi Yamamoto
Paul Maki
Mugihito
Shônosuke Ichikawa
Hachizô Fujikawa
Sakae Umezu
Harukazu Kitami
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Storyline

One woman's search to find the truth about her husband's death in World War II.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Mystery | War

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Details

Country:

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Release Date:

12 March 1972 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Under the Fluttering Military Flag  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Director Kinji Fukasaku used his own money to buy the film rights to the novel. See more »

Quotes

Pvt. Tsuguo Terajima: I ate a man ... a man. But the world didn't change.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Black Sunshine: Conversations with T.F. Mou (2011) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A woman searches for the truth in one of the best films of the Japanese New Wave
25 March 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This is about a woman's quest to find out the truth about her husband Togashi's WWII execution over twenty years after the fact. After spending those twenty years attempting to get answers from bureaucrats, she finally finds some who have some empathy and give her a list of names of people that served with him. She travels to see these people and we see what kind of lives the soldiers returned to. First there's her encounter with a man who lives in what appears to be a mountain of garbage. He tells her that her husband was a great man, a hero who he owes his life to. This man tells her that Togashi wasn't executed at all, that he had to have died in battle. He is unwilling to tell the authorities this story, explaining that he doesn't like to be around people and he hasn't been to a city in years.

Naturally she isn't satisfied, part of the reason she wants to find out about her husband's death is to have his name cleared so he'll get the same recognition as other people who died in the war. The next man, a comedic actor who stars in farces about the war, tells her Togashi was executed for stealing a potato from a farmer. The film continues on this way as Togashi's wife gets a different story from every man she encounters. Her journey leads her to people of various social standings including a blind man with an adulterous waitress for a wife, a leftist professor, and a retired public official. Each encounter brings her nearer the truth and gives her a greater understanding of the war experience. She begins to see how terrible it was for all involved and she begins to realize that nobody ever really recovers from it; in other words, a government's recognition of the death of a person it forced to go to war and essentially killed is completely worthless, especially when the government literally executes that person.

Fukasaku's film is well plotted and it has a precisely executed theme. Further, the visuals are often impressively delivered. The editing is top notch, particularly in the scenes that suggest the main character's interior state. There's also some impressively handled "new wave" experimental techniques such as still frames and color filters. This film's style called to mind the work of more well known Japanese film-makers of the era such as Nagisa Oshima and Shohei Imamura while still remaining an original, personal work for Fukasaku.


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