1 user 3 critic

Mikikan-hei o otte: Marei-hen (1970)

The searching of un-return japanese soldier in Malaysia by Imamura Shohei with the help from local people.




Add Image Add an image

Do you have any images for this title?

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Plastics salesman Oshima disappeared without a word to anyone, and has been missing for two years. Shohei Imamura and his crew follow Oshima's fiancé Yoshie and actor Shigeru Tsuyuguchi as they investigate the disappearance.

Director: Shôhei Imamura
Stars: Yoshie Hayakawa, Shôhei Imamura, Shigeru Tsuyuguchi
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Chronological exploits of Iwao Enokizu, a murderous thief on the lam.

Director: Shôhei Imamura
Stars: Ken Ogata, Rentarô Mikuni, Chôchô Miyako
The Eel (1997)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A businessman kills his adulterous wife and is sent to prison. After the release, he opens a barbershop and meets new people, talking almost to no one except an eel he befriended while in prison.

Director: Shôhei Imamura
Stars: Kôji Yakusho, Misa Shimizu, Mitsuko Baishô
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Life of a pornographer who tries to stay under the radar of the mob. He has a mistress, a step-son, a step-daughter (whom he's attracted to) and a wife who believes her first husband was reincarnated as a restless carp.

Director: Shôhei Imamura
Stars: Shôichi Ozawa, Sumiko Sakamoto, Ganjirô Nakamura
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A young hoodlum decides to work for a criminal organization that is tearing itself apart.

Director: Shôhei Imamura
Stars: Hiroyuki Nagato, Jitsuko Yoshimura, Masao Mishima
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A rumbunctious and ribald tale of a troupe of travelling actors who alternate highlights of kabuki theatre with strip shows.

Director: Shôhei Imamura
Stars: Osamu Takizawa, Shin'ichi Yanagisawa, Hiroyuki Nagato
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A documentary film showcasing life in postwar Japan as seen through the eyes of a bar hostess.

Director: Shôhei Imamura
Stars: Chieko Akaza, Etsuko Akaza, Tami Akaza
Kuroi ame (1989)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

The story of the aftermath of the Hiroshima bombing, based on Masuji Ibuse's novel.

Director: Shôhei Imamura
Stars: Yoshiko Tanaka, Kazuo Kitamura, Etsuko Ichihara
Certificate: GP Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

An engineer from Tokyo arrives on a drought-ridden tropical island to drill a well to power a nearby sugar mill. He meets the inbred Futori family, hated by the locals for breaking religious customs.

Director: Shôhei Imamura
Stars: Rentarô Mikuni, Chôichirô Kawarasaki, Kazuo Kitamura
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Life story of a woman born in poverty trying to succeed. Through her many schemes, she faces her ups and downs in a cyclical nature, fueled mostly by self-interest.

Director: Shôhei Imamura
Stars: Emiko Aizawa, Setsuko Amamiya, Tomio Aoki
Eijanaika (1981)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Near the turbulent end of the Edo era, a man returning to Japan after exile in America searches for his wife and becomes swept up in the current of revolution in this incisive period drama from the great Shohei Imamura.

Director: Shôhei Imamura
Stars: Shigeru Izumiya, Kaori Momoi, Masao Kusakari
Action | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A real gem from Imamura. A very dark crime comedy.

Director: Shôhei Imamura
Stars: Hiroyuki Nagato, Misako Watanabe, Kô Nishimura


Credited cast:


The searching of un-return japanese soldier in Malaysia by Imamura Shohei with the help from local people.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis







Release Date:

1970 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

En suivant ces soldats qui ne sont pas revenus: la Malaisie  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


See  »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Famed filmmaker tracks down former Japanese soldiers in Malaysia
20 November 2012 | by (Bronx, NY) – See all my reviews

This documentary was shown under the title, IN SEARCH OF THE UNRETURNED SOLDIERS IN MALAYSIA, as part of a series of documentaries by Japanese filmmaker Shohei Imamura (VENGEANCE IS MINE) that was shown in November 2012 at the Anthology Film Archives in New York. It is 50 minutes long and was followed by a second part, entitled IN SEARCH OF THE UNRETURNED SOLDIERS IN THAILAND. Both deal with the subject of Japanese soldiers who stayed behind in Asia when World War II ended and blended into the landscape, usually changing their names and marrying local women. Part One, about Malaysia and Singapore, takes its title somewhat literally and follows Imamura for much of the film's running time as he does the detective work, actively searching for former Japanese soldiers living under assumed names and following several cold leads and going on wild goose chases. He is assisted by a local man named Mr. Won, who speaks Japanese. Since I desperately wanted to hear what former Japanese soldiers had to say about why they stayed behind, I wondered what the point of all the searching was and why Imamura didn't just cut to the actual interviews. But the process of the search yielded its own dramatic logic as manifested in a scene where Imamura interviews Mr. Won himself about what he had witnessed during the war. We hear Mr. Won's harrowing account, told quite dispassionately and filmed at the actual locale, of a massacre outside the Cathay Hotel in which the Japanese army rounded up 6000 people, including English-speakers and Chinese, and slaughtered them all, beheading many. Mr. Won describes how friends of his were killed in the massacre. I had not heard of this incident before. (I'm assuming it's the Cathay Hotel in Malaysia where the massacre took place, although as I watched the film, I thought they were still in Singapore when Mr. Won begins telling about it.)

One former soldier is located and briefly interviewed, describing how he joined the Malay Communist army after the war and continued to fight in raids on American camps and such, before he eventually rejoined society. He insists many former soldiers continue to live in the mountains with the Communists. He sounds remarkably unrepentant.

Imamura eventually finds a former Japanese soldier living in a rural village in Malaysia under the name A-Lee and working at a steel plant and raising a large family with a local woman whom he has married. Imamura conducts a long interview with A-Lee, who describes his conversion to Islam after being persecuted by the locals (quite justly, if you ask me) and taken in hand by a Muslim minister who showed him kindness. Islam saved his life, he insists, and he spends much of the interview describing the virtues of living one's life by the tenets of the Koran and contrasting those virtues with the rather materialistic nature of the Japanese. He criticizes the lack of religious or spiritual devotion among the Japanese. He does not reveal much about his activities during the war or any atrocities he may have committed personally, saying only how much the Malays hated the Japanese.

The film is shot with a hand-held camera (16mm, I presume) and portable sound recording equipment and shot frequently in dark interiors. It's not easy on the eyes or ears, to say the least, and the digital video presentation I sat through at Anthology didn't do the original film any favors. Still, it was worth it to hear Mr. Won's eyewitness account of the massacre and to hear A-Lee work out his guilt by plunging into Islam with the same fervent devotion he once showed to the Japanese Emperor. One god has clearly displaced the other.

The follow-up film about "unreturned" soldiers in Thailand cuts right to the interviews with a trio of former soldiers and doesn't get distracted by the "search." That film is also reviewed on this site.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page