In a poor 19th century rural Japanese village, everyone who reaches the age of 70 has to climb a nearby mountain to die. An old woman is getting close to the cut-off age, and we follow her last days with her family.
In Yukosuka, many are able to benefit financially, legally and illegally, by the presence of the American naval base established after the war. Kinta, who is low level thug within the Himori yakuza, takes care of the yakuza's pig farm but provides some muscle in shaking down among others shopkeepers who cater and this benefit from the lucrative American military trade. Kinta is often asked to sacrifice himself for the yakuza, the promise being that the yakuza will ultimately recognize the sacrifice with bonuses and promotion within the organization. Kinta's girlfriend, Haruko, a barmaid, doesn't like his life and would prefer that they escape Yukosuka to Kawasaki where they could get jobs in her uncle's factory, something that Kinta continually resists in not wanting to be a "wage slave". Haruko is also continually pressured by her mother to prostitute herself, Mr. Gordon who is willing to pay top dollar to be his kept mistress. Kinta and Haruko's fates will be partly affected by the ...Written by
This movie takes place in post-war Japan which is under American occupation and essentially focuses on a young man named "Kinta" (Hiroyuki Nagato) who basically does what he can to make ends meet. One day he decides to join an extortion racket and is put in charge of feeding hogs that belong to the local gang. Although she truly loves him, his girlfriend "Haruko" (Jitsuko Yoshimura) not only disapproves of his decision but is also one month pregnant by him as well. Knowing that Kinta isn't quite ready to settle down and support a family she decides to have an abortion which Kinta helps pay for. Meanwhile, the gang Kinta has joined gets involved in murder and soon things become quite complicated for all involved. Now rather than reveal any more I will just say that this was a complex film for which I may have missed a few nuances here and there. For example, the manner in which the American military was depicted certainly wasn't favorable--but then the depiction of the Japanese gangsters wasn't that favorable either. That said, it seemed to me that the overall message of the story pertained equally to deplorable members from both Japanese and American society and subsequently upon their negative effect on the culture of Japan as a whole. At least, that is how it seemed to me. In any case, I found this to be an interesting film and I have rated it accordingly. Above average.
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