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Story of a Prostitute (1965)

Shunpu den (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama, Romance, War | 28 February 1965 (Japan)
In WW2 Manchuria, a prostitute grows to resent an abusive adjutant and falls in love with his aide.


Seijun Suzuki


Hajime Takaiwa, Taijirô Tamura (story)

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Tamio Kawaji Tamio Kawaji ... Shinkichi Mikami (as Tamio Kawachi)
Yumiko Nogawa Yumiko Nogawa ... Harumi
Isao Tamagawa Isao Tamagawa ... Narita
Shôichi Ozawa Shôichi Ozawa ... Akiyama
Toshio Sugiyama Toshio Sugiyama
Daisaburô Hirata Daisaburô Hirata
Tomiko Ishii Tomiko Ishii ... Yuriko
Kotoe Hatsui Kotoe Hatsui ... Tsuyuko
Kazuko Imai Kazuko Imai ... Sachiko
Tsutomu Shimomoto Tsutomu Shimomoto
Kaku Takashina Kaku Takashina ... Makita
Eimei Esumi Eimei Esumi ... Machida
Kayo Matsuo Kayo Matsuo ... Midori
Yûzô Kiura Yûzô Kiura
Keisuke Noro Keisuke Noro


In WW2 Manchuria, a prostitute grows to resent an abusive adjutant and falls in love with his aide.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Romance | War


Not Rated | See all certifications »






Release Date:

28 February 1965 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

Story of a Prostitute See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Nikkatsu See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


This film is part of the Criterion Collection, spine #299. See more »


Remake of Desertion at Dawn (1950) See more »

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User Reviews

Articulates Taijiro Tamura's "nikutai bungaku", literature of the flesh
29 November 2006 | by kippikariSee all my reviews

Seijun Suzuki's portrayal of Taijiro Tamura's, "Shunpu den" articulates Tamura's philosophical notion that "nikutai koto ha subete da" (the body is all there is). Harumi attempts to flee the despair of her situation as a comfort woman in Manchuria by rejecting the ideological and the transcendental; notions that bind her future lover Mikami. Mikami, a solider for the Imperial Japanese army, despite his love of philosophy and ideas (in a time when outside thought was strictly forbidden), is bound by nationalistic virtues of honor and duty; virtues essential to the foundation of the Imperial Japanese ideologies kokutai (national polity) and tennosei (the emperor system).

Harumi, who wants to, "throw herself against as many bodies as possible", finds that she can only know others through the physical sensations of the body: physical pleasure, touch, and sex. Although she falls in love with Mikami, she is outraged by his devotion to the Imperial Will, which appears hypocritical. Consequently, this hypocrisy proves fatal for Mikami.

In the spirit of Tamura's philosophy, we are left with the notion that there is no honor in dying; that only in the struggles of life can one derive honor, and that nothing is more important than continuing one's existence.

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