Ningen no jôken / The Human Condition I: No Greater Love

TitleNingen no jôken / The Human Condition I: No Greater Love
Publication TypeFilm
Year of Publication1959
AuthorsKobayashi, Masaki
Running Time3h 28min
Date Released01/15/1959
Publication LanguageJapanese, Mandarin

Part one of an anti-war trilogy based on the six-volume novel published from 1956 to 1958 by Junpei Gomikawa, No Greater Love sends an idealistic Japanese pacifist to a Manchurian iron mine during the Second Sino-Japanese War (1937–1945). The film opens with Kaji marrying his sweetheart Michiko despite his misgivings about the future. To gain exemption from military service, he moves his wife to a large mining operation in Japanese-colonized Manchuria, where he serves as a labor chief assigned to a workforce of Chinese prisoners. Kaji aggravates the camp bureaucracy by implementing humane practices to improve both labor conditions and productivity, clashing with foremen, administrators, and the Kenpeitai military police. Ultimately his efforts to grant autonomy to the POWs are undermined by scheming officials, resulting in the electrocution of several prisoners and the beheading of others accused of attempted escape. When Kaji protests the brutality, he is tortured and then drafted into the army. The film is followed by Road to Eternity (1959) and A Soldier's Prayer (1961).

Original Publication人間の條件 1部
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