8.5/10
4,266
10 user 31 critic

The Human Condition II: Road to Eternity (1959)

Ningen no jôken (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama, History, War | February 1961 (USA)
As a conscript in war-time Japan's military, a pacifist struggles to maintain his determination to keep his ideals.

Director:

Masaki Kobayashi

Writers:

Zenzô Matsuyama (screenplay), Masaki Kobayashi (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
3 wins. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Drama | History | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.8/10 X  

His ideals challenged by life as a conscript in war-time Japan's military, a pacifist faces ever greater tests in his fight for survival.

Director: Masaki Kobayashi
Stars: Tatsuya Nakadai, Michiyo Aratama, Tamao Nakamura
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

A Japanese pacifist, unable to face the dire consequences of conscientious objection, is transformed by his attempts to compromise with the demands of war-time Japan.

Director: Masaki Kobayashi
Stars: Tatsuya Nakadai, Michiyo Aratama, Chikage Awashima
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Two-hundred million yen is up for grabs in a dying businessman's will. The businessman intends to will it to his 3 illegitimate children, but his associates scheme to take advantage of the situation.

Director: Masaki Kobayashi
Stars: Keiko Kishi, Tatsuya Nakadai, Sô Yamamura
Inn of Evil (1971)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

The story takes place in feudal Japan, when any commerce with the rest of the world was strictly prohibited. An idealist suddenly appears in an isolated inn (the one that the title refers ... See full summary »

Director: Masaki Kobayashi
Stars: Tatsuya Nakadai, Komaki Kurihara, Wakako Sakai
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

The mother of a feudal lord's only heir is kidnapped away from her husband by the lord. The husband and his samurai father must decide whether to accept the unjust decision, or risk death to get her back.

Director: Masaki Kobayashi
Stars: Toshirô Mifune, Yôko Tsukasa, Gô Katô
Drama | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

The consequences of a father and son's violent act reverberate through three generations of their family.

Director: Kianoush Ayari
Stars: Mehdi Hashemi, Shahab Hosseini, Mehran Rajabi
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

The orphaned Makioka sisters look for a husband for their third sister, Yukiko, as the rebellious youngest sister, Taeko, is kept waiting her turn.

Director: Kon Ichikawa
Stars: Yoshiko Sakuma, Sayuri Yoshinaga, Yûko Kotegawa
Kwaidan (1964)
Drama | Fantasy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A collection of four Japanese folk tales with supernatural themes.

Director: Masaki Kobayashi
Stars: Rentarô Mikuni, Michiyo Aratama, Misako Watanabe
Red Beard (1965)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

In 19th century Japan, a rough tempered yet charitable town doctor trains a young intern.

Director: Akira Kurosawa
Stars: Toshirô Mifune, Yûzô Kayama, Tsutomu Yamazaki
Harakiri (1962)
Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  

An elder ronin samurai arrives at a feudal lord's home and requests an honorable place to commit suicide. But when the ronin inquires about a younger samurai who arrived before him things take an unexpected turn.

Director: Masaki Kobayashi
Stars: Tatsuya Nakadai, Akira Ishihama, Shima Iwashita
Early Summer (1951)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

A family chooses a match for their daughter Noriko, but she, surprisingly, has her own plans.

Director: Yasujirô Ozu
Stars: Setsuko Hara, Chishû Ryû, Chikage Awashima
High and Low (1963)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

An executive of a shoe company becomes a victim of extortion when his chauffeur's son is kidnapped and held for ransom.

Director: Akira Kurosawa
Stars: Toshirô Mifune, Yutaka Sada, Tatsuya Nakadai
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Tatsuya Nakadai ... Kaji
Michiyo Aratama ... Michiko
Kokinji Katsura Kokinji Katsura ... Sasa Nitôhei
Jun Tatara Jun Tatara ... Hino Jun'i
Michirô Minami ... Yoshida Jôtôhei
Kei Satô Kei Satô ... Shinjô Ittôhei
Kunie Tanaka ... Obara Nitôhei
Ryôhei Uchida Ryôhei Uchida ... Hashitani Gunsô
Kan Yanagiya Kan Yanagiya ... Tanoue Nitôhei
Kenjirô Uemura ... Bannai Jôtôhei
Kaneko Iwasaki Kaneko Iwasaki ... Tokunaga Kangofu
Mayumi Kurata Mayumi Kurata ... Obara's Wife
Taketoshi Naitô Taketoshi Naitô ... Tange Ittôhei
Hideo Kidokoro Hideo Kidokoro ... Kudô Taii
Yoshiaki Aoki Yoshiaki Aoki ... Soga Gunsô
Edit

Storyline

Kaji is sent to the Japanese army labeled Red and is mistreated by the vets. Along his assignment, Kaji witnesses cruelties in the army; he revolts against the abusive treatment spent to the recruit Obara that commits suicide; he also sees his friend Shinjô Ittôhei defecting to the Russian border; and he ends in the front to fight a lost battle against the Russian tanks division. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | History | War

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Japan

Language:

Japanese | Mandarin | Russian

Release Date:

February 1961 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Human Condition II: Road to Eternity See more »

Filming Locations:

Hokkaido, Japan

Company Credits

Production Co:

Shochiku See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Quotes

Tokunaga Kangofu: You were talking in your sleep, calling for Sinjo and a Michiko. Your sweetheart? Or your wife?
Kaji: Both.
See more »

Connections

Followed by The Human Condition III: A Soldier's Prayer (1961) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Full-Metal Jacket for Grown-Ups
8 March 2013 | by OttoVonBSee all my reviews

Part II of Masaki Kobayashi's "Human Condition" follows the noble Kaji (Tatsuya Nakadai), now forced into military service, as he tries to hold on to his conscience despite increasingly absurd circumstances.

If Part I was a POW drama with a love story sub-plot, influencing many that followed it, then Part II is one of the best and rawest of the original boot-camp films, planting seeds for, in particular, "Full Metal Jacket". In fact, Kaji's training with the Imperial Army makes US Boot Camp look like daycare, uninclined as director Kobayashi is to pull punches when it comes to the ritual sadism of the Japanese military, which he personally endured in real life. The film bravely confronts Kaji's attitude, an almost holier-than-thou morality than annoys bullying veterans. This forces Kaji to deeply transform as a character and as a human being, from preppy moralist to actual, worn hero, a transition Nakadai pulls off with tremendous effect and efficiency.

But back to the bigger picture. Like Kubrick's similar – and, one should point out, lesser – film of the same genre, this is two pictures in one: a boot-camp film about the dehumanization of the military, and a war film. The first two thirds are all intensive training, with bullying veterans and hapless recruits. Here Kaji faces an interesting contradiction: he rejects the war with all his heart, yet he has it in him to be a perfect warrior. There is the inevitable inept recruit pushed to the brink subplot, but it is handled with more humanity and sense of absurdity than most other similar films could dream of.

Finally, the film takes us to the front, where all the bluster and empty honor fades in front of a line of charging enemy tanks, a startlingly effective battle scene that separates the men from the boys, though not in ways they had anticipated. Kobayashi's film rejects the traditional "bridge syndrome" typical of middle installments in film trilogies, and gives us the perfect Part II: a self-contained enough story with enough substance and depth to stand on its own, while drawing from its predecessor and opening up interesting possibilities for the finale.

Roll on part III.


12 of 15 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 10 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

Stream Popular Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed