Based on the Takikawa incident of 1933, in which a prominent professor was forced out of his position by the government for his leftist views, Akira Kurosawa directs this socially minded tale about a pure-hearted lass coming to terms with the corrupt nature of the world. Though professor Yagihara (played by silent film star Denjiro Okochi) is relieved of his teaching responsibilities, his young vivacious daughter, Yukie (Setsuko Hara), remains blithely unaware of the fractious state of Japanese society of the time. Yet she quickly understands when one of her father's students, Ryukichi Noge (Susumu Fujita) -- who Yukie has quietly fallen in love with -- is jailed for his writings. He is eventually freed and they move in together. Later, he is accused of being a spy and shot. Yukie decides to not only carry his ashes back to his rural hometown, but she resolves to live near his remains and work among the village's farmers.
by Jonathan Crow synopsis