Synopsis by Eleanor Mannikka
Like the Rikisha Man, this is another early (1968) Japanese film shown at Japan House in New York in 1981, commemorating the cinematography of Kazuo Miyagawa. The film stars Shintaro Katsu as a man who works in the funeral business making death masks - but not for long. He becomes disillusioned with the money-grubbing attitude of the morticians and decides to set up a funeral museum. At that point the film switches gears, settling into a much more serious tone as it looks at the destruction wrought by the hydrogen bombs dropped on Nagasaki and Hiroshima. The victims from those blasts were still dying in Japan in 1968, and although the change at this point in the film may seem forced now, a mature Japanese viewer at that time may not have seen it as such an unusual twist.
anti-nuclear, disillusionment, funeral, mortician