Story of a Prostitute (1965) - full transcript

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



Original Story by

Produced by

Screenplay by

Cinematography by

Lighting by

Music by

Edited by






Directed by

Prostitute, harlot, strumpet.

Harumi is one in Tianjin.

There she fell in love
with a Japanese man.

She loved him with all her heart

and hoped to marry him someday.

But the man she loved
brought a bride back from Japan.

Tomoda is my man!

If you don't go back to Japan
right now, I'll kill you!

Tomoda isn't here. He's out.

I know how you feel,
so I came to apologize to you.

Look, Harumi.
You're the only one I really love.

My getting married
doesn't mean a thing.

The relationship between
you and me hasn't changed.

Leave that woman...

or I'll kill you.

Hey, mister.

When will we get there?

It makes me feel scared.

Since we left Tianjin,
all we've seen is nothing. That's all.

Four billion people
wait for us in China.

When do they start business?

- Tonight, they said.
- I see.

I'll get a special pass
and be the first one to have a go.

She already said okay.

Hey, sis, how about me?

No, you're after me.

I don't care.
As long as I get my turn.

Those mountain soldiers are like beasts.

They're just hungry for women.
This isn't Tianjin, you know.

How many women you got there?

You three make seven.
Kiminoya has six. All together, 13.

Just 13 to take care
of a whole battalion?

They look strong.

The men in Tianjin can't compete
with these soldiers.

I want to throw my body
against lots of different men.



What are you going to do?

I can't stand this dangerous place.
I've only got one life.

Are you gonna walk
all the way back to Tianjin?

It's better than dying.
Harumi, let's go.

I'm not going.
I've got no other place to live.

Damn! Isn't that
the village of Airoson?

Yes, sir.

We've got to kill some men
and set an example.

Look how they act
like nothing's happened.

"If road damage, wire damage or
minefields are not reported immediately,

the responsible parties
will be severely punished."

Good thing you weren't hurt.

The soldiers in Buken wouldn't be happy
if anything happened to you.

Which company do you belong to?

- Battalion headquarters, sir.
- Going to general headquarters?

No. I was just released
from the hospital in Peking, sir.

You were in the hospital?

You look pale.
Where were you hurt?

The left thigh.
I got it in the bone, sir.

- In which battle?
- The Joshachin attack, sir.

You must have been slow.

In another hour,
we'll say good-bye to you girls.


Most of the soldiers come here
when they're off duty.

Almost the entire battalion
will come.

An entire battalion.
A thousand men.

So that means I get a hundred.
I wonder if I can handle them all.

Look at us. We're still alive.
You'll find one you like, too.

How do you find time for that?

It's all in how you look at it.

We don't take it all so seriously.
It's the only way to handle it.

That was Takako, and the other two
were Midori and Tsuyuko.

This place is like a washing place
for the soldiers.

When the dirty stuff piles up,

they come here to wash
their minds and bodies.

When they leave here,
they're as good as new.

And where do we do our washing?

Yuriko is crazy about washing.
It's the only time she's happy.

You mean real washing?

There's a river back there.
Plenty of water.

New girls?

Definitely Tianjin girls, all right.
Pretty good-Iooking.

Sergeant, please.

He's in charge of the Kempei troop.

He helps us a lot.
Be nice to him.

How do you do?

Hey, are you from northern Japan?

I'm from Miyagi Prefecture.

- Where is that?
- The village of Kurigoma.

Kurigoma. I'm from Ichinoseki.


They're right next to each other.

We must get together and talk.

Yes, let's do that.

Yuriko, you're lucky.

Rest today.
Tomorrow you start working.

What time do we start?

From 1:00 to 4:00 p.m., soldiers.

From 5:00 to 8:00 p.m., noncoms.

From 8:00 p.m. on, officers.

And Kempei Sergeant Akiyama
is treated as an officer, understand?

Master, I'll start right now.

Who is it?
I've got a customer in here.

Never mind that! Open up!

What's all this about?

Stop that!
You'll break the door!

Who the devil are you?

Open up, you idiot!

Who are you calling an idiot?

- Don't get mad.
- Shut up and go away!

Are you the new one called Harumi?
I'm here for some fun.

- No. I've got a customer in here.
- Who is it?

Hey, get up!

Oh, it's you.


You've had enough.
It's my turn.

I'm leaving with the detachment
tomorrow, sir.

I don't know when I can
get a pass again, sir.

I'll call you back soon.

Get out.

You don't have to go.

What could you want with an "idiot"
like me? And I don't want you either.

Don't go!

A whore mustn't talk like that.

Don't you call me a whore!

Would the emperor use words like that?

They always say that officers
repeat the emperor's words.

How dare your filthy mouth
speak the emperor's name!

- I'm leaving, sir.
- All right.

You bastard!

Good morning.

What's that? Look at the sun.
It's right above your head.

Is Harumi still sleeping?

How can she sleep like that?

Just looking at a bed makes me sick.

Our bodies are all we have.
We can't afford to ruin them.

They've already been ruined.

Coming to northern China
and selling our bodies.

Sakae, take that off.

Take it off!

The adjutant came to Harumi's place
last night, you know.

He was drunk, as usual.
He chased Sergeant Kuramochi out.

Is this adjutant that important?

He's so brutal,
always abusing his power.

He treats the soldiers like animals
and treats us like dogs in the street.

He's more vulgar than the privates.

But you like it every time he comes.

You're crazy.

I hate to admit it,

but every time he touches me,

I go out of my mind.

What? Is it time already?


Hey, I'm going to Kiminoya.

Thank you very much.

How do you do?

Hey, get me a cigarette.


The adjutant is coming tonight.
Don't take any other customers.

I'm not the adjutant's girl.

Tell him not to order me around.

Whether I take customers
is my own business.

Are you the adjutant's orderly?

Do you think I'm filthy?

I said do you think I'm filthy?

You are not filthy, ma'am.

That bootlicker looked at me
as if I were filthy.

Since I joined the military,

you're the first to ever express
your hatred towards me.

But when I take you in my arms,

you turn affectionate.

You're a strange woman.

I hate myself for it.

There's a soldier who's like that.

He hates me
but obeys me like a dog,

because he's been taught
a military man must obey in everything.

Look at my orderly... - Mikami.

He's a perfectly tamed dog.

He'll do anything I tell him to do.
He's the model soldier.

You'd better not offend me either.

I have the absolute power
of the military.

You have no idea what that is,

so just follow me around,
wagging your tail.

What do you think a sword is?

I'm sorry, sir.

Those clear eyes.


If I could make him
go against the adjutant.

Just watch.
I'll tear your power to shreds.

What's the matter?

You're bleeding.

It's nothing.

Stop being the perfect soldier.

If you do,
you'll always be his orderly.

It's stupid to die in this war.

The brigade staff officer is coming.

The CO wants to see you, sir.

Hey, you.

How come you always look at me
as if I were filthy or something?

Am I that dirty?

If I am, what's it to you?

I hate your eyes.

What do you think I am?

Soldiers wag their tails
and come to me.

Even that adjutant. If I weren't good,
he wouldn't come to me.

Tell me: What am I?

What am I?

A dog? A pig?

Say I'm a pig... - I don't care.

I'll act like a pig!

What are you doing?

Get away from me!

Don't mock me!

Don't mock me!

What's this?
Hitting a woman?

Beating a woman... -
is that what a man does?

You lecher.

You want to be Harumi's lover?

She has the adjutant.

You don't stand a chance!

It's not true!

Count off!

One is on guard duty,
and one is on KP.

Salute! Eyes left!



I'll explain the plan.

As Colonel Shibata said,

the Hachiro army is becoming
very active in this area.

In this region especially,

guerilla activities are increasing.

To put a stop to this,
we've decided to send a detachment.

How many men?

Two squads.

Just two squads
can't do much in an emergency.

Excuse me, sir,

but our purpose is to determine
whether the Hachiro army is there.

Two squads are sufficient for that.

You're drunk.

The adjutant will be here all night.

What's the matter?

I have a headache.

You'd better rest.

Listen to me: You should rest.

You'd better lie down for a while.

You coldhearted man!

You're shivering.

You've never had a woman before.

Forget about the adjutant.

No. How could I do
something like this?

It's all right.

You've shown me true happiness.

I love you.

When you hit me
and I saw the anger in your eyes,

I realized I was in love with you.

I truly love you.

What are you doing here
so early in the morning?

He comes for the adjutant
at first call.

I see. A hard worker.

Don't tell the adjutant
you saw me here.

See you later.

What's wrong?
Why aren't you going?

You'll make him suspicious.

when are the new men coming?

New men?

Oh, you're in your second year here.

Yes, but if new men don't come,
I'll remain at the lowest rank.

Be patient.

Our country is having
a hard time now.

The entire nation is fighting.

They're saying,
"We want nothing but victory."

Remember, officers are not
fighting the war. We are.

Unless the noncoms and soldiers
are strong, we can't win.

Welcome back.

Hey, probationary officer,
welcome back.

How about a drink?

No, thanks.

Uno, won't you drink with me?

I'll drink with you, but not today.


You don't have to do that.

Uno, do it yourself.

Isn't that a communist book?

No, it's not.

Don't try to fool me
or you'll be in trouble.

You were an officer once, but now
you're only a private. Understand?


You were demoted
for anti-military ideas.

You should have been court-martialed,
but the commander helped you out.


I was not afraid to be court-martialed.

The commander was just
saving his own reputation.

You needn't feel sorry for me either.
Just court-martial me.

What are you saying?

I've been ordered
to keep a close eye on you.

Remember that
your life is in my hands.

Where are you going?

If the patrol finds you here,
you'll go to prison.

That's right.

You're a strange man.

Let me read.
This is the only place I can relax.

You know, Uno,
I think I'll go to the detachments.

In the detachments,

they'll pay me the same amount
that a Japanese woman gets.

I wish they gave me
the same amount here.

I know it's dangerous,
but my debts are growing.

Are you leaving?
- Yes.

Wait a minute.

It's all clear.

You're the only one who pays me
the same amount as a Japanese woman.

Thank you very much.

- Is the adjutant up?
- I tried to wake him, but it's no use.

Try again, please.
I must show him that telegram now.

Now or later, it doesn't matter.

Hold me.

But you were with
the adjutant just now.

So what? The reason I take him
is because I want to see you.

Hold me.

But when I think of the adjutant...

I told you to forget about him.

What's the adjutant?
He can drop dead.

Aren't you jealous?
Don't you hate him?

He's a high-ranking officer.

No matter what he does...

I feel nothing.

So you feel nothing,
no matter what I do with him?

Don't you feel anything?


I can't help it.

Reporting for service, sir!


You're a coward!

Why don't you hate him,
despise him, kill him?

Are you a man?

I don't understand.

I only know your body.

I can't understand
what's in your mind.


Don't go, please!



Why didn't you wake me?
An orderly has his duty!

Our detachment was attacked!

Please send this to my father.

I don't want
the military to inspect it.

Going on another punitive expedition?

I'm leaving with the advance squad.
The main force leaves tomorrow.

It's quiet.

It might be a trap.
Shall we wait for a while and see?

We don't have time. Let's go.


Sergeant Major Kuramochi!

All ammunition and weapons are gone.


They attacked at 2200 hours last night.
The battle lasted two hours.

The inhabitants were evacuated
before the battle started.

At least they died in battle.

If the Hachiro army captures you alive,
they'll torture you to death.

Salute Sergeant Major Kuramochi
and his 26 soldiers!

You informed on them!
I'll teach you a lesson!

A deserter!

Go over there!



Harumi, which side do you take?

I see you're all here.

A present for you.

We can't take men
all day long, you know!

What are you talking about
so seriously?


Sachiko is... -

Has anyone looked
inside Sachiko's suitcase?


Guess what's inside.

Spoons, a knife,
a cutting board and some cups.

So she's been planning this.

That's right.


So she finally decided?

If she needs money,
let's all put some up.


How I envy her.

Thank you, but a Kempei
is an unpopular role.

I honestly think you're lucky
to be a Kempei.

Why is that?

Because you don't have to go
on punitive expeditions.

When are they coming back?

You must be worried
about Corporal Mikami.


You know about that?

If I can't find out who loves whom
among 12 or 13 girls,

I can't be a Kempei.

Muraki, I wonder if he's safe.

My lovers all die in battle.

When are they coming back?

You see,
no one marries a pioneer's son.

My son's getting old now.

At his age, if he can't find a wife,
I feel sorry for him.

I heard someone else married
a girl from this kind of place.

It's all right if you pay her debts,
but will Sachiko make a good wife?

Master, the soldiers are coming back!

The master will never understand
how much we want to get married.


Muraki, where are you?

- Muraki is dead.
- Idiot! I'm still alive.

Harumi, I'll hold you tonight.
Wait for me.

Now we can drink all we want.

I really miss white sake.

Harumi, you look excited.

I'll see you later.

Letting Uno desert in spite of
your order was strictly my fault.

Uno is dead.

On the road or killed
by the Hachiro army. Don't worry.

Private Uno died in battle.
That will do.

"To the country which
doesn't allow ideals, farewell."

If it takes you too long

To make yourself pretty

Your guests will grow impatient


Too bad. He's a captain.

Don't be stupid.

I know I can't please you like Harumi,
but please let me try.

You coldhearted man!

I went to meet you,
but you wouldn't even look at me.

Do you realize how I worried about you?

Stop it!

One more word and
I'll never come to your place.


Where did Harumi go?

Reporting for service, sir!

- Bring me some water.
- Yes, sir.

I may be tough,
but tonight I'm really exhausted.

Mikami, remember this:

Women get really hot
if you keep them waiting.

Here's your water, sir.

Go get some sleep.

Keep in step!

Squad, halt!

Sentry relief.
Situation normal.

Hey! She's not here!


She was drunk and felt sick.

What's so funny?

It's the first time
you've acted brave.

You know,

at first I took you
just to spite the adjutant.

I wanted to ruin you.

But now I'm the one who's ruined.

I don't want to let you go!


What's your unit?

Speak up!

Harumi, I heard Mikami
is in the guardhouse at the west gate.


For five days. Akiyama told me.

Thank you.

If it was anything else,
we could ask the adjutant for help.


Are you all right?
I'm the guard now.

You can see her all you want.

What did you say to Mikami
with these lips?

How many times did you kiss?

How many times
did you sleep with Mikami?

Three times? Five?

Who is it?

It's Sasaki. Forgive me.

Adjutant. Enemy attack, sir.

How many are there?

I don't know, sir.
They're attacking the west gate, sir.

Is the commander up?

Yes. He's in the command room, sir.

I see. I'll be right there.

Very well, sir.

I wonder if Mikami is safe.


You're a slut!


What are you doing?

Take all valuables
and evacuate the camp!

Mikami, get out!

Die as an honorable imperial soldier.

Where are you going?


Where is Mikami?

They took him out a while ago.

He's not in the guardhouse anymore?

We need a machine gunner.
Mikami is an excellent gunner.

Harumi, he might die tonight.

Harumi, don't go!
It's dangerous!

Who's that?
Drop to the ground!

Get up! Come on!

Do you know Mikami?

- Corporal Mikami of headquarters.
- I don't know him.

Hey, wait!


- Do you know Mikami?
- No.


Where's Mikami?

He's wounded.

He might die.

Where is he?

In the trench, a mile out.

We were surrounded.
We could only get the machine gun out.

Stop! Idiot!



you're dying.

At last we're all alone.

You're mine...

and I'm all yours.

I'm with the Hachiro army
political division.

Does it hurt?

We don't hate Japanese soldiers.

You have rights
under international law.

I know the Japanese military
forbids you to become a prisoner.

But if we send you back,
you'll be court-martialed and executed.

I think you'll be safer staying here.

Of course, you must cooperate with us.

All right?

Let's do as they say.

I know how you feel,
but we have no choice.

I thought it would be
the first time we could be alone.

I felt very calm.

You know what I thought about?

About a festival day,

and about the shrine
my mother took me to,

and the plum blossoms there.

For the first time in years,
I felt calm.

In here

I think I can hold on to that feeling.

Don't talk nonsense!

A court-martial
will sentence you to death.

I don't like that... - death.

I won't let you die no matter what.

I won't let you die.

Harumi, stop singing that song.

I said stop it!

Stop it!


God, please help Mikami.


Mikami, don't throw your life away.

There's no shame in being a prisoner.

Are you still Japanese?


Just think.

What are you trying
to accomplish in China?

Have you done any good?

China will govern itself.

Live with the Chinese for a while.

It's a good experience.

The Japanese are attacking again,
so we're evacuating.

Come with us
and recover your strength.

You'll be killed by your own people
if you go back.

You swear your loyalty
and that's how they repay you?

Come. We'll go together.

I won't!
You don't understand.

I'm a Japanese soldier.

I don't trust the words of a traitor.

Let's go with Uno.
If we stay here, we'll die.


Japanese soldiers would sooner die
than be taken prisoner.



He's leaving.

He's leaving.

What will we do now?

Everybody's leaving!

They're leaving!

Everybody's leaving! Let's go!



They're leaving!




We finally made it.

Harumi, go back to your house.

- No, I won't.
- Go back!

- Wait!
- Stop!

You'll make things
difficult for Mikami.

Do as they say.

If they court-martial him,
is it true he'll be shot?

I think so. Poor man.

Don't worry. They won't.

They're afraid they'll lose face.

Why did they only bring back
the machine gun...

and leave him there?

Because the machine gun
is property of the emperor.

Yuriko, how did it go?

He's been taken
to Kempei headquarters.

Akiyama told me he'll be sent
to Daigen the day after tomorrow.

Daigen? For a court-martial?

That's right.

And you didn't do anything?

You couldn't help Mikami?
That's terrible!

Don't take it out on me!

I went there to ask about him,
didn't I?

We should have gone with them.

It's Sachiko!


What happened, Sachiko?

His son was a madman.

There's no hope for a decent marriage!

Harumi, you can take the day off.

No, I don't want to.

You're tired.
You should rest.

I want to be exhausted!

If I'm tired out,
I won't have to think.

Harumi, is it all right now?

Come in.

How dare you make a fool of me?

Mikami was wounded and taken
prisoner while he was unconscious.

If he hadn't been unconscious,
he might have fought to the death.

After he was captured, he tried
to escape and to commit suicide.

It's all true.

So please don't court-martial him.

Please, I beg you.


Are you crying for him?

He's not a true Japanese soldier.

He deserves to die.


bring me sake.

A man of honor is strong.

Remember the country's honor.

Do your best not to disgrace it.

Never allow yourself
to be taken prisoner alive.

Never sully the reputation
you'll leave behind after death.

Never let wine or women

distract your thoughts from battle.

That Mikami came back to die.

That's right.

Being captured is bad enough,
and with a girl, too.

The idiot.


He's worse than an idiot.

One or two missing can be forgotten.

But by coming back,
he's forced us to court-martial him.

Because of him, the battalion's name
has been stained forever!

It will haunt us everywhere we go,
as long as this battalion exists,

Die before you come back.




He was taught
never to be a prisoner,

so he came back to die.

You see, this is from Harumi,
so please... -

I know.

Really. Poor, poor, Harumi.

Mikami, you have a visitor.

I'll overlook kissing,
but nothing more.


I'm sorry.
Did a medic examine you?

He wouldn't do it.

That's ridiculous!

What will happen to me?

Will I be court-martialed?

When? Tell me when.



What time?

Don't worry.
Tell them the truth.

You were taken away while unconscious.

It's useless.

If they don't believe you,
I'll get you out of here.

I won't let you die.

Harumi, do me a favor.

Tell me.
I'll do anything for you.

Get me a hand grenade.

A hand grenade? What for?

To escape.


If they court-martial me,
that will be the end.

I don't want to be executed
as a criminal, so I'll escape.

I need a hand grenade to do that.

There are lots of grenades
in the offices.

Please steal one of them.

You'll live!

You've decided to live!

Do it before the truck leaves here.

Hey, where are you going?

To meet the adjutant.
All right?

All right.

What do you want?

Wait outside.

To avoid staining the battalion's honor,
what should we do with Mikami?

Once we send him to Daigen,
we can't do anything. What do you think?

Kimura, you take care of him.

Our commander is very troubled.

Then Mikami will die
an honorable death in battle?

Right. He will die
an honorable death.


Tell me...

what time will you send Mikami
to Daigen tomorrow?



Forward, march!

Squad, halt!

Corporal Shinichi Mikami,
to be transferred to Daigen.


Mikami, get out.

A court-martial will dishonor you.

Your parents won't like it either.

Are you ready to die
an honorable death for your country?


Dying here will make
everything all right.

Turn around!

I said turn around!

Enemy attack!

That's the signal for us to get back!

Shoot him!

Shoot him!

You idiots!

You shoot him!

Give me that!

Take care of him.

Out of my way!

There's a hand grenade
in my robe. Quick!

The south gate, quick!

Soldier, to the north gate!

Harumi, go back!
It's dangerous here.

Aren't you going to escape?

I can't do it.

I'll show them I'm not a coward.

I'll show them!

Don't die!

Mikami, you fool!

Don't die!

No, don't die!

Don't die!

Get away!

I'll die with you!

Long live the emperor!

Long live the emperor!

Never let wine or women
distract your thoughts from battle,

nor lose your mind and ruin
the imperial army's dignity.

Never bring disgrace to the military.

Discipline yourself and live up
to a warrior's honor.

Control your anger
and suppress your dissatisfaction.

Consider anger the enemy.

Do you understand why you've
recited the field service code?

A man from this battalion
lost his mind over a woman.

When the enemy attacked,
he was taken prisoner,

and when he came back,
he committed suicide with the woman.

What did he think
of the divine military code?

He was a stupid idiot.

An ungrateful traitor.

He was a brave soldier.

Harumi had a great figure.

It's a pity to lose her.

I gather the one called Harumi
was quite a woman.

She drifted all this way into China.

Just a professional prostitute.

I see.

Corporal Mikami died of pneumonia.

The battalion attack plan.

The enemy has moved south.

We should keep the soldiers' morale up
and allow them to follow in pursuit.


China is a vast country.

All right.

Commence the attack plan
at 1600 hours tomorrow.

Mikami and Harumi could have both
run away if they'd wanted.

The Japanese are in such a hurry to die.

No matter how hard it is,
we must go on living.

To live is the difficult task.

It's dying that's cowardly.