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The Human Condition I: No Greater Love (1959) Poster

Quotes

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Kuroki Shochô: You know, Kaji, theory may be correct and yet not always apply to reality.

Kaji: Then either the theory is wrong or it was incorrectly applied.

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Michiko: I'm sorry about yesterday; I failed as a wife and a woman.

[Kaji gives a refreshed sigh]

Michiko: I couldn't sleep.

Kaji: This is your home. You can sleep soundly here.

Michiko: Promise you'll share both your joys and your sorrows with me.

Kaji: Sorrow for one is enough.

Michiko: It's not! I'm walking down the same path you are. It's okay if I lose my way. Just tell me we might get lost and take me along. I'll follow you... and do my best to keep up.

Kaji: I understand.

Michiko: If I don't walk fast enough, will you wait just a tiny bit for me? Just a very tiny bit?

Kaji: Of course.

Michiko: I'll never ask you the same question twice.

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Kaji: [discussing the pardoning of prisoners due to be executed for an alleged escape attempt] I'll be honest. There's only one chance in one hundred.

Kyôritsu Ô: This does not concern us alone. Just as my companions stand between life and death, so do you now stand at an important crossroads.

Kaji: You're right.

Kyôritsu Ô: If you fail now, no one will ever trust you again, and you too will lose faith in yourself.

Kaji: It's true.

Kyôritsu Ô: Yet you would do nothing?

Kaji: What can I do?

Kyôritsu Ô: Must a man outside this barbed wire ask me such a question? Not all the Japanese working here are murderous devils. Their combined opinion objecting to this execution will be more effective than one individual alone.

Kaji: If I'd always acted as you wanted me to there'd be no Kaji here today. I'd like to see what you'd do in my position.

Kyôritsu Ô: You and I will both make minor mistakes. Such things can be forgiven. But an error made at a crucial moment is an unforgivable crime. Your life has been a series of errors stemming from the conflict between your work and yourself. Such errors can possibly be corrected. But this one cannot.

Kaji: Meaning?

Kyôritsu Ô: You'll either be revealed as a murderer wearing the mask of humanism or as one worthy of the beautiful name... "man".

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Kaji: Can't you see? Force has meaning only when overcoming tyranny.

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Soldier: What is a man? Not poetry or morality. He's a mass of lust and greed that absorbs and excretes.

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Kaji: It's not my fault that I'm Japanese... yet it's my worst crime that I am!

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Okishima: [in parting words to Kaji] I'm boarding this run-down truck, but you're trying to catch the train of humanism before it's too late. I won't stop you. You seem willing to pay the fare, no matter how high.

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Kaji: [furious over the recent escape of Chinese POWs under his supervision] I've given up on all of you. You said you'd wait. You might think I'm a fool, but even a fool has his limits! Another escape and you'll all go without food for three days. I'll turn your men against you and break your authority in this camp!

: You Japanese are all the same!

Kaji: Fine! Then I'll act accordingly. All promises are hereby retracted. Now I realize there can be no trust between us.

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[first lines]

Michiko: This isn't like you.

Kaji: Why?

Michiko: You're running away. Don't you want me?

Kaji: Of course I do.

Michiko: And I want you, too. Yet we can't marry-...

Kaji: How many times must I explain?

Michiko: Because you might be called up? I wouldn't care if it was the day after. Of course I'd cry. I'd cry bitterly. But happiness only lies in marrying the one you love.

Kaji: Alright. I'll take you back to my dormitory. You'll stay with me tonight. Alright?

Michiko: Yes, I'll go.

[they start trudging through the snow]

Kaji: No, you better go back to your own dormitory... I can't take you to mine.

Michiko: You were just testing me. You shouldn't have done that. You're a coward and a weakling! Now I see that!

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Kuroki Shochô: This is wartime. Peacetime reasoning does not apply.

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Okishima: Where you been hidin'?

Kaji: What's wrong with you? Drunk, I see.

Okishima: Think I got drunk and came to make trouble? I had a drink with the boss, but I'm not drunk.

Okishima: [they enter Kaji's house and Okishima lays on the floor] I have some hot news. They're issuing commendations for the increased production. Okazaki will surely be included. I told the boss you were the only one in Labor who deserved a commendation... The boss felt the same way, but he feared that this old-timer might feel slighted... You don't think I'd feel slighted, do you?

Kaji: Why have you suddenly turned to brute force?

Okishima: [snickering] The boss asked the same thing. I was born a brute... Good enough?

[Kaji shifts in contemplation]

Okishima: How long do you plan to keep on like this?

Kaji: Meaning what?

Okishima: Straddling a fundamental contradiction and trying to justify it... I'm out of breath. If I'm being a nuisance, just say so and I'll back off.

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Michiko: We'll have lunch together and then go to the apple orchard. It's so wonderful, I feel as light as a balloon!

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Tôfuku Kin: Drink. It'll relax you.

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Kaji: The investigation is over, but I don't believe you tried to escape.

: You're turning us over to the Kenpeitai?

Kaji: I don't intend to. But you never had faith in me before. Perhaps it's best to doubt me now as well. Those men have all the power! I have none! I'll do everything I can until tomorrow evening.

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Okazaki: No wonder. Books by damn Westerners.

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