On 15 August 1955 at noon, on the anniversary of Japan’s surrender, five people gather outside a train station, each of them wearing the emblem of the former imperial army on their chest. On the day of the surrender, an army general had hidden a can of priceless morphin in an air-raid shelter. It had been agreed then that the general and his three soldiers would meet ten years later to share their loot. Outside the station there is now one person too many. What’s more, one of them is a woman who claims she was married to the now dead general. The four men and the woman rent a house, aiming to turn it into a real estate agency. They start digging the ground to reach the spot where the can was buried. As their work progresses, each of them becomes a victim of their own selfishness, distrust and greed.
The themes of this comic thriller herald one of Imamura’s masterpieces, Pigs and Battleships.