Isazo is a traveler player and a living legend in the world of the Yakuza, known for his swordsmanship and courage, his impeccable manners, and his brilliant talent in the game. In late autumn, at an inn in Kiso Fukushima, Isazo befriends a child whose mother happens to be his old love Yoshino, who was unable to consummate the marriage because of social differences between them makes.
Chikuzan Takahashi, in his late sixties at the time of filming, is a blind musician who has spent most of his life on the roads of Northern Japan, earning his living as a tsugaru shamisen player. Latterly he acquired a devoted following among Japanese students, which is why Shindo made The Life of Chikuzan. The movie opens with Chikuzan himself in concert, then moves into a drama-documentary reconstruction of his early years, from his impoverished parents' desperate attempts to find a livelihood for him to his successful second marriage.
Tetsuo is a young man living in Tokyo, who falls in love with a deaf-mute factory girl. He has always felt jealous of his college- educated brother, but ultimately wins both the girl and his father's acceptance and support in a touching and refreshing way.
The dignified heir to Koji Wakamatsu's glorious renegade film works, A Woman and War is a darker-than-hell moral shocker set towards the end of WWII. Nomura (Masatoshi Nagase) is a writer in despair. His companion is a former prostitute (Noriko Eguchi), who works in a bar. Many years ago, her father sold her to a brothel due to the family's severe financial hardships. The writer and the woman agree to live as husband and wife until the war ends. Meanwhile, Ohira (Jun Murakami) fought for Japan in China, and participated in unconscionable acts against civilians in the name of war. Returning to Japan with only one arm and a broken soul, he begins to prey on innocent women.