Michio himself is presented as something of a blank canvas, as he drifts across the country consistently running up against the limited possibilities for social advancement of a young man of his educational background. From his initial arrival in the big city as working in the ‘Fruit Parlour’ of a chichi Shibuya department store to his dead-end job as a barman at a gaudy nightclub populated by pill-popping beatniks, swaggering gangsters and miniskirted molls, the film touches many of the bases familiar from the work of 1960s Japanese New Wave directors such as Nagisa Oshima, in which violent crime is seen as providing a justifiable outlet for youthful rebellion in a sick society (several of Oshima’s regular entourage appear in the film). Tokyo and Osaka’s streets seethe with anti-Vietnam war protesters, while the issue of discrimination against Japanese-born ethnic Koreans is broached through his relationship with a prostitute, Hanako, in the later scenes.—midnighteye.com
Japanese filmmaker/scriptwriter Kaneto Shindo’s most famous directorial efforts include The Island (1960), a nearly silent, but powerful glimpse at a lonely farmer’s daily toil, and Children of Hiroshima (1952), a wrenching and sentimental account of the city’s post-bomb aftermath. Shindo was born in Hiroshima and got his start in films as an art director during the late ’30s. Less than a decade later, he wrote his first screenplays and went on to work with a number of Japanese directors, including Kenji Mizoguchi and Kon Ichikawa. In 1950, Shindo was a co-founder of a production company. He made his directorial debut in 1951 with The Story of a Beloved Wife.
He was married to actress Nobuko Otowa (1925–1994), who appeared in several of his films. He won the 1996 Japan Academy Prize for Director of the Year for A Last Note.— allmovie guide