Question about Kinoshita's Rikugun (E & J)

Aaron Gerow aaron.gerow
Wed Dec 27 19:48:53 EST 2006

> Thus, I'm afraid my first post is to ask a question.  I am currently 
> watching Kinoshita's Rikugun and puzzling over the scene in which 
> Tanaka Kinuyo, whilst washing out her yard, breaks down.  She sits 
> down and repeats a mantra under her breath.  Each line begins with 
> "gunjin wa.." and ends with "hitotsu".  From what I can make out it is 
> a list of goals for the Japanese mother in order to produce a "rippana 
> gunjin".  However, it is spoken so low and with my limited Japanese I 
> am having trouble making it out.  I wondered if anyone knows what it 
> is she is saying.  I'm not sure if it is her own personal mantra or a 
> commonly used set of phrases by mothers at that time.  Either way it's 
> very moving.

It has been a while since I've seen the film, but this is almost 
certainly from the Gunjin chokuyu (Imperial Rescript to Soldiers and 
Sailors (1882)), that soldiers were required to memorize (at least in 
part). It appears a lot in wartime film, but usually when people recite 
just the five main directives:


Each line, as you see, starts with "Hitotsu, gunjin wa..."

Aaron Gerow
Assistant Professor
Film Studies Program/East Asian Languages and Literatures
Yale University
53 Wall Street, Room 316
PO Box 208363
New Haven, CT 06520-8363
Phone: 1-203-432-7082
Fax: 1-203-432-6764
e-mail: aaron.gerow at

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