Onibaba (1964) Script

A Kindai Eiga Kyokai Production




Produced by ITOYA Hisao, NOTO Setsuo, MINATO Tamotsu Original Screenplay by SHINDO Kaneto Cinematography by KURODA Kiyomi Music by HAYASHI Hikaru

Art Direction by SHINDO Kaneto


OTOWA Nobuko YOSHIMURA Jitsuko, SATO Kei UNO Jukichi, TONOYAMA Taiji

Directed by SHINDO Kaneto

Ushi, are you there?

Get something?

Nothing but junk.

Is this the best you can do?

Kyoto's been burned to the ground.

They say the emperor has escaped to Mount Yoshino.

So no more big battles. Just skirmishes now.

I can't do any business.

This is good millet.

Give us one more bag. Take it or leave it.

Hey! You want one more?

Sleep with me, then !

I'd never sleep with you, you bastard!

Hachi! What are you doing here?

I'm so hungry. Give me some food.

Get him a bowl.

It's a wonder you made it back.

Where's my husband?

Just wait a moment.

You came back alone?

I escaped.

So where's my son?

It was the Ashikaga army that forced us to go with them.

We fought in two of their battles.

In the third, we got caught by the Kusunoki army.

My son too?

Yes, both of us. So then we became Kusunoki men.

It was all the same to us.

It's the generals' war, not ours.

We didn't even know what they were fighting about.

There are two emperors now.

Kusunoki fights for the emperor at Mount Yoshino, and Ashikaga for the emperor in Kyoto.

That means the two emperors are quarrelling.

At first, we wanted to be heroes, but killing's not easy.

I could've been killed myself.

Once I stabbed a man in the back with a spear.

He was taking a shit in the bushes, and I killed him!

What happened to my son?

It was three days ago.

The Kusunoki army got routed at Minatogawa.

Ashikaga's men completely wiped them out.

It was a hellish battle.

We couldn't tell friend from foe. It lasted two days and two nights.

We tried to keep away from anywhere dangerous.

The general ordered us to advance, but we ran around till they chased us into a paddy field.

There was nothing to do but play dead in the mud.

We fooled them.

We waited for our chance and then ran for the mountains.

We hid in the bushes all night. I thought we'd starve.

So we went hunting for food.

We thought we'd steal from farmhouses, but they were all empty.

There was nothing to eat.

Soon, farmers with sticks came from out from nowhere and beat the hell out of us.

They beat Kichi to death.

I barely escaped with my life!

My son was killed?

And then? What happened to the samurai who took you two?

Well, he was killed right afterwards. An arrow right through his throat.

He flailed around and then keeled over.

Right here. Serves him right!

He had it coming!

They took my son so suddenly that we had a hard time surviving.

I was looking forward to the day of his return.

But only you made it back.

It's a wonder you're both still alive.

How do you eat?

There was frost last summer.

Hail fell.

Frost and hail in summer!

All our crops failed.

Strange things going on in Kyoto too.

A horse gave birth to a calf.

The sun rose black in the sky, and the day was dark as night.

How terrifying!

As if the earth had been turned upside down !

All the farmers are starving.

With all the fighting, they can't work, and the fields run wild without men to till them.

How do you eat?

Never you mind!

We're beggars.

Kyoto's been burnt to the ground. Not even a dog around.

Everything becomes food, people are eating snakes, even earthworms and mice.

You're wearing nice things. Did you steal them?

You're dressed oddly yourself.

I killed a priest on the way back and put on his clothes.

People trust priests. It makes it easier to get around.

What'll you do now? Is my hut still standing?

I suppose so. I see.

I'm going to get some sleep.

I'm exhausted.

Sorry I came back alone.

What is it?

It's upsetting!

What a fine day.

Makes war seem so far away.

That's a big fish you caught.

I have nothing to eat.

What do you do for food?

You don't seem to grow anything.

What do you do?

Do you steal?

I see. So that's it?

Everyone does where there's fighting going on.

They all steal in Kyoto.

You steal too? Right?

Why didn't you save my husband?

I had no time to save him!

We were attacked by about twenty farmers.

I barely got away myself.

You've been waiting for him? Poor girl.

What are you going to do? He's dead.

No use staying with that old woman, is there?

Mind your tongue!

You're still young.

How about coming over to see me?

Lovely day!

Hachi, what are you doing here?

Catching fish. Got to eat.

You have it.

Better to take what's offered.

It looks good!

What did Hachi have to say?

Nothing at all.

That bastard! Not even sorry he came back alone.

He might've killed my son himself. No different than an enemy.

Don't be too friendly with him.

Help me!


Help me!

Get the one floating away!

He's still alive!

We can eat now!

This is expensive stuff.

How about it?

Good stuff, eh?

Is that all?

The farmers are all hiding in the mountains.

It was hard enough finding this much.

It's risky work.

Bring me sake.

You've been lucky.

It's a wonder you made it back.

It's a good business you have here.

Only while the war lasts. I don't know how much longer it'll last.

They won't stop fighting for a long time yet.

Not until one side's beaten.

They'll carry on even if it ruins the country.

It's a business with them.

I'll take these birds too.

Bring me some good stuff.

Ushi's got himself a good business going there.

Armies will snap up swords, halberds and armour.

There's not enough to go around.

There's nothing for common soldiers, so they use wooden or bamboo spears.

That's a good business, all right.

I heard you two do good work.

How many have you killed?

That's our business!

You stay out of it!

Don't you think we should join forces?

I've been trained in war.

I could come in handy.

That's our business. We can manage on our own.

You hate me for returning alone?

I don't care what you do. You're on your own.

How about making me her husband?

Idiot! Don't be so stupid!

We're turning in.

Go on home.

That good-for-nothing!

He's after you.

You see his eyes? Like a dog after a bitch.

He's sniffing after you.

You just stay away from him!

That bastard's in heat!

I want a woman.

Come to mine.

I'll be waiting tonight.

Hachi's got his eyes on you.

Don't let him catch you.

Who's there?

Who's there?

So it's you.

So you came.



I get scared running through the reeds.

Don't be silly.

What are you saying? You kill people for a living.

Lazy bastard, enjoying his nap!

Oh, it's just you.

You like to sleep?

Yes, it's nice to have a little nap.

It's too hot.

Best to sleep in the daytime.

Want to sleep with me?

An old woman like you?

You fool!

I'm not old on the inside.

Come on.

Try me.

I'm going for a swim.

Hachi, wait!

What is it?

Something good?

Don't act so innocent!

What are you doing with my daughter-in-law every night?

What do you mean?

I'll slap you. I saw you both!

What do you plan to do with her?

She's the one who comes to my place.

You asked her to! What's wrong with that?

I'm a red-blooded man. I can't stand it.

She's another man's wife.

Your son's dead.

You worthless bastard, coming back here alone!

You'd take your friend's wife?

She's not your daughter-in-law anymore.

Your son's dead. She needs a man.

And no wonder, she's still young.

It's only natural.

Not if you leave! Go away!

If I left, they'd take me back to the war.

I'll stay here.

Then leave her alone!

I'll make you an offer.

Let her be my bride.

You've got a nerve!

My poor son must be turning in his grave!

You can't ask a young man and woman who are neighbours not to be friends.

Hachi, if my son's dead, she's all I've got!

I can't get along alone. I couldn't even kill!

Take her and I'll starve!

Don't worry, I won't. We'll just be friends.

She'll end up deserting me.

I'll tell her not to.

Hachi, I'm begging you!

I can't kill without her!

You ask too much.

Your son's gone. It's selfish to hold on to her!

When the war ends, I can farm and manage on my own.

Just till then.

There's no telling when the war will end.

If all you want is a woman, I'll do.

How about me?

I'm not interested.

So you intend to take her?

Don't you understand yet? I won't take her! We'll just be friends!

You say that now, but she'll end up leaving me!

That's not my problem.

Remember those words, you bastard! What are you going to do?

I'll spear the two of you in your sleep.

Then she'll be dead too.

Old hag!

Where are you going?

I can't sleep.

I thought I'd get some fresh air.

Yes, it's hard to sleep tonight.

There's no breeze at all.


I dreamt that Kichi came back.

My son may return.

Hachi saw him die. He won't be coming back.

Hachi's a bad man. He might've been lying.

He wouldn't lie.

If Kichi were alive, he'd have come back.

There'd be no point lying about it.

Aren't you sad my son is dead?

I am, but he's not coming back.

I'll find you a good husband.

Just be patient.

When the war ends, the men will come back.

We'll find you a good husband and farm again like we used to.


There'll be more prey coming our way.

I'll lend you a hand.

Is that a wild dog?

Not much spirit for a wild dog.

It's after a mate.

Damned pest!

We'll skin you and eat you!

It's a terrible thing.

Once, in Kyoto …

… I heard a great priest talk.

"Those who sin in this world

"go to purgatory when they die."

What's purgatory? The dead are just ashes.

No, that's not true.

They say hell really exists.

A hell of fire, a hell of fury, a hell for sinners.

The terrible mountain of needles, the lake of blood.

The punishment for sinful lust is the worst of all.

Souls with human faces grow four legs and fall into a sinners' hell.

There, they're tortured day and night with red-hot irons.

That's a lie! There is no hell!

Hell must exist. A great priest said so.

It's no sin what men and women do. Everyone does it!

If it's man and wife, it's all right.

With couples … it's quite all right.

It's a terrible thing.

Merciful Buddha …

Now, let's go to bed.

Don't be afraid.

I'm a human being, not a demon.

I have my reasons for wearing a mask.

I'm a samurai from a good family.

As you can see, I've escaped from the battle.

I got separated from my men.

I hope to return to Kyoto, but I'm lost in this field of grass.

Show me the road to Kyoto.

Go due north.

That will take you straight there.

Show me the way out of this grass.

After I show you the way, you'll kill me.

What good is there in killing the likes of you?

Find the way yourself!

Old woman !

Do you refuse?

All right. I'll take you.

I've missed you so.

That old woman, trying to come between us!

If we sin, do we go to purgatory?


People have been doing this for thousands of years.

But I'm willing to go to hell for you!

It's a vast field of grass.

There's no telling what demons and snakes live here.

And monsters like you stray in.

That's right. I'm a demon.

Why do you wear a mask?

It makes me look fierce.

You were defeated, and now you're running from the war.

There's no use looking fierce now.

You're right.

Many of my men were killed, and many others left me.

I was left all alone.

I was left all alone.

It's your punishment for starting the war!

Old woman.

Would you like to know why I wear a mask?

I feared marring my face.

My face is beautiful.

The most handsome face in Kyoto.

To protect it in the war, I wore this mask into the thick of battle.

As a reward for showing you the road, show me your beautiful face.

You'd feel faint if you saw my beautiful face.

I've never seen anything really beautiful since the day I was born.

Show me your face.

You wish to see it so badly?

Show me.

You want to see a face you could fall in love with?

I've never seen anyone so handsome that it would take my breath away.

Walk on, old woman !

This is not a face to show peasants.

Walk faster or I'll cut you down !

Did you cause many soldiers to die?

What a cruel thing.

The dead died in vain.

The dead can never come back to life.

Be silent and walk!

Serves you right!

Men like you killed my son !

Now let's see just how beautiful you are.

So this is the most handsome face?

This is a samurai general's face?

Rest in peace in this hole.

You have friends here.

You made others die.

Now it's your turn.

Isn't it heavy? No, not very.

Shall I go along too?

No, I'll go by myself.

But it'll be night when you return.

If it's dark, it can't grow darker.

I'll be late. Eat early and go to bed.

Be careful.

What's the matter?

You'll catch cold going to sleep there.

What is it? Are you sick?

Your face is pale.

Is anything wrong?

No, it's nothing.

Why's she so late?

Are there really demons?

Well, in hell, I guess.

They exist in this world too.

Did you see one?

No, I didn't.

We've done nothing wrong. No demon can come after us.

They might come after someone who's bad, though.

Shall we eat?

Shall I go to Ushi's place?

It's too hot in the daytime.

Night's the best time to go out.

Ushi's a sly one.

If I take too many at once, he knocks down the price.

Better to take a few at a time.

We'll make more that way.

Well, I'll be back shortly.

Be careful.

What's the matter?

Did you have a dream?

What kind of dream?

You woke me up.


You stood me up. What's going on?

You tired of me?

It's raining, you shouldn't go.

I can't let Ushi get the better of me.

Last night, he said he didn't have the millet on hand and that I should pick it up tonight.

It's just a shower. It'll soon stop.

It'll become nice and cool.

I'll be back soon.


Hachi! What is it?

A demon ! What?

A demon ! There's no such thing, you fool!

There's no such things as demons. You just imagined it.

There is. I saw it with my own eyes!

Maybe it was a fox or a badger.

Even weasels fool people.

My head's clear again !

I wish we could live together.

I told you so. Come and live at my place.

There's a bug on my back!

Set yourself free from that old woman.

I can't. I might be punished.

For what?

It's Buddha's punishment.

There is no Buddha.

I'll come for you tomorrow.



It's me!

I'm not a demon ! It's me!

It's me!

It's you! It's me!

It's your mother!

Then that demon every night … Yes, it was me!

It was wrong of me. Forgive me.

I wore the mask to scare you away from him.

Now I'm being punished for it!

The mask won't come off!

Why won't it come off? Why won't it come off?

Why won't it come off?

It got wet in the rain and won't come off.

Pull it off for me.

Why won't it come off?

Serves you right! It's your punishment!

I beg you!


I didn't sin. This proves it.

Old meddler! This proves it!

It was wrong of me. I was wrong to meddle.

Pull the mask off!

You became a demon ! Now you can stay that way!

Please get it off me.

I'm begging you!

All right, but will you do everything I say?

I will!

I will, I will.

Exactly as I say?

Yes, I will!

Can I see Hachi every night?

Daytime too?

You won't complain about us? No, I won't.

Day and night? Yes.

You sure?

I'm sure!

All right, I'll take it off.

It hurts!

It hurts … Why is this happening?

Hurry, take it off. Bear with it, even if it hurts!

It hurts!

It hurts.

The rain did this? It hurts!

It's punishment!

It hurts … It hurts so!

It's that samurai's curse.

What did you say?

It hurts!

Hold on now, even if it hurts!

I'm going to die.

It came off.

The mask came off!


Thank you for pulling it off.

What's wrong?


I'm not a demon, I'm a human being!

I'm a human being!