Imamura enrolled in technical college to avoid being drafted in World War II, shifting his focus to playwriting and filmmaking after the war ended. Part of the Japanese New Wave, Imamura made his directorial debut in 1958 with Stolen Desire. But it was with his 1961 gangster farce Pigs and Battleships that he hit his stride and began to focus on the fringe figures, strong women and messy characters that would come to characterize his work.
After spending much of the 1970s making documentaries, Imamura returned to features during his later years, winning the Cannes Film Festival Palme d'Or for both The Ballad of Narayama (1983) and Unagi (1997). He died on May 30, 2006.
Yasuko (Yoshiko Tanaka) and her family contend with radiation-induced illness and their positions as social outcasts in postwar Japan after surviving America's 1945 atomic bomb attack on Hiroshima. Will Yasuko be able to find a man who'll marry her? Japanese writer-director Shohei Imamura's irony-rich film, which is based on Ibuse Masuji's novel, also stars Kazuo Kitamura, Etsuko Ichihara and Shoichi Ozawa.