Grave Of The Fireflies Script - Dialogue Transcript

Voila! Finally, the Grave Of The Fireflies script is here for all you quotes spouting fans of the movie whose original title is Hotaru no haka.  This script is a transcript that was painstakingly transcribed using the screenplay and/or viewings of Grave Of The Fireflies back in 1992.  Enjoy!

Swing on back to Drew's Script-O-Rama afterwards for more free movie scripts!

Grave Of The Fireflies Script




This script is a fan-produced translation of the animation movie, "The

Grave of the Fireflies," and is not meant in any way to infringe upon the

rights held by the creators or those in connection with the movie.  The

script is purely an instrument to aid fans better understand the movie

when viewed legally.

Reproduction of this material is permitted for Non-Profit purposes only.

Any personal alterations made should not be included in the script when

distributed.  In the use of this script for subtitling efforts, please

read the section "SUBTITLING" attached at the end of the script.

Maturity in the use of this script is expected.

Original Edits by K Hindall & Sheng-Te Tsao (CJAS), March 28, 1992.

Re-formatted to a 73-character line by Steven Feldman, August 11, 1992.

Please keep these headlines intact.

Griffin Script                                    Miho Nishida    3/28/92


                             HOTARU NO HAKA

                        -Grave of the Fireflies-

                  Script and direction by Shun Takahata


( ) = scenery notes

[ ] = translational/cultural notes

        Within translational notes:

        LT  Literal tranlation of Japanese;

        ET  Equivalent translation;

        ALT Alternative phrasing of previous sentence or word;

        =   Definition or clarification of a word;

        ?   Uncertain translation due to unclear dialogue.

< > = hidden reference of a dialogue



SEITA       Son of a marine officer [general?].

SETSUKO     Younger sister of Seita.  ["Sett-chan" = Endearment of


R/SEITA     Rei [= Spirit] of Seita.

MOTHER      Seita and Setsuko's mother.

AUNT        A distant relative of Seita and Setsuko.  There seems to be

            no direct blood ties to her and them (probably a wife of a

            distant blood relative).  [Note: She may seem like an ogre or

            at least an abusive woman, but I would stress that her

            actions are just a result of the hard time they lived in.]



1) In this movie, the "rei"s of Seita and Setsuko travel through their

flashbacks.  This "rei" is not really a ghost but more a spirit.

2) In Japanese, like many other words, the word "hotaru" can be written

in different ways.  "Hotaru" is usually written with one kanji character

that has the sub-character "insect" incorporated in it or written with

the hira-gana (kana) characters that sound out "Ho" "Ta" and "Ru".  In

this movie, however, the author chose to use an archaic kanji formation

to write "hotaru".  The characters "Fire" and "Leaking/Spilling" and the

hiragana "RU" are used.  The use of the rather archaic formation leads

this translator to speculate that the author perhaps intended to convey

the meaning of "Life Leaking" or "Spilling of Life" to the audiences.  Or

perhaps, in the 1940's, this particular "spelling" was still valid.  This

is purely a speculation of this translator, but one that nonetheless was

thought to be worth mentioning.  [So don't quote me!]

3) Hotaru [= fireflies] do not live long.



     In middle of the film, there is a song sang about frogs and heading

home.  Song: "The frogs are croaking so let's go home".  The reason for

the word "frog" in this song: "Kaeru" = frog; "kaeru" = to go home/back;

"kaero^" = let's go home/back.  It should be noted that the kaeru from

the frog has no accent and kaeru to go home has accent on the "ka".


R/SEITA     In 1945, on the night of September 21, I died.  [ALT: On

            the night of September 21, 1945, I died.  NOTE: Sho^wa year

            20 = 1945]

(_Train station_)

VOICES      What a dirty guy.  Oi!  Watch out!  How dirty!  I wonder if

            he's dead.  The American troops will be arriving soon.  It

            would be an embarrassment if they find such a guy here at the


VOICE       Mommy!

SEITA       What date is it?  (He slumps down.)  Setsuko...

(Station workers arrive for clean-up.)

WORKER 1    (prods Seita's body)  Again... (Searches Seita)  Hm?  What's


WORKER 2    Let it be, let it be.  [ALT: Forget it, forget it.]   just throw it away.

WORKER 1    (prods another body)  This one's gonna go soon, too.  When

            they start staring into open air, they're goners.

(The station worker throws the rusted candy can outside.  The cap opens

 on impact and small white objects spill out.  As the fireflies take

 flight, the rei of Setsuko rises up from the weed beds.  Seeing her

 brother's form in the station, she starts to go there, but a hand

 restrains her.  She looks up to see the rei of her older brother.  Seita

 picks up the candy can and the can is no longer rusted.  Handing the can

 to Setsuko, they head into the station together.)


Title:  Hotaru no Haka  (The Grave of the Fireflies)


(Riding on the train, light washes over the reis of Seita and Setsuko.

 As they turn around, they see the fires of an air raid...)


(Seita is putting food items into the hole he dug as the air raid sirens

 sound.  His mother is trying to put a protective cap on Setsuko.)

VOICE       Take shelter! Take shelter!  Please take shelter!

VOICES      [?][?]  If it's a bombing raid then the shelter-hole behind

            the fire house is the safest.  [?]

SETUSKO     It's hot!

MOTHER      You're a good girl, aren't you?  You must bear it.  [ALT: You

            must endure it.]  (Setsuko squirms away.)  Well, I'll be

            going to the air-raid shelter.  You two be careful and join

            me soon.  Sett-chan [in reference to Setsuko], you listen to

            your brother.

SEITA       Mom, never mind.  You gotta go quickly!

MOTHER      Yes, yes.

SEITA       Mom, do you have the medicines with you?

MOTHER      Yes, yes.  I have them.

SETSUKO     I don't like the air-raid shelter...

SEITA       Saying such a silly thing... [ALT (poor): What a silly thing

            to say.]  You could be blown up by the bombs.  [ALT: Don't

            blame me if you get blown up by a bomb.]  Hurry and get on!

SETSUKO     The dolly!  [ALT: My dolly!]

SEITA       Where?  Ah!

(They hear the warning bells.  With a whooshing sound, the air raid


SETSUKO     Nii-chan!  [LT: Elder brother; ET: Brother]

SEITA       Take cover!  (They try to flee outside.  As the fire bomb

            proceeds,)  No!

(They rush back into the house to avoid the fire, then return outside.)

SETSUKO     (As they prepare to leave, fire bursts from windows.)

            Nii-chan! Nii-chan! Nii-chan!!

(The two manage to get away to a grove by the sea; various scenes


MAN         Emperor [ALT: Lord Emperor], Ban-zai!!  [ALT: Long live the

            Lord Emperor!!]

(The raid passes.)

SEITA       No need to worry.  We should be safe here.

SETSUKO     Where did Mommy go?

SEITA       She's at the air-raid shelter.  The shelter behind the fire

            station.  She said it could withstand the direct hit of a

            250 kilo bomb.  There's no need to worry.  Mom's probably at

            the Nihon Matsu Station.  We arranged to meet there.  Let's

            go there after we rest a while.

(Seita starts to wipe Setsuko's face.)

SEITA       Are you all right?

SETSUKO     I lost my sandal.

SEITA       I'll buy you a new one, a much better one.

SETSUKO     I have money too!  Open this.  (She upends the purse to show

            the toys.)

SEITA       My, you're rich.

(Rain starts to fall.)

SEITA       So this  is what they say falls after air-raids...

(Seita, carrying Setsuko on his back, climbs up to a road.)

SEITA       My, it's become really...cleared...  Look, that's Kohkaido.

            We went there to eat zo-sui, remember?  [zo-sui = soup-like

            rice dish]

SETSUKO     Did our home burn down?

SEITA       Looks that way.

SETSUKO     What will we do?

SEITA       Dad will take revenge for us.


(_The Aftermath_)

VOICES      Mom!  Mom!  [ALT: Mother!  Mother!]

MAN         If your house was the only one that didn't burn, I guess

            you'd feel uncomfortable.  I'm glad that ours just burned,

            clean and simple.

MAN         It's really a good thing that you're all right.

WOMAN       [?]

MAN         No, it's not Aunty.

SETSUKO     Nii-chan, I need to go!

SEITA       Okay.

MAN         Everyone!  Please gather at the school!  [LT: People's

            School, Citizen's School]

SEITA       What's the matter?

SETSUKO     My eyes hurt.

SEITA       You mustn't rub them.  They'll be able to wash them at the


SETSUKO     Where's Mom?

SEITA       She's at the school.

SETSUKO     School?

SEITA       Yeah.  Let's hurry over there.

SETSUKO     Okay.

(At the school, a make-shift hospital has been set up.)

WOMAN       Seita-san.  (takes him aside)  Seita-san, have you seen your

            mother?  She's hurt.  Hurry, go see her.  I'll watch her (in

            reference to Setsuko).  (To Setsuko:) It was scary, wasn't

            it, Sett-chan.  You didn't cry ?


WOMAN       Your brother has some business.  It won't be so long.

(Seita rushes down to the main hospital complex.)

MAN         Ah, Seita-kun.  We were looking for you.  Are you all right?

SEITA       My mom?

MAN         This way.  (As he leads Seita out, he turns back and hands

            Seita a ring.)  Oh... This is your mother's.

SEITA       What?

MAN         Over here.

(Seita is shown into a room where his mother lies wrapped in bandages.

 Her breathing is labored.)

MAN         She's finally gone to sleep.  It would be better if she was

            placed in a hospital.  I'm having people ask around.  I heard

            that Kaisei hospital in Nishinomiya didn't burn.

SEITA       Ahm...  Mom has a bad heart.  [ALT: heart trouble]  Is there

            any way could you get her the medicine for that?

MAN         I'll ask around.  Well, I'll come again.

SEITA       Mom...

(Seita comes back to the school playground where the woman and Setsuko

 is playing in the sand box.)

WOMAN       Did you see her?

SEITA       Yes...

WOMAN       It's really a pity.

SETSUKO     I'm thirsty.  (Seita hands Setsuko his water bottle.)

WOMAN       If there's anything I can do, tell me.  Oh, yes.  Did you get

            the dried rations?  I'll get them for you.

SEITA       Put this ring in your purse.  You mustn't lose it.  Mom's not

            feeling great.  She'll get well soon, though.

SETSUKO     Where is she?

SEITA       In the hospital.  The one in Nishinomiya.  So we're going to

            stay over at the school tonight.  And tomorrow... You

            remember our Nishinomiya aunty, the one who lives near the

            pond?  Let's go there.  Okay?

WOMAN       We're at the second floor of the school.  Everyone's there;

            won't you join us?

SEITA       Thank you.  We'll be there later.

WOMAN       Later, then.  Sett-chan.

SEITA       Do you want to eat them?

SETSUKO     I want to go to Mommy.

SEITA       Tomorrow.  It's too late today.

(Setsuko starts to cry.  After a while...)

SETSUKO     Look!  Nii-chan's [ALT: Brother's, I'm] good at this.


(Another day.  The body of Seita and Setsuko's mother is being carried

 out for cremation.)

MAN1        We can't take off the bandage.  It's better not to look at

            the body.

MAN2        With this heat...

MAN1        We have to use trucks starting today.

MAN3        Your sister...  What did you do with her?

SEITA       I left her with our distant relative in Nishinomiya.  We had

            arrangements for us to stay there in case we got burned out


MAN3        Is that so?  That's good.  Well, I have duties, so I'll leave

            you here.  Take care.  [LT: Be well.]


(Seita's rei looks on as his past self returns to Nishinomiya via train,

 carrying the ashes of his mother.  Seita and Setsuko's rei get off at a

 station and they walk down a hill.  It is night and they see Seita

 opening the gate to his aunt's home.  Seita hesitates, and before

 opening the door, he hides the wooden box of his mother's ashes.  [Note:

 Sadly, since it was a mass cremation, the ashes that Seita obtained are

 not, strictly speaking, "his mother's ashes".  Rather, they are what may

 or may not contain some of her ashes.])

SETSUKO     Mommy!  Where's Mommy?  Is Mommy still not well?

SEITA       No.  She got hurt in the raid.

AUNT        Welcome back.  How was your mother?  Is she in the Kaisei


SETNA       Uh... yes...

AUNT        Marines are lucky.  They get to use trucks for transport in

            their pre-evacuation.  ["Sokai" = pre-evacuation of items or

            persons to rural areas by those living in more metropolitan

            areas]  Your spare futons are out in the room.

SEITA       Thank you.  ["Sumimasen" LT: Sorry]

SETSUKO     I wonder if Mommy doesn't need it anymore.  Did she give it

            to me?

SEITA       That's important, so put it away. Mom is...  When Mom gets a

            little better, let's go pay her a visit, okay?  [ALT: Let's

            go see her, okay?]

SETSUKO     Okay.

SEITA       It's late, so sleep now.  [ALT: So, go to sleep now.]

SETSUKO     Okay.

(Late that night, Seita sneaks out of the house to retrieve the urn.)


(The next day finds Seita going back to what is left of his house to

 retrieve what he hid in the backyard.  On his way back to his aunt's

 house, he drinks a water from a broken water pipe.  He tosses the

 treasure  he found, the candy can, into the back of the cart.  He opens

 a jar of umeboshi [= pickled plums; extremely acidy and sour, but good]

 and suffers the consequences.)

AUNT         herring, dried fish flakes, dried sweet potatoes,

            eggs, and pickled plums.  My!  Isn't this butter?  Even

            during these hard times, some people have it all.   the

            military people get to live in luxury.  [ALT: get to live in

            excess.]  So Seita-san, have you visited the hospital?  I

            want to discuss with your mother about what to do in the

            future, so I was planning to visit her with Sett-chan.

            (Noticing Seita's grim face,)  She didn't make it?

SEITA       Mom died at the school.

AUNT        What?  She died?  If that was the case, why didn't you tell

            me sooner?  You're an unfrank child!  ["Mizukusai" = not

            being frank out of reservation or from politeness]

SEITA       I didn't want Setsuko to know.

AUNT        So she died...  My goodness.  You must write to your father

            immediately and let him know.

SETSUKO     Nii-chan!  Sister bought me a new sandals!

SEITA       That's good, Setsuko.  [ALT: Aren't you lucky, Setsuko.]

GIRL        Welcome back.


(Seita and Setsuko are playing in a bath tub at their neighbor's house.

 They come out refreshed and amused.)

[Note: In those days, especially in the rural areas, not everyone had

 bathing facilities.  Neighbors borrowed from those who did have them.]

VOICE       Rough time for you kids...

SEITA       Thank you very much.

SETSUKO     What's that sound?

SEITA       That's the  edible frog.  There's nothing to


SETSUKO     Ah!  A firefly!

SEITA       (Seita catches one.)  Here, take this.  [ALT: catch it.]

            (Setsuko accidentally crushes the firefly.)  Oh, you crushed


SETSUKO     What is this smell?

SEITA       It's because you squished it!

(They arrive at a field where there are plenty of fireflies both in and

 out the air.)

SEITA       My, there're so many of them; the fireflies.  Oh yes.

            Setsuko, close your eyes and say "Ahhhn".

SETSUKO     Why?

SEITA       It doesn't matter why.  Just say "Ahhhn".

SETSUKO     Ahhhn.

(Seita pops in one of the drop candies into Setsuko's mouth.)

SETSUKO     A drop!  Mmmmm!  Drop, drop, drop!  [ET: candy; "Dorop" which

            comes from drop candy is synonymous to "Ame" = candy, in


(She runs around but suddenly comes to a halt.)

SETSUKO     I almost swallowed it!


(Seita and Setsuko returns.  Their aunt is scraping the bottom of a pot

 to get the burnt scraps.)

SEITA       We're back.

AUNT        That was long.  [ALT: You're back late.]  Did you thank the

            lady?  [Note: In Japanese, "Oba-san" is not only "aunt" but

            is also used in reference to any middle aged woman.]

SEITA       Yes.

(As the kids retire to their room, Seita peers back at the kitchen and


SEITA       That looked good...


(_Rainy day_)

AUNT        Seita-san.  What happened to school?  Don't you need to go?

            [ALT: Shouldn't you attend?]

SEITA       Well, the academy I used to go is a mess from the bombings,

            and the school burned, so there's nothing I can do.

AUNT        Really?  [ALT: Is that so?]  You did write that letter to

            your father, ?

SEITA       I did .  As a certified mail.

AUNT        When?

SEITA       It was as soon as I got here, so it's been more than 10 days.

AUNT        That's strange.  I haven't received any reply yet.  (As she

            leaves the room,)  If you use the scissors you must put them

            away, Sett-chan.


(Somedays later, at dinner:)

AUNT        How goes the war?

BOY         It's getting worse, I heard.  Other factories have to cover

            the load for those others burned in the air-raid.  All they

            keep saying is for us to pour all efforts into increasing the

            production in preparation for the battle on the mainland.

            [ALT: They tell us to pour all efforts into increasing the

            production in preparation for the final battle.]

AUNT        That must be so...  Even the distribution of food items are

            getting worse and worse.  [ALT: Food rations are getting

            sparser as well.]  It's becoming tough for everyone, and not

            just for the soldiers on the battle field.  Koi-san is also

            part of the country's work force; you must eat alot and gain

            strength as well. [ALT: keep up your energy/strength]

            ["Koi-san" = Youngest sister in rural 'Kansai' tongue]

(The siren starts.)

AUNT        Again!

(_In the shelter_)

WOMEN       So at your place, two got burned out?  That must be hard.

            They're so young.  Pity.

SEITA       What's the matter?  Your rash itches?

SETSUKO     I'm hot!  I hate shelters!

SEITA       Bear it.  Nii-chan's here, so you're not afraid, are you?

            [ALT: I'm here, so you're not afraid, are you?]


(Some days later:)

SEITA       Wanna go to the sea?

SETSUKO     Yes, let's go.  Let's go to the sea!

(On their way to the sea,)

SEITA       My... They've turned everything into  fields...

(_At the sea_)

SETSUKO     What are they doing?

SEITA       They're taking the salt water.  The rationed salts and soy-

            sauces aren't enough.  Let's go.  Hurry and get undressed.

SETSUKO     Ohhh!

SEITA       It might be a little cold.

SETSUKO     Noo!  [ALT: Do--n't!]  It's co--ld!

SEITA       Doesn't if feel good around the rash?

SETSUKO     Yes!  It's a large bath tub!

SEITA       Hey!  (Starts chasing Setsuko)  Stop!  [ALT: Wait]  I'll eat

            you up!

(Seita starts to playfully chase after Setsuko.  As they rest, Setsuko

 comes across a crab and follows it.  She comes across a body hidden

 under a mat.)

SETSUKO     What's the matter?  [ALT: What's he doing?]  He's lying down.

SEITA       You don't have to see that.  When it gets a little warmer, we

            can swim; I'll teach you how.

SETSUKO     If you swim, you'll grow hungry!  [ALT: If we swim, we'll

            grow hungry]

VOICE       "If you swim, you'll grow hungry!"  [ALT: *as above*]

MOTHER      Seita-san,  Sett-chan.  Come over here.  You must be hungry.

            The carupisu is chilled, too.  [Carupisu = a sweet milk-based


(With the roar of the siren, Seita comes out from day-dreaming.  They

 head back home.)

GIRL        Oh, Mother!  Were you safe?  It's great you came.

WOMAN       How are you?

GIRL        I'm fine.  Everybody cared for me.

(The girl and the woman continue their discussion in the backdrop.)

SETSUKO     I'm hungry.

SEITA       Bear it.  Hurry, or else the raid's  gonna come here soon.

SETSUKO     I'm tired.   Nii-chan, piggy-back!  (Seita sighs.)

VOICE       Take shelter!


(_At the aunt's home_)

AUNT        About your mother's kimono... I hate to say it, but since

            there's no more use for them, why don't you exchange them

            for rice?  I myself have been bartering [="item-item

            exchange"] a little at a time for some time to supplement

            .  I think this would be about one- toh .  ["toh" = about 16 qt.]

SEITA       One toh?!

AUNT        You must get more nourishments.  You're going to grow strong

            and be a soldier, right?

SEITA       This would be one toh ?

AUNT        I'm sure your mother would be pleased about it, rather than

            have these just lie about.  Well, I'll be going.

SETSUKO     You can't.

AUNT        Why, Sett-chan, you were awake?

SETSUKO     It's  Mom's .  You can't!  It's Mom's.  You can't,

            you can't!

SEITA       Setsuko!

SETSUKO     No, no, no!  No, no, no!

(Seita's rei covers his ears, not wanting to hear  Setsuko's tormenting

 cry.  The kimono their aunt took for item exchange was a formal kimono

 their mother wore.  The fall of the cherry-blossom petals changes to the

 fall of white rice into a container.)

AUNT        Isn't it a good rice?  I'll be cooking this white rice for

            dinner,  Sett-chan.  (tightens lid)  Here, you two hold on to


SEITA       It's white rice,  Setsuko!  [ET: A white meal, Setsuko!]

(Seita pokes Setsuko.  Setsuko begins to cry, but at dinner...)

AUNT        There you go.  It's a pity that both Koi-san and Nii-san are

            working over-time and won't be able to eat this warm meal.

SEITA       The white rice is sure delicious, isn't it?

SETSUKO     (Nods.)  Seconds!

AUNT        Yes, yes.  Sett-chan, you have an appetite when it's white

            rice, don't you?

SETSUKO     Yes!   I like it!

(_Next day, breakfast_)

SEITA       What's the matter?

SETSUKO     I don't like  zo^ sui.  ["zo^ sui"=watered barley/rice meal]

SEITA       The pickled plums that I brought...  There're no more?

AUNT        That thing...  You know that it ran out a long time ago.  (To

            her son:)  Here, your lunch.

BOY         Thanks.  [LT: Then, I'll be taking it.]

AUNT        Gokuroh-sama  [LT: Thanks for the labor/toil; ALT: Have a

            good day.]

GIRL        Well, I'll be going!

AUNT        Take care!

SEITA       Look.  Lunch will be white rice, so bear it and eat it.

AUNT        Cut it out!  For those that are here during the day, lunch

            will also be zohsui!  Why should the lunch for those that

            work for the country and those that just sit around all day

            be the same?  Seita-san.  You're old enough; start thinking

            about how you can be of help.  You two don't give us any rice

            but expect to eat it.  It just doesn't go that way.  No way.

            You let them eat white rice for a while and my, they become

            so picky about taste.  [ALT: picky about food]

SETSUKO     But that rice is our rice...  [ALT: But it's our rice.]

AUNT        What was that?  Are you saying that I'm cheating you, then?

            What a thing to say!  What's the use of taking in two

            orphans, if they say such things to me?  [ALT: Why should I

            bother to take in two orphans, if they...]  Fine!  Let's cook

            separate meals from now on.  You won't have any complaint,

            then.  And Seita-san.  You do have other relatives in Tokyo,

            don't you?  There's that someone from your mother's family.

            Why don't you send out a letter?  Nishinomiya [ALT: This

            place] might be bombed any day .

(On a train,)

SEITA       But I don't know their addresses...


(In front of a bank,)

GIRL        Let's go home!

WOMAN       Yes.  Dad's waiting at home, isn't he?

BOTH        The frogs are croaking, so let's go home...

[NOTED EARLIER: The reason for frog in this song: "Kaeru" = frog;

 "kaeru"= to go home/back; "kaero^" = let's go home/back]

SEITA       Sorry! [LT: Forgive me!] I had to wait a long time.  What's

            the matter?

SETSUKO     I'm hungry.  I'm thirsty.

SEITA       All right. [ ALT: Understood] Here.  Lick these 

            drops.  Mom had seven thousand yen saved in the bank.  Seven

            thousand yen!  If there's that much, we can manage plenty.

            There's no need to worry anymore.

(_At a post office_)

SEITA       I'm writing to Dad, saying "Give us a reply,  Setsuko's


(_At a store_)

OWNER       You guys are lucky.  In times like these, no matter how much

            money you offer, you can't buy these items.  Nowadays,

            there're no items to sell and the business is dry.

            Especially metal products.  Can't find them anywhere.

SEITA       I'll take that comb, and... do you have any umbrellas?

OWNER       I don't have umbrellas... Oh yes.

(_Outside, in the rain_)

SEITA       (Song to the effect of) "Rain, rain, fall, fall, Nii-chan has

            come with an umbrella.  Pitt-chi Pitt-chi Chap-pu Chap-pu

            [the sounds of rain close to "splatter splatter droppity

            drop"] Lan Lan Lan!"


(Home.  Seita is making a fire.)

SEITA       Isn't Nii-chan good with this?

SETSUKO     Yup.

AUNT        Careful with the fire.

SEITA       Okay.

BOY         What happened to those two?

AUNT        They say they're going to cook for themselves from now on.

BOY         Really... That's admirable.   second, please.

GIRL        Mother, didn't you say something harsh again?

AUNT        Well, but, not a single word of apology and they went and

            bought all those utensils.  It's as if they're insinuating


(In a different room,)

SEITA       I'm filled!  [ALT: I'm full!]  ["Gosso-san" = short for

            "Gochiso^ sama"; said after meals to indicate gratefulness

            or contentment with the meal]

SETSUKO     [?: That's not proper, Nii-chan.]

SEITA       It's okay.  You don't have to sit so properly.


(At the rationing station,)

MAN         There.  That's the rationed portion for two.

SEITA       Only this much?

MAN         Yup.  The next ration will probably be in July.

(Setsuko is crying in the street, expressing her hunger.  Her crying

 ceases  temporarily when Seita hands over the candy can, but resumes

 when she finds no candy drops.  Seita hits the can and several candy

 pieces that were stuck to the bottom of the can are found.  Setsuko

 looks at what she has left, and after some thought, eats the smallest

 and puts the rest back into the can.  Seita gives the can to Setsuko for

 her to keep.)


(Having no more candies left, the two fill the empty can with water.

 Seita begins to shake it, but gives it over to  Setsuko who is eager to

 do it herself.  Seita pours the candy-water into a small cup and hands

 it to Setsuko to drink.)

SEITA        sweet?

SETSUKO     Ahhh!   There're lots of flavors!

SEITA       Grapes, strawberries, melons, mints.  They're all in there,

            aren't they?  Setsuko, you can drink 'em all.

SETSUKO     Whew!  I drank 'em all!


(_At the kitchen, another day_)

AUNT        My, my!  They went to sleep without cleaning up !

            They do as they like.  They really aren't cute at all!  [ALT:

            They're not likable at all!]

(Setsuko starts crying in another room.)

AUNT        Again!!

(Aunt opens the sho^ji door.)

SETSUKO     Mommy!  Mommy!

AUNT        Seita-san!  Koi-san [= younger sister] and Nii-san [= older

            brother] are both working for our country, so why don't you

            at least try not to make her cry?  [ALT: so why don't you at

            least make an effort to stop her crying?]  We're already

            losing sleep from the  sirens every night.  We

            can't sleep with this racket!

SETSUKO     Mommy!  Mommy!

(Seita takes  Setsuko outside, and having her on piggy-back, tries to

 lull her to sleep.  Suddenly, the raid-sirens sound and he runs for


VOICE       Emergency war status, emergency war status.  The enemy is

            approaching from the northern direction...

AUNT'S VC   Seita-san, you're going to the shelter-hole, again?  ["yoko

            ana" = LT: Side Hole; A hole dug into the side of a mountain

            for air-raid shelter]  At your age, shouldn't you be [ALT:

            isn't it natural for you to be] helping the fire-prevention

            program of the community group?

(Seita comes to the shelter-hole.  As they wait out the raid in the


SETSUKO     I want to go home.  I don't want to stay at aunt's anymore.

SEITA       The house got burnt.  We can't go home anymore.

(_Flashback -- Seita and Setsuko are playing the organ_)

BOTH        (Singing:) Higher than the roof, the Koi-Nobori.  The large

            koi is the father and...  [NOTE:  Koi-Nobori = a colorful

            cone-like flag in the shape of carps that is displayed

            outside on the national holiday, Children's Day]

AUNT        Stop it!  What a thing to do in time of war?  I'm the one who

            will be scorned!  How senseless!  [ALT: How irrational!]

            Really, what burden have been tossed my way!  [LT: Really,

            what god-of misfortune has wandered in!]   Even during the

            air-raid, you're never of any use...  If you value your life

            that much, you should live in the shelter-hole!


SEITA       Hey...  Do you want to make this our home?  No one would come

            here and the structure is solid.  We can do as we please.

SETSUKO     Is it okay to make it our home?

SEITA       Yup.  [ALT would be a broken "yes": yeah, n-hmph, ah-huh]


(Seita is packing their stuff onto a cart.  Setsuko notices the Aunt


SEITA       We've overstayed our welcome.  [LT: We've interrupted you for

            a very long time.]  We'll be moving elsewhere.

AUNT         elsewhere?   where are you going?

SEITA       I don't know for certain, yet.

AUNT        Well, be careful...  Sett-chan, goodbye.

(They come to the cave.  Setsuko is thoroughly enjoying herself.)

SETSUKO     Here's the kitchen!  Here's the front door!  Where's the


SEITA       It doesn't matter where.   I'll be going with you.

(At the farm, Seita is returning the cart.)

SEITA       Thank you.

MAN         Just leave it around there.

SEITA       Ahm...  Can you sell me a little more hay and something that

            can be a side-dish?  [ALT: part of dinner]

MAN         Sure...  I only have what I have though...

(They cook.  As they look at the fruit of their labor...)

SETSUKO     Wow!  My mouth is watering!

SEITA       I'm hungry!

(They finish eating.  They hear the bellow of a frog.)

SEITA       If it could be caught, we can eat that ...  [ALT:

            It's supposed to be edible if we only could catch it]

SETSUKO     The frog?

SEITA       I heard it's good.

SETSUKO     (Makes a noise in her throat indicating amazed acceptance.)

SEITA       Setsuko, forget the rest and get inside the net.  [ALT: I'll

            do the rest so get inside the net.]


SEITA       What's the matter?

SETSUKO     I forgot my toothbrush.

SEITA       It doesn't matter if you don't do it for a day.

SEITA       Hey, you'll be bitten by the mosquitos.  You should be in the


SETSUKO     It's so dark, I'm scared.  [ALT: It's all dark and I'm


SEITA       I'm going to go to the bathroom, but do you want to go too?

SETSUKO     Yes.

(_Outside, finishing their business_)

SEITA       That's the "special attack" unit.  [ALT: suicide unit.  Men

            in the "Tokkoh-tai" never returned alive.]

SETSUKO     Really?  They look like fireflies.

SEITA       I guess so.  Hey...  Do you want to capture fireflies?

(Seita comes into the net holding several fireflies.  He releases them.)

SETSUKO     Ah!  I see your face.

SEITA       Your face, too.  (A firefly lands on Setsuko's hair.)  A hair


(Setsuko is delighted.)

SEITA       All right!  Firefly's light, window's snow!  [Note: Part of a

            poem/song describing the changing season]

(Seita brings in a whole bucketful.  The fireflies slowly emerge and the

 inside of the net is soon filled with small points of stars.)

SEITA       Before you were born, I once saw a ship-naming ceremony

            [?:  ship-opening?? "kankai ceremony"].

SETSUKO     A ship-naming ceremony?

SEITA       Yup.  Dad got on board the front of the ship [?].  The

            combined fleets were all there.

(Seita starts to sing the then-military anthem.)

SEITA       Enemy ships attacking!  Bababababa!  Babababa!  [Noise

            associated with firing machine guns]  (pause)  I wonder where

            Dad's fighting the war...

(Suddenly feeling lonely, Seita hugs Setsuko to him.)

SETSUKO     You're suffocating me, Nii-chan!


(The next morning finds Setsuko digging a hole.)

SEITA       What are you doing?

SETSUKO     I'm making a grave.  Mommy's in a grave, too, right?  I heard

            it from Aunty.  < Aunty said> Mommy died, too, and she's in

            a grave.

(Hearing this, Seita begins to cry for the first time since the tragedy

 befell him and his sister.)

SEITA       (wiping his tears,) Let's someday visit her grave.  Maybe you

            remember...  [LT: Setsuko, do you remember?]  You've been to

            the graveyard near the Inofuki [?], right?  She's 

            there...  Mother is...  under the big camphor tree...

SETSUKO     Why do the fireflies die so quickly?


(Kids from nearby find the conditions Seita and Setsuko are living


BOY1        What's this?  Someone's living in a place like this.

BOY2        I wonder if they were burned out ?

BOY         Do you think a scary-looking man might come out?

BOY         When have they...?  It's a swing!

BOY         There's a grave!  [?]

BOY         What's this?

BOY         May you rest in peace!  (picking up a make-believe sweet-rice

            cake)  If only this was real!!

BOY         (Pointing to the grass bed that Setsuko made,) Setsuko!  It

            says Setsuko!

BOY         Look at this!  It's a dried frog!

BOY         What a thing to eat!  [ALT: What are they eating!]  I wonder

            if Tatt-chan and Ken-chan who escaped to rural areas are

            eating something like this, as well?

BOY         Uggh!  All soybeans!  It's worse than our rice-soup!

BOY         A ghost!  (They laughingly run away.)


(_Seita at one of the farms_)

SEITA       And...  we've traded all of  Mom's kimono for rice and don't

            have anymore.  From your place, we've purchased many things

            with money before...

MAN         I'm not talking about kimono or money.  Though we're a farm,

            we don't make enough to distribute it to others all the time.

            (pause)  Never mind that; don't you have other kin?  [ET:


SEITA       Well... I can't get in touch with them.

MAN         Then, it's better for you to go back to that house.  Besides,

            everything's rationed now.  If you're not part of a community

            group, you can't eat.  Apologize and ask them to let you


SEITA       (pause)  Sorry .  I'll try other


MAN         You're the son of a marine, aren't you?  Don't lose heart.

            [ALT: You got to be strong.]


(Air raid.  Seita and Setsuko take cover in a tomato garden.  Finding

 the tomatoes all ripe, Seita, unable to resist, takes some for himself

 and Setsuko--a grave crime in times of war.)

SETSUKO     Is it okay?  [ALT: Is it right?]

SEITA       (makes a noise in his throat indicating "yes, yes")

(Walking back to their shelter, they meet a military officer.  Fearing

discovery of the crime they committed, they run away.)

SEITA       Damn!  [LT: No good!]


(Seita is combing Setsuko's hair.  Finding lice, he angrily kills one.)

SEITA       Whether it's soy-bean or whatever, you mustn't be picky.  If

            you don't eat well, you won't be able to grow up!

SETSUKO     Nii-chan?  [ET: Brother?]

SEITA       Yes?

SETSUKO     I...  I have a bad stomach.  [ALT: My stomach is feeling


SEITA       Did you chill your stomach?  [ALT: Did you leave your stomach

            exposed while sleeping?]

SETSUKO     I've been having diarrhea for a long time now.


(Seita is found stealing from a farm.)

MAN         You bastard!!

SEITA       Forgive me!  I'm sorry.  Please forgive me!  My sister's ill,

            so I wanted to let her drink potato broth!

MAN         What nonsense do you speak of?  Stealing from a farm during

            times of war is a grave crime!

(Seita tries to get away, but is captured again.)

MAN         You little bastard.  Come on.  Stand up!  (he flashes his

            light at Seita)  What's this?  You pulled up even the small

            potatoes.  You must have been the one who has been stealing

            from the farms around here!

SETSUKO     Nii-chan!

SEITA       I'm sorry!  I won't do it again!

MAN         If sorry is all it took, we wouldn't need police!  Walk, why

            don't you!

SETSUKO     Nii-chan!  Nii-chan!

SEITA       My sister's really sick!  I gotta be with her...!

SETSUKO     Nii-chan!  Nii-chan!

(At the local station,)

POLICE      I understand what happened .  Regarding this case,

            I'll consider the best solution after I talk to the offender

            and prepare a report, so you may leave.

MAN         But...!

POLICE      You've hit him this much, you must be satisfied.  (Seeing the

            man is still reluctant to leave,)  Violence against a minor,

            causing injury [ALT: bodily harm].

MAN         (panicking,) Then, I'll ask you to take care of the rest!

            [ALT: Then, I trust you'll take care of the rest.]

POLICE      I heard that today's air-raid was unexpected.  Well, why

            don't you take a drink of water from the back?

(Seita comes out from the station after some time.)

SEITA       Setsuko...!

SETSUKO     Nii-chan!

(Seita begins to cry.)

SETSUKO     Nii-chan...  (pause)  Where does it hurt?  That's not good.

            We'll have to call the doctor and have him give you a shot.

SEITA       Setsuko...!

SETSUKO     Nii-chan, I want to go to the bathroom.

SEITA       Can you hold it for a little distance?

SETSUKO     Yes.

SEITA       Get on my back.


(Air-raid.  Setsuko awaits Seita's return but seems delirious.)

SETSUKO     Brother went to the mountain for firewood.  Grandmother went


[Note: This is the famous beginning sentences to the children's story

 "Momotaro".  She changed the phrases from "Grandfather went to the

 mountain for firewood.  Grandmother went to the river to wash clothes".]

(Seita, meanwhile, rummages through the home of those who fled.  Coming

 back with his booty--food and other items--he presents them to Setsuko.)

SEITA       Setsuko, let's have supper. Today's pumpkin is really tasty!

            Look.  Isn't it like a bean jelly?

SETSUKO     I don't like bean jelly.

SEITA       What are you saying?  If you don't eat, I'll be scolded by

            Dad!  Here, I'll help you eat, so get your spirits up and

            eat!  Eat well, get well quickly, and we'll go to the sea

            again together!


(Sirens sound.  While the people flee, Seita plunders through homes.)

SEITA       Do it, do it!  Yeahy!  [ALT: Go, go!  Yeahy!]

(Seita returns from the rampage well stocked.  He drinks from the river.

 He points his flashlight and says "Bang", then laughs.)

SEITA       This time I'll really treat you to something good to eat,


SETSUKO     (Wandering around the shelter-hole,)  Nii-chan.  Nii-chan...

(At a farm house, Seita is trying to barter his plunders for food.)

WOMAN       You say this is your mother's keep-sake?  Fool!  Why would

            something so cheap and thin be a keep-sake?  Don't fool with

            me!  [ALT: Get real!]

(Seita returns to the shelter-hole and finds Setsuko's doll.)

SEITA       Setsuko...  Setsuko...!

(He finds her collapsed nearby.)

SEITA       Setsuko!  (Finding that she still breathes, he sighs.)

SETSUKO     Nii-chan...  water...


(_Doctor's office_)

DOCTOR      Breathe in.  Breathe out.

SEITA       And her  diarreah hasn't stopped for several days now.  Her

            rashes don't seem to be heat-rashes either...  When I wash

            her with salt water, all it does is give her pain.

DOCTOR      It's a prostration due to malnutrition.  Her diarreah is the

            result of that.  Okay, next person!

SEITA       Some medicine or shots...?

SETSUKO     I don't like shots.

SEITA       Anyhow, please give her treatment of some kind.  Please.

DOCTOR       medicine or anything...  Well, I suggest that

            she get some nourishment.  That's all that can be done.

SEITA       You say nourishment, but...

DOCTOR      (To the next patient,)  What seems to be the matter?

SEITA       Where can you  find nourishment?!!


(A farmer is cutting ice block for delivery.  Seita, standing by, picks

 the ice scraps and feeds them to Setsuko after the man leaves.)

SEITA       I'm so hungry...  [ALT: I'm so starved...]  What do you want

            to eat?

SETSUKO     Tempura, and Otsukuri, and Tokoro-ten...  [ET: Tempura, and

            Sashimi, and Sour Jelly]

SEITA       Anything more?

SETSUKO     Ice cream...  And I want to eat drops again.

[Note: During the war, food items were rare and the variety scarce.  The

 fact that she knows about them and expresses that she wants to eat them

 indicates that she has eaten them regularly and shows how well-off her

 family actually was.]

SEITA       Drops, huh?   Alright!  I'll go withdraw all the savings.

            I'll  bring back all that you wanted to eat.

SETSUKO     I don't want anything.  Just stay here,  Nii-chan.  Don't go.

            Don't go.  Please don't go.

SEITA       Don't worry,  Setsuko.  [ALT: There's no need to worry,

            Setsuko]  After I withdraw the money and buy rice and things

            with nutrients, I won't go anywhere anymore.  I'll stay by

            your side for ever and ever.  [ALT: for always]  It's a



(_At the bank_)

TELLER      Here, 3000 yen.

MAN1        I hear the typhoon's nearing?

MAN2        No matter how much the Kami-kaze [ET: God-Wind] blows, if it

            comes after we surrendered to the Americans, it's of no use

            whatsoever.  How ridiculous!

SEITA       Surrender?  You mean we lost the war?

MAN1        You don't know anything?

SEITA       Is it true that we lost?  Japan?  The Japanese Empire?!

            [ALT: The Imperial Japan?]

MAN2        Yup.  Unconditional surrender.

SEITA       What happened to the combined fleet...

MAN2        No good, no good.  That got sunk long time ago and there's

            not one left anymore.

SEITA       What!?  You mean Dad's  cruiser got sunk as well?!

            Is that why we never got any letter back?!

MAN2        Why should I know !?  [ALT: How should I

            know?]  What a strange kid!

SEITA       Dad, you fool!  [grrrrr: doesn't translate well.  It's like

            "Damn you, Dad", but not that strong]

(He runs, but hunger slows him.)

SEITA       I'm so hungry...  (pause) Dad...

SEITA       Dad died, too.  Dad died, too.  Dad...!


(Seita returns.)

SEITA       Setsuko, I'm sorry I'm late.  I'll cook you a white rice


SETSUKO     It went down...  It went up...  Ah, it stopped...

SEITA       Luckily, I was able to buy fish and eggs.  And...  (notices

            that Setsuko has something in her mouth.  Picking up the drop

            can,) Setsuko!  What are you licking!  These are marble

            pieces.   it's not drops!  Today, I've gotten

            something much better .  It's something you like.

SETSUKO     Here you go, Nii-chan...

SEITA       What's this, Setsuko?

SETSUKO     It's a meal.  I'll give you the the cooked okara.  [Note:

            "Okara" is soybean milk crust that is a by-product of making


SETSUKO     Go ahead, eat.  Aren't you going to eat?

SEITA       Setsuko...!  Look, watermelon.  Isn't it great?  I didn't

            steal it .  Here, watermelon.

SETSUKO     It's delicious...

SEITA       Wait a moment.  I'll cook you a rice-porridge with eggs

            immediately.  I'll leave the watermelon here.  Okay?

SETSUKO     Nii-chan...  Thank you...

R/ SEITA    After that, Setsuko never opened her eyes again.


(_At the coal shop_)

MAN         Here.  The one sack of coal, special delivery.  [ALT: one

            bale]  If it's a child, you should borrow the burning ground

            from the temple.  You take her clothes off and if you light

            the fire with soybean skin, it'll burn nicely.  But... what

            nice weather!

[Note: Do not think this man to be insensitive.  Everyone has been

 desensitized to some degree during the war.  It is truly sad that a

 child's death is nothing new or anything sensational.]


(People are returning to their homes from rural districts they had fled

 to.  Two such girls enter their long deserted home.)

GIRLS       My, it hasn't changed at all!  Home is definitely great!

            [ALT: There's no place like home!]  It's been a while; the

             record player!!  Familiar sights!

(Song: "There's No Place Like Home".  Visions of Setsuko in all the

 places she had been near the shelter-hole that was their home.)

SETSUKO     Hurry home!


(At an open field,  Seita is preparing Setsuko's cremation.  Setsuko is

 placed in the empty container the coal came in.  Her few "treasures" are

 placed lovingly along side of her.   Seita pauses on the drop can, and

 sets it aside.  He lights the fire and grimly watches the cremation.

 Morning turns to day, and day turns to evening.  With the last remaining

 flames, the fireflies take flight from their resting spots among the


R/ SEITA    The following morning, I placed the remnants of Setuko's

            bones that were like a fragment of a jewel into the drop can

            and left the mountain, never returning to the shelter-hole.

(Seita's figure is slowly replaced by Seita's rei.  From the darkness,

 Setsuko's rei appears and runs to Seita.)

R/ SETSUKO  Nii-chan...

R/ SEITA    It's late, so sleep now.  [ALT: It's late, so go to sleep


R/ SETSUKO  Okay.  (She snuggles close and closes her eyes.)

(The rei of Seita watches over Setsuko; then, as if to beseech to the

 audience, he stares out towards the viewers.  He returns his attention

 to the sleeping form of Setsuko...)


[If I may add my opinion here, the strongest message of this film comes

 when Seita's rei stares out at us.  I heard "Look at what war does to

 people.  Please don't ever repeat what happened again.  War is not

 glorious nor honorable.  We just wanted to live more..."]



Special help by SergeiK