Dr. Akagi (1998) aka "Dr. Liver" is a Shohei Imamaura film adapted from a novel. This is clear in some of the themes and characters. Nature and animals often play symbolic roles in Imamaura films and this is no exception. Imamaura is also fascinated with earthy, sexual women who act as natural beings rather than constructs of society--and the comic prostitute Sonoko fills this role in the film. Dr. Akagi is a rural doctor on a island in the Seto Sea near the close of the war who is battling against an outbreak of hepatitis, which is a metaphor for the mindless patriotism that drives people to sustain an unwinable war. Imamura also shows tolerance for the weakness of his characters: Sonoko's prostitution, the priests drinking, the escaped Dutch prisoner, and the other doctor's morphine addicition. The film is subtly critical in making allusions wartime atrocities like "The Nanking Incident" and the doctors who did cruel experiments on POWs, Unit 731 (going as far to suggest that Akagi's son may have been complicit in the group since he was stationed in Manchuria). The ending shows the fruits of this patriotic disease as the Japanese experienced it in Hiroshima nd Nagasaki.