"Life is brief." The ode our protagonist sings throughout the film. "Fall in love, maidens." Falling in love occured for Kanji long ago. All he knows now is bureaucracy. That is until he finds out he has stomach cancer, which then results in him visiting the pub for the first time in literally forever. A drink to his stomach is poison. But he does it anyway. Kanji is severely depressed until a kind man, a writer, meets him at the pub. They drink and drink, go out gambling, to the red light district, and then to a piano bar where Kanji requests his song, Life is Brief, and sings it to the unsuspecting audience. He cries. A lot more happens in Ikiru, its 160 mins long. Some of it sad, some scary, and a lot of it hilarious. The last 40 minutes particularly are very funny as Kanji's coworkers get drunk at his funeral. They discuss his final days and what he did in them. We experience through a recounting of drunk stories Kanji's mission of getting a park built. Taking action as a bureaucrat is progressive and unheard of. Though Kanji fights until the park is built and dies inside of it. Singing his song but now with a happy vigor and big smile. We must learn from Kanji and from Kurosawa's masterpiece Ikiru, to be better humans. To strive for change and for passion. Though as the final moments show and as Kurosawa predicts, change won't occur. Mr. Watanabe is a special person. We don't all have that power.