Inter Ice Age 4

Unmade Film
Intended Release:

Conceived by:

Kobo Abe

Inter Ice Age 4

Japanese Title

[Dai-Yon Kampyoki]

Professor Katsumi invents an artificial intelligence based computer. Capable of predicting the future through being fed data, the machine is one of several such computers. The other and original device is located in the Soviet Union. The Soviets use it to predict political changes, such as the end of Capitalism, which threatens the balance of power around the Cold War. Seeking to avert such controversy, Katsumi and his team are ordered to avoid hot bed issues. As a result, the professor and his assistant, Tanamogi, plan to predict the future of an individual.

In secret, the pair choose a subject off the street and begin to follow him. However, the next day it is announced that the man they had been following has been murdered. Attempting to solve the case themselves, they download the contents of the man's brain. In essence, they reconstruct the victim's existence in order to question him. Unfortunately, the victim didn't see his murderer and the reconstruction is no help. It does, though, reveal that the victim's mistress had sold an aborted fetus for ¥7,000 yen. Shortly after learning this, the mistress is also murdered.

Katsumi is dragged further in after his wife suffers a forced abortion and receives ¥7,000 yen as compensation. Eventually Katsumi learns of a vast conspiracy to create an underwater race. Called the Aquans, these beings are genetically altered water-oxygenating humans and animals. They are envisioned as humanity's answer to the predicted destruction of Japan by a tidal wave and overall submersion caused from the melting polar ice caps. An event referred to as Inter Ice Age 4.

Background - Images - Concept Evolution


The work of novelist Kobo Abe was already popular grounds for film adaptations by the mid-1960s, having Pitfall (1962) and The Woman in the Dunes (1964) being released to theaters. The thought was to continue this trend with releasing one of the writer's science fiction novels: Inter Ice Age 4.

Penned in 1958, Inter Ice Age 4 was a complex science fiction story. Set in the near future, the plot offered the chance for a major special effects set piece through the realization of the submersion of Japan. The project would have been directed by Hiromichi Horikawa, who would go on to do The Militarists (1970). It was to be produced by Tomoyuki Tanaka with special effects by Eiji Tsuburaya.

The reason for the project's abandonment is not known at this time. Kobo Abe was already working on the screenplay for Toho, and the concept got far enough for a first draft before being discarded.

Aliens, SDF & Misc.

Yamato Takeru

Background and Trivia

  • The article picture featuring Aquans was done through Toho Kingdom's interpretation using novel cover art of the creatures. The plot of the lost project is also based on the contents of the novel.
  • Would have been based on Kobo Abe's 1958 novel of the same name, Inter Ice Age 4 (第四間氷期 - Dai-Yon Kampyoki). This concept was originally serialized starting in July 1958 and ending in March 1959 through Kodansha. It was gathered as a stand alone book in 1959.
  • The first screenplay was submitted on September 7th, 1965. It was written by Kobo Abe. While it's possible the movie could have aimed for a 1965 release date, it's more likely that at least one more draft would have been required and that principal photography would have wrapped late in 1965 or early 1966. This would have made a 1966 release date a more feasible outcome.
  • Kobo Abe's novel was translated and published in English in 1970 as Inter Ice Age 4. It was translated by Dale Saunders and published by Knopf (ISBN B0006C0C9Q).