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Workers are forced to labor under pitiful conditions at minimum wages aboard the Japanese crab ship 'Kanikosen'. The factory superintendent Asakawa does not treat the workers as human beings.
One of the workers Shinjo, persuades the others that they should wish to become rich in their next life and try to commit suicides, which ends up in a comedy of errors. Shinjo then escapes the Kanikosen and is rescued by a Soviet vessel where he learns of a new social system on the vessel that is so much different from the one he left behind.