A plot premise of House of Bamboo is the cooperation of Tokyo police and U.S. military in the investigation of a crime. The offices of each set of investigators are returned to regularly in the film, and each space has its own maps of the Tokyo area:
Parallels are drawn with the criminals responsible, who are shown planning a robbery with military meticulousness and maps (the gang is made up of former U.S. servicemen):
Later, the same criminals are ahown planning a further robbery in the Ginza district by means of this improvised map:
This plan is transcribed by an undercover police agent, and his hand-drawn map is passed to the U.S. military investigators:
The film's famous climax at a rooftop amusement park overlooking Tokyo features a turning globe as attraction, combining overt cartographic symbolism with intertextual echoes of The Third Man and White Heat ('Top of of the world, Ma'):
Hervé ('VR2000'): 'Loading up' means retrieving heavy objects people get rid of. To do so, town councils and city halls provide small maps such as this one. It shows all the streets, the districts and the days on which one can go and pick them up.
Varda: I think the maps show where to dump things rather.
Hervé: Yes, right, well, I read the map my own way because that's where I find my raw material. I am, among other things, a painter and a retriever.
Some other maps in Varda's film: