Mizushima is a soldier in the Japanese army in Burma in World War II. He's a good soldier and frequently plays his harp to entertain his fellow soldiers. When the war comes to an end, he is asked by the British to go into the mountains to try and convince a Japanese troop to surrender. Given only 30 minutes to convince them, Mizushima is unsuccessful - they would rather die with honor - and the British attack. Deeply affected by what has happened, he becomes a Buddhist monk, traveling the countryside burying the remains of Japanese soldiers. He is unable however to rejoin his brothers-in-arms. Written by
Did You Know?
The film was originally slated to shoot in three-strip color, but director Kon Ichikawa
worried that the huge camera might break down on location and he would not be able to have it fixed, so he shot in black-and-white. See more
The modern harp (with its pedal changes and its consequent ability to make changes of harmony, in particular)that is played throughout on the film's soundtrack does not match the much more basic instrument shown in the film. See more
We've done all we can. The troops that took Triangle Mountain have returned home. The Japanese survivors are not in this town.
But that tune?
You hear a certain way of playing - a few notes floating by the breeze, and it's enough to make you think a dead man is alive. You must be dreaming.
[to his adjutant
He must be dreaming!
Remade as The Burmese Harp
(Traditional Japanese Farewell Song) See more