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The Burmese Harp (1956)

Biruma no tategoto (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama, Music, War | 28 April 1967 (USA)
In the War's closing days, when a conscience-driven Japanese soldier fails to get his countrymen to surrender to overwhelming force, he adopts the lifestyle of a Buddhist monk.

Director:

Kon Ichikawa

Writers:

Michio Takeyama (novel), Natto Wada
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 4 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Rentarô Mikuni Rentarô Mikuni ... Captain Inouye
Shôji Yasui ... Mizushima
Jun Hamamura Jun Hamamura ... Ito
Taketoshi Naitô Taketoshi Naitô ... Kobayashi (as Takeo Naito)
Shunji Kasuga Shunji Kasuga ... Maki
Kô Nishimura Kô Nishimura ... Baba (as Akira Nishimura)
Keishichi Nakahara Keishichi Nakahara ... Takagi
Toshiaki Itô Toshiaki Itô ... Hashimoto
Hiroshi Hijikata Hiroshi Hijikata ... Okada
Tomio Aoki Tomio Aoki ... Oyama
Norikatsu Hanamura Norikatsu Hanamura ... Nakamura
Sanpei Mine Sanpei Mine ... Abe
Takashi Koshiba Takashi Koshiba ... Shimizu
Tomoko Tonai Tomoko Tonai
Tokuhei Miyahara Tokuhei Miyahara ... Nagai
Edit

Storyline

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 garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Music | War

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Japan

Language:

Burmese | Japanese | English

Release Date:

28 April 1967 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Burmese Harp See more »

Filming Locations:

Burma See more »

Edit

Box Office

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$13,748
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Nikkatsu See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (part one) | (part two)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Official submission of Japan for the 'Best Foreign Language Film' category of the 29th Academy Awards in 1957. See more »

Goofs

The 'British' officer in charge of the funerary cremation repository speaks with a decidedly Australian, not British, accent. See more »

Quotes

Captain Inouye: The songs uplifted our spirits and sometimes our hearts.
See more »

Connections

Spoofed in Tampopo (1985) See more »

Soundtracks

Hanyuu no Yado
(Japanese Version of 'Home Sweet Home')
See more »

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User Reviews

Transformed
7 July 2000 | by Swift-12See all my reviews

Very poignant anti-war statement, supported with passionate music and photography. A Japanese POW at the end of the war is separated from his comrades when he tries to coax some hold-outs to surrender. After disastrous results, he disguises as a Buddhist monk and is considered dead, wandering the countryside and continually confronted with the truly dead. His friends suspect he has survived and are disconsolate unless reunited with him. But before he can rejoin them, his journey gradually and painfully transforms him. He has a new mission and a new identity, his spiritual garb no longer a mere disguise.


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