8.1/10
4,755
49 user 43 critic

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
Reviews

On Disc

at Amazon

Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 4 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

In the closing days of WWII remnants of the Japanese army in Leyte are abandoned by their command and face certain starvation.

Director: Kon Ichikawa
Stars: Eiji Funakoshi, Mantarô Ushio, Yoshihiro Hamaguchi
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
Director: Kon Ichikawa
Stars: Kôji Ishizaka, Kiichi Nakai, Takuzô Kawatani
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Yukinojo, a Kabuki actor, seeks revenge by destroying the three men who caused the deaths of his parents. Also involved are the daughter of one of Yukinojo's targets, two master thieves, and a swordsman who himself is out to kill Yukinojo.

Director: Kon Ichikawa
Stars: Kazuo Hasegawa, Fujiko Yamamoto, Ayako Wakao
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Schoolteacher Hisako Oishi forms an emotional bond with her pupils and teaches them various virtues, while at the same time worrying about their future.

Director: Keisuke Kinoshita
Stars: Hideki Gôko, Itsuo Watanabe, Makoto Miyagawa
Enjô (1958)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Goichi Mizoguchi, an aspiring Buddhist monk who became involved in the temple that was owned by his father, through a series of flashbacks, framed as a police interrogation, Mizoguchi ... See full summary »

Director: Kon Ichikawa
Stars: Raizô Ichikawa, Ganjirô Nakamura, Tatsuya Nakadai
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

Follows a woman's fight and survival amid the vicissitudes of life and the cruelty of the society.

Director: Kenji Mizoguchi
Stars: Kinuyo Tanaka, Tsukie Matsuura, Ichirô Sugai
Ugetsu (1953)
Drama | Fantasy | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

A tale of ambition, family, love, and war set in the midst of the Japanese Civil Wars of the sixteenth century.

Director: Kenji Mizoguchi
Stars: Masayuki Mori, Machiko Kyô, Kinuyo Tanaka
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

The lives of two slum neighbors, one of a happy-go-lucky gambler and the other of a poor ronin, converge when the two get involved with the affairs of a powerful samurai official and his gangsters.

Director: Sadao Yamanaka
Stars: Chôjûrô Kawarasaki, Kan'emon Nakamura, Tsuruzô Nakamura
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

A middle-aged bar hostess, constantly in debt, is faced with numerous social constraints and challenges posed to her by her family, customers and friends.

Director: Mikio Naruse
Stars: Hideko Takamine, Tatsuya Nakadai, Masayuki Mori
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

In medieval Japan, a compassionate governor is sent into exile. His wife and children try to join him, but are separated, and the children grow up amid suffering and oppression.

Director: Kenji Mizoguchi
Stars: Kinuyo Tanaka, Yoshiaki Hanayagi, Kyôko Kagawa
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

A family of four are the sole inhabitants of a small island, where they struggle each day to irrigate their crops.

Director: Kaneto Shindô
Stars: Nobuko Otowa, Taiji Tonoyama, Shinji Tanaka
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  

A Japanese pacifist, unable to face the dire consequences of conscientious objection, is transformed by his attempts to compromise with the demands of war-time Japan.

Director: Masaki Kobayashi
Stars: Tatsuya Nakadai, Michiyo Aratama, Chikage Awashima
Edit

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:

Japanese | English

Release Date:

28 April 1967 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Burmese Harp See more »

Filming Locations:

Burma See more »

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 »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

According to the Bloomsbury Foreign Film Guide by Ronald Bergan and Robyn Karney, this World War II film was "one of the first Japanese films concerned with pacifist themes related to the defeat of Japan in 1945." See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Voice of Mizushima's parrot: No, I can't go back.
See more »

Connections

Spoofed in Tampopo (1985) See more »

Soundtracks

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

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
a movie to carry with you
9 July 2005 | by jason-167See all my reviews

Living in Thailand at the age of 10, I saw this movie broadcast on TV. Thirty years later I still think of it. And eventually I became a dharma student. Coincidence? I think not! Such is the awesome impact of this movie. More than an important anti-war film, it can really bring out some seldom expressed feelings - not because of carefully crafted scenarios which bring moral indignation against war, confusion or cruelty, but instead showing a more natural horror of war's results. After watching the film for the third time, I still feel a deep visceral pang when Mizushima covers his face and runs past yet another mountain of rotting bodies he finds on the shores of the river.

What's really sad is that you can't get the movie on DVD!


12 of 14 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 49 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed