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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.

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Writers:

(novel),
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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 ...
Captain Inouye
...
Mizushima
Jun Hamamura ...
Ito
Taketoshi Naitô ...
Kobayashi (as Takeo Naito)
Shunji Kasuga ...
Maki
Kô Nishimura ...
Baba (as Akira Nishimura)
Keishichi Nakahara ...
Takagi
Toshiaki Itô ...
Hashimoto
Hiroshi Hijikata ...
Okada
Tomio Aoki ...
Oyama
Norikatsu Hanamura ...
Nakamura
Sanpei Mine ...
Abe
Takashi Koshiba ...
Shimizu
Tomoko Tonai
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 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

28 April 1967 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Burmese Harp  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (part one) | (part two)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Kon Ichikawa said the original novel was treated as a fantasy, but he chose to eliminate that aspect of the story. 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

Mizushima: [to his parrot] Let's return to Japan together.
See more »

Connections

Remade as Biruma no tategoto (1985) See more »

Soundtracks

Ryoshu
("Dreaming of Home and Mother")
Written by John Pond Ordway
See more »

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User Reviews

Transformed
7 July 2000 | by See 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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