Lyrical and rather ostentatiously humanist, Ichikawa's film tells of a Japanese soldier in Burma, so appalled by the bloody carnage of war that he refuses to return home after his country's defeat, and stays on, garbed as a Buddhist monk, to bury the dead. If the film was clearly a sincere castigation of the militarist fervour that swept Japan during the war, it nevertheless suffers from its rather deliberate heart-warming tone and a too leisurely pace that tends to over-emphasise moments of pathos. That said, it is hard not to be swayed by the pacifist sentiments.
Cast and crew
Shoji Yasui Rentaro Mikuni Tatsuya Mihashi Tanie Kitabayashi Yunosuke Ito