- 1. A Nikkatsu Production
- 2. Produced by TAKAGI Masayuki
- 3. Original story by TAKEYAMA Michio
Screenplay by WADA Natto
- 4. Cinematography by YOKOYAMA Minoru
- 5. Music by IFUKUBE Akira
- 6. Rentaro,
- 7. Jun, NAITO Taketoshi,
Ko, KASUGA Shunji
- 8. Directed by ICHIKAWA Kon
- 9. The soil of Burma is red
- 10. And so are its rocks
- 11. The war ended many years ago,
- 12. but it left indelibly
sad stories in our hearts.
- 13. What follows is one such story
- 14. which happened to our company.
- 15. It's a story we shall never forget.
- 16. By July of 1945,
- 17. the tides of war had turned
against Japan even in Burma.
- 18. Our company retreated
from one mountain to the next.
- 19. We wanted to reach
the border somehow
- 20. and cross over into Thailand.
- 21. Why don't we sing?
- 22. Singing is meant for times like these.
- 23. Mizushima...
- 24. Play your harp for us.
- 25. A night in late autumn
- 26. The solitary traveller
- 27. Looks up at the sky
- 28. With a desolate heart
- 29. His beloved hometown
- 30. His parents dear
- 31. The path of his dreams
- 32. Is one that leads back home...
- 33. We often sang.
- 34. Our captain had graduated
from music school,
- 35. and he eagerly taught us
the basics of choral singing.
- 36. Those songs lifted our spirits
in times of sorrow and pain.
- 37. In our company,
- 38. we had a special harp fashioned
after the ones used in Burma.
- 39. PFC Mizushima learned
how to play it.
- 40. He'd never studied music previously,
- 41. but he had a natural gift
and quickly mastered it.
- 42. He composed wonderful
accompaniments and variations
- 43. and played along as we sang.
- 44. - Kobayashi, watch these for me.
- 45. PFC Mizushima reporting
for reconnaissance duties, sir.
- 46. - Thanks.
- I'll signal on the harp, as usual, sir.
- 47. I'll play "Danger" if I see anything,
"All Clear" if it's safe to advance.
- 48. You look better dressed like that
than you do in uniform.
- 49. He looks Burmese.
- 50. You should settle down here.
The natives would love you.
- 51. Me Burmese.
- 52. Burma nice country.
- 53. What's taking him so long?
- 54. Shall we send out
a second scout?
- 55. - The harp!
- Mizushima's playing the harp.
- 56. Which tune is it, sir?
- 57. You still can't tell?
It's the "All Clear".
- 58. I always get them confused, sir.
- 59. The sarge has a tin ear.
- 60. Move out!
- 61. - What happened to your clothes?
- Did a fox cast a spell on you?
- 62. - Some thieves cornered me.
- 63. What did they take?
- 64. What could they take?
All he had on was a longyi.
- 65. - They took my longyi.
- And wrapped you in banana leaves?
- 66. They gave me these. They had plenty.
- 67. They pointed a pistol at me,
- 68. and asked me to exchange
the longyi for banana leaves.
- 69. What a polite hold-up!
- 70. Mizushima, you look even better
in those leaves.
- 71. With a gold necklace,
you'd look just like a cannibal!
- 72. A banana loincloth keeps you cool.
- 73. Our greatest worry was food.
- 74. Enemy paratroopers had laid traps
in surrounding villages,
- 75. so we couldn't afford to be careless.
- 76. Where's the village chief?
- 77. Through distant clouds
the snows of the Himalaya glisten
- 78. We bathe ourselves
in its melted waters
- 79. Somewhere afar
your hidden spirit
- 80. Soothes with those waters
my burning heart...
- 81. Can you see the mountains
of the Himalaya from here?
- 82. Not from here, no.
- 83. The sutras and tradition tell us
- 84. that the Himalaya
are the home of the soul.
- 85. We long to see them,
even just once in our lives.
- 86. Mizushima, your playing's got
very good recently.
- 87. Not at all.
- 88. You should settle here and play.
You've always said you love Burma.
- 89. I want to go home to Japan.
- 90. Japan?
- 91. Your hospitality was quite unexpected.
We thank you sincerely.
- 92. We'll sing a song of gratitude.
- 93. - "Setting Sail", first verse.
- Yes, sir.
- 94. I knew it was too good to be true.
- 95. - Stay put.
- Ammunition boxes in the square!
- 96. Nobody move.
- 97. Is it the British?
- 98. Sing!
- 99. They're forming a line in the woods.
- 100. We'll make them think
we don't know they're there. So sing!
- 101. And get ready for action
as we sing.
- 102. Blossoms fall in myjade cup
- 103. The moon is reflected
in my sweet wine
- 104. Lost in thoughts
of peace and tranquillity
- 105. I look down
on the fields of glory
- 106. Rising toward the far hill
- 107. Five stalwart youths
in high spirits
- 108. Clap your hands!
- 109. Laugh!
- 110. They could attack at any moment.
- 111. It'll be nightfall soon.
- 112. We need to keep them off guard.
Laugh and clap your hands!
- 113. What about the ammunition boxes, sir?
- 114. One shot
and they'll all explode.
- 115. One shot
and we'll all be blown to pieces.
- 116. O merciful Buddha...
- 117. - False alarm. It's not the enemy.
- 118. The song's in English.
- 119. That night, we learned that the war
had ended three days earlier.
- 120. We gave up our arms.
- 121. We have surrendered.
- 122. Not only us, but our country
has surrendered as well.
- 123. I'm not sure what to make of this.
- 124. We don't know where we'll be taken,
what we'll have to do,
- 125. or even if we'll be allowed to live.
- 126. All of Japan has been
- 127. Many are dead.
Many are homeless and starving.
- 128. Our country lies in ruins,
- 129. while we're imprisoned
thousands of miles away.
- 130. All we can do now
is watch and wait.
- 131. It's no use attempting
to fight against our fate.
- 132. It's far better to accept it like men
- 133. and wait for the day
when our nation can rise again.
- 134. Up until now,
we've lived and died together.
- 135. Now we must share
this fate together too.
- 136. Maybe we will die
here in Burma.
- 137. If so, we'll die together.
- 138. But if by chance
we're able to return home,
- 139. we'll do so together,
leaving no man behind.
- 140. We'll work towards
rebuilding our country.
- 141. That's all I have to say for now.
- 142. What's Mudon like?
- 143. So we're finally going
to the Mudon prison camp.
- 144. - Good thing, too!
- What's good about it?
- 145. You think they'll kill us all?
- 146. Are you serious?
- 147. So what's Mudon like?
- 148. How should I know?
- 149. - Where's Mizushima?
- 150. The captain's summoned you.
- 151. A Japanese unit has been
holding out on a mountain.
- 152. The British have laid siege to it
for the past three days.
- 153. I've asked the British
to let one of us go
- 154. and talk our men
- 155. I don't want a single man
to die needlessly.
- 156. That's the mountain there.
- 157. Well, Mizushima? Will you go?
- 158. It's a half day's trek by foot.
- 159. I'll go, sir.
- 160. I'm not sure how to proceed,
but I'll do whatever's necessary, sir.
- 161. Thank you.
- 162. The rest of us will be
heading south to Mudon.
- 163. Join us there once you've completed
- 164. It'll be tough walking
the 200 miles to Mudon alone,
- 165. but the British have assured you
- 166. I'll proceed to Mudon
once I've fulfilled my duty, sir.
- 167. Persuade them to surrender.
But you only have 30 minutes.
- 168. We won't wait any longer.
- 169. What happened?
The bombardment suddenly stopped.
- 170. They must be having
their afternoon tea!
- 171. - Son of a bitch!
- Wait! He's Japanese!
- 172. Japanese?
- 173. - Easy, easy!
- How'd you get here?
- 174. - Well done!
- Where'd you come from?
- 175. Where's your commander?
- 176. At a time like this, we can use
every man we can get!
- 177. Stand at attention!
- 178. I'm Mizushima from Inoue Company.
I'm here on a mission.
- 179. What? You're a messenger?
- 180. The Japanese army
- 181. Further resistance is useless.
Please surrender as quickly as...
- 182. Silence! How dare you!
- 183. Surrendering is an insult
to those who've died!
- 184. Unlike your unit,
we're not filthy cowards!
- 185. - We'll fight to the death!
- What good are you then?
- 186. Live, endure, work
for your country.
- 187. For our country?
- 188. Such insolence! How does
surrendering help our country?
- 189. None of us here wants to live
with that humiliation!
- 190. As long as nobody surrenders,
how can Japan lose?
- 191. That's right!
- 192. A coward like you can't be Japanese!
- 193. - Leave!
- I refuse.
- 194. I won't leave until you reconsider.
- 195. You'll die if you stay.
Aren't you afraid?
- 196. I don't want to die
- 197. Dying in battle is meaningless?
- 198. It doesn't serve Japan
or its people or yourself.
- 199. - It's meaningless.
- How dare you!
- 200. - A harp? What's the idea?
- I use it for signalling.
- 201. Captain, you're responsible
for these men's lives.
- 202. If they die in vain,
the blame will be yours.
- 203. Who will apologise to their families
and to the people of Japan?
- 204. Very well. I'll put it to the men.
- 205. - Nakai, what about you?
- I'll fight to the end, sir.
- 206. And the rest of you?
- 207. How's it really going to turn out?
- 208. Just as I told you.
- 209. If only we had time
to discuss it calmly.
- 210. Unfortunately, time's almost up.
- 211. Please decide
in the next three minutes!
- 212. It's unanimous.
We'll all fight to the death.
- 213. I'll ask the British once more
- 214. to give me more time.
- 215. - You're afraid of dying!
- 216. I'm not a coward!
- 217. - We won't be taken prisoner!
- Go home alone!
- 218. Very well.
- 219. I don't have time to argue with you.
- 220. What are you doing?
- 221. We'll never surrender!
- 222. My captain said not to let
a single man die needlessly!
- 223. You'll pay for this,
you son of a bitch!
- 224. It's so quiet.
- 225. Glad you made it, old lady!
And in the rain!
- 226. It's her livelihood.
- 227. Old lady, let's trade.
What have you got today?
- 228. That stupid Indian soldier...
firing blanks to scare me.
- 229. A raw recruit, I'll bet.
How can he not know my face?
- 230. Hey, how about a molasses bar
for this broom?
- 231. You call that a broom?
- 232. I made it out of palm leaves.
- 233. You're a clever fellow.
Okay, it's a trade.
- 234. Old lady...
- 235. I made this bamboo flute yesterday.
- 236. It has a good sound.
Trade it for some bananas?
- 237. Okay, let's trade.
- 238. I don't want this monkey you gave me.
Can I trade it for food?
- 239. No, that monkey's
a very naughty creature.
- 240. I won't take it back.
- 241. I'll trade these new socks
for some shrimp paste.
- 242. Okay, trade.
- 243. - Is that stuff good?
- Tastes like our salted fish guts.
- 244. Old lady...
- 245. Did you ask about
what we discussed?
- 246. You forgot again, didn't you?
- 247. We can't get any information.
We have to rely on you.
- 248. It's no use getting angry.
- 249. Please don't forget this time.
- 250. The wounded Japanese soldiers
brought to the Mudon hospital,
- 251. were they really captured
on Triangle Mountain?
- 252. If so, was there a man
from another unit?
- 253. And is he all right?
Just ask that much.
- 254. In a few days, I'll be going
to the hospital to do some trading.
- 255. I'll ask about it.
- 256. - We'll pay what we can.
- Don't forget.
- 257. - Don't forget, please!
- I understand.
- 258. Thank you. Goodbye.
- 259. She's kind,
but completely unreliable.
- 260. I wonder what happened to Mizushima.
- 261. It's been over ten days.
- 262. I should've gone myself.
- 263. - Don't feed the monkey now.
- It's hungry.
- 264. I was saving that rice!
I was going to feed it tomorrow.
- 265. What?
Yesterday you gave it my share!
- 266. - Go to sleep!
- I can smell sake
- 267. Would you all shut up?
- 268. We haven't even begun to taste
the suffering of defeat yet.
- 269. We ought to be grateful
that we're just locked up here.
- 270. What do you say if we start
our rehearsals tomorrow?
- 271. The shrike sings
on a withered branch
- 272. While we beat the straw
- 273. Okada, take the baton.
- 274. It's all as it was last year
- 275. But something is missing
- 276. The chop, chop, chop
of my brother's axe
- 277. They're singing with us.
- 278. They come every day,
they must've learned the song.
- 279. Singing's not your forte, is it, sarge?
- 280. I'm probably the worst in the unit.
- 281. - You know how terrible you sound?
- I guess so.
- 282. Hey, that monk's here again.
- 283. He rakes it in here,
people are always giving him alms.
- 284. Fall in!
- 285. Double file, forward!
- 286. - What is it?
- What's wrong?
- 287. - Looks like him, doesn't he?
- He looks exactly like Mizushima.
- 288. - Mizushima?
- He said it's Mizushima...
- 289. Mizushima?
- 290. - Stop fooling around. You'll scare him.
- Are you Mizushima?
- 291. Taking shelter from the rain?
- 292. - Hello, old lady!
- What are you doing here?
- 293. This is my house.
- 294. So this is where you live?
- 295. Did you find out for us?
- 296. Yes, this time
I remembered to ask.
- 297. What happened to Mizushima?
- 298. - Mizushima?
- What I mean is...
- 299. What did they tell you?
- 300. Calm down and I'll tell you
everything they told me.
- 301. You know the hospital,
- 302. Just give us the gist.
This rain will soon pass.
- 303. They said they were
on Triangle Mountain.
- 304. They said that there was a man
from another unit.
- 305. They were all running around,
bullets flying through the air,
- 306. so they reckon that
he probably died there.
- 307. So he's dead after all.
- 308. He died in battle.
- 309. That's the same
as the one that monk had.
- 310. Did you meet the monk too?
- 311. This is the brother of the monk's bird.
- 312. My husband spent all day yesterday
in the woods
- 313. and caught five parrots.
- 314. The monk came along
and asked him for directions.
- 315. My husband gave him a parrot
to earn a favourable rebirth.
- 316. He sold three. This is the only one left.
- 317. Old lady...
will you sell me that bird?
- 318. It's a very cute bird.
- 319. This is in thanks
for all the information.
- 320. This is for you too.
- 321. Thank you.
- 322. Go ahead. Take the bird.
- 323. This bird can learn Burmese,
- 324. Anything you want to teach it.
- 325. That was the end of our hopes
- 326. We couldn't learn any details,
- 327. and we had no way
even to search for his remains.
- 328. The only thing we could believe
was that he'd died in battle.
- 329. It's been five days already.
- 330. Can't you see
that whatever you do is futile?
- 331. The armies of Britain and Japan
- 332. can come and fight all they wish.
- 333. Burma is still Burma.
- 334. Burma is the Buddha's country.
- 335. I'm starving.
- 336. - Which way is Mudon?
- I don't know.
- 337. - Which way is south?
- That way.
- 338. A Japanese cartridge.
- 339. They're here too.
- 340. Aren't you going to Mudon?
- 341. Yes.
- 342. But the corpses
of the Japanese soldiers...
- 343. In Burma, the bones of many
foreign soldiers lie unburied.
- 344. It's a terrible pity.
- 345. You may take this boat to Mudon.
- 346. Thank you.
- 347. Please be our guest in this room
whenever you visit Mudon.
- 348. You seem to have undergone
some very severe training.
- 349. Good night.
- 350. At last, tomorrow is almost here.
- 351. They'll be so surprised
when they see me like this.
- 352. Why are you playing
- 353. I'm sorry. I play the harp
every day for money.
- 354. Why do you play
- 355. If I play this,
the English give me money.
- 356. May I play?
- 357. Please teach me
to play like that.
- 358. That way I'll be able
to earn more money.
- 359. I will teach you.
- 360. But the monks will
complain if we play here.
- 361. The British hospital workers
are singing a hymn.
- 362. A Japanese soldier
probably died this morning.
- 363. Aren't you going
to the prison camp?
- 364. The camp is the other way.
- 365. - Mizushima?
- Don't scare him like that.
- 366. So... that monk was
Mizushima after all.
- 367. But we weren't to know that
at the time.
- 368. I know now that
I can never go back with them.
- 369. It's a ruby!
- 370. It's strange to find such
a big one along the river.
- 371. It must be the spirit
of the dead.
- 372. Hey...
- 373. What is it?
- 374. That music...
- 375. It's a harp.
- 376. I wonder who's playing it.
- 377. - It's a famous song...
- I don't mean that.
- 378. It's the way it's being played.
- 379. The arrangement
of the notes together.
- 380. - That's how Mizushima played it.
- It's that kid we saw at the temple.
- 381. Let's ask the kid. Let's ask him
who taught him how to play.
- 382. What do you think?
- 383. If Mizushima is alive,
- 384. is there any reason
he wouldn't want to return to his unit?
- 385. - There can't be!
- 386. Why was that boy playing
- 387. How do you know
it was Mizushima's song?
- 388. We don't, but the captain says
it was in his style.
- 389. And the captain's a musician, isn't he?
- 390. Mizushima died on the mountain.
How could he teach the kid?
- 391. - Maybe before he died.
- Idiot! He didn't have time.
- 392. - Did anyone see him die?
- Are you saying he didn't?
- 393. - We can't be sure.
- I've seen deserters pose as monks.
- 394. So the monk on the bridge may
actually have been Mizushima.
- 395. - That's right!
- Why didn't he say anything?
- 396. - He didn't understand Japanese.
- But he looked just like him...
- 397. Right! That's enough!
- 398. Captain... I know it's disappointing
to hear this,
- 399. but I think it's best to forget
- 400. He died bravely
trying to carry out his mission.
- 401. To doubt his death is actually
to dishonour his spirit, sir.
- 402. When he dressed as a native,
he looked exactly like one.
- 403. By the same token, there must be
Burmese who look just like him.
- 404. You believe he's alive,
so you think you see him,
- 405. or you think you hear
his harp playing.
- 406. I'm grateful that you care
so much for your men,
- 407. but it'll be detrimental to your men
if you let worry ruin your health.
- 408. There's no hope for him.
Please forget him, sir.
- 409. I suppose you're right.
- 410. Attention!
- 411. Eyes right!
- 412. Eyes front! At ease!
- 413. Isn't that Mizushima?
- 414. Hey, Mizushima!
- 415. Let's return to Japan together.
- 416. Very good.
- 417. Let's return to Japan together.
- 418. It's no good.
- 419. Maybe it's too difficult.
- 420. Please... just check one more time.
- 421. That's impossible.
We've done all we can.
- 422. The British troops that took
Triangle Mountain have returned home.
- 423. The Japanese survivors
aren't in this town.
- 424. But that tune...
- 425. You hear a certain way of playing,
a few notes floating on the breeze,
- 426. and it's enough to make you think
a dead man is alive.
- 427. Are you sure you've not dreamt it all?
- 428. Mizushima!
- 429. Let's return to Japan together!
- 430. You got it! Well done.
- 431. Captain! What's the point
of training it to say that?
- 432. I know how much you regret
- 433. but such behaviour is unmanly.
- 434. Hearing this bird repeat those words
day and night
- 435. will be bad for the unit's morale.
- 436. Everybody's already homesick as it is.
- 437. I beg of you, sir,
please pull yourself together.
- 438. We all saw that monk
carrying a white box of ashes.
- 439. That's a Japanese custom!
- 440. I thought it strange too, sir,
but there's a similar custom in Burma.
- 441. He was the only one
carrying a white box.
- 442. I have to find out who that monk is.
- 443. Next time I see him,
I'll put this parrot on his shoulder.
- 444. If it is Mizushima,
- 445. he might respond
to what the bird says.
- 446. If he doesn't,
then I'll know I'm wrong...
- 447. and I'll give up.
- 448. I'm sorry to put you all through this.
- 449. Just bear with me a little longer.
- 450. Mizushima...
- 451. So it was you after all.
- 452. Now that I see this box here,
I know for sure.
- 453. Mizushima...
- 454. What happened to you
on Triangle Mountain?
- 455. And what happened after?
- 456. I have no idea.
- 457. But I think I know how you feel.
- 458. You've made a weighty decision.
- 459. How hard it must have been.
- 460. It is springtime,
and high in the castle
- 461. At a flower-viewing banquet
- 462. The sake cup
makes the rounds
- 463. Casting its shadow
against the walls
- 464. Moonlight shines
- 465. Of ancient pine
- 466. Where has it gone
- 467. That light of days long past?
- 468. - It's Mizushima!
- That's his harp!
- 469. It's coming from the forest!
- 470. No!
It's coming from the statue of Buddha!
- 471. Mizushima!
- 472. If you're in there, open up!
- 473. Can't you hear us?
- 474. That's Sergeant Ito's voice.
- 475. And that's Kawakami.
- 476. That's Baba.
- 477. Hey, everybody! We're going home!
- 478. The repatriation order's arrived.
We leave in three days!
- 479. - We're going home?
- 480. The captain said so.
He's at headquarters now.
- 481. Mizushima!
Let's return to Japan together.
- 482. That's right.
That stubborn bastard Mizushima.
- 483. We have to take him back to Japan.
- 484. Show your face, Mizushima!
- 485. Let me think.
- 486. How can we get this parrot
on that monk's shoulder?
- 487. We only have three days,
not much time at all.
- 488. Well, at least now
we can go around and look for him.
- 489. I've got a good idea!
- 490. If we start singing really loud tomorrow,
he's bound to show up.
- 491. Your unit really likes to sing.
- 492. Deep in the countryside
- 493. The mother fox longs for her cub
- 494. Deep in the countryside
a red dragonfly...
- 495. - Hey, I don't think he's coming.
- I'm losing my voice.
- 496. Whose bright idea was this anyway?
- 497. Look, the old lady's here!
- 498. Congratulations! Congratulations!
- 499. I heard you're going home.
I'm very happy for you.
- 500. I wish you happiness
back home in Japan.
- 501. Thanks for all your help.
- 502. I'll tell my mother back home
all about you.
- 503. You've all suffered so much.
- 504. Old lady...
- 505. Something to remember us by.
- 506. Thank you.
- 507. Here's another memento.
- 508. This is for you.
- 509. - This is a good-luck charm.
- Thank you.
- 510. - For you.
- Thank you.
- 511. People have started calling me
- 512. It'll be lonely here
when you've all gone home.
- 513. You're still speaking
in that Osaka dialect.
- 514. And I always will.
- 515. That's the Japanese
the officers stationed here taught me.
- 516. Is it now?
- 517. Old lady, do you think you could give
this parrot to that monk?
- 518. That's impossible.
- 519. He's a wandering monk
and a highly revered one too,
- 520. but nobody knows where he is.
- 521. We're leaving tomorrow.
- 522. We're not asking you
to search all over Burma,
- 523. but if you see him,
could you give him the bird?
- 524. What a strange request.
- 525. We have enormous respect
for that monk too.
- 526. Very well,
you can trust me to do it.
- 527. Really?
- 528. From now on, you'll be with your brother
on the monk's shoulder,
- 529. serving the Buddha together.
- 530. Please make sure he gets it.
- 531. I'll visit again before you leave.
- 532. Goodbye, and thanks again!
- 533. I'm not sure. She didn't seem
that serious about it.
- 534. We have no other choice.
There's nothing else we can do.
- 535. At least there's a chance.
- 536. Has everyone finished packing?
- 537. There's nothing to pack.
- 538. Just put me on that boat.
- 539. What's wrong with your voices?
- 540. He said Mizushima would show up
if we sang.
- 541. Now we all have sore throats.
- 542. Fools.
- 543. Captain...
- 544. Don't you care
if Mizushima doesn't come back?
- 545. He's coming! He's coming!
- 546. What is it?
- 547. - Who?
- He's coming!
- 548. - You stink of booze!
- Mizushima's coming!
- 549. Where?
- 550. I mean,
that monk's outside the fence.
- 551. That same beggar kid's with him.
- 552. He's got two parrots
on his shoulders.
- 553. Hey, Mizushima!
- 554. Let's return to Japan together!
- 555. So the old woman found him.
That's our parrot.
- 556. But Mizushima never had
such a vacant look.
- 557. Maybe it's not him.
- 558. How about if we sing?
- 559. Mizushima,
we're going home tomorrow!
- 560. - It's good you came back!
- Come home with us!
- 561. What's the matter? Say something!
- 562. Hey, Mizushima!
- 563. What happened to you?
- 564. - Good day.
- Old lady!
- 565. Good day.
- 566. - We've nothing left to trade.
- These are for you.
- 567. Free of charge.
- 568. I won't go back!
- 569. That's a strange phrase to learn.
- 570. Get that damn bird out of here!
- 571. This is... the other parrot.
- 572. The monk kept the one you gave him.
- 573. He told me to bring you
this one in return.
- 574. What?
- 575. He asked me to give this
to the captain.
- 576. The monk asked me
to do that for him,
- 577. and since it's the last thing
I can do for you, I brought it.
- 578. Time to leave!
- 579. There's a letter from Mizushima.
- 580. There's no time. I'll read it later.
- 581. But Captain,
what if Mizushima changed his...
- 582. Mizushima isn't going
to change his mind.
- 583. Even if I read it now,
it wouldn't make any difference.
- 584. Ready for departure!
- 585. All units ready for departure.
- 586. Company, forward march!
- 587. At ease, march!
- 588. Is everyone here?
- 589. I'm going to read Mizushima's letter.
- 590. I think I understand how he feels.
- 591. When I went
to the repository that day
- 592. and I saw that white box,
- 593. But I felt uneasy
and said nothing to you about it.
- 594. I think this letter
will answer your questions.
- 595. "My captain and brothers-at-arms...
- 596. "It's difficult to express
how much I miss you all,
- 597. "how much I want to join you,
work with you,
- 598. "talk with you and sing with you.
- 599. "It's even harder
to express how I long to return
- 600. "to my war-ravaged country
and see the ones I love.
- 601. "But I cannot return.
- 602. "I cannot leave the bodies
of my comrades
- 603. "lying scattered along the hills
and rivers of Burma.
- 604. "It was when I turned back for them
- 605. "that I met you on the bridge.
- 606. "I can't express
how I felt at that moment,
- 607. "but by then I had already
made my mind up to stay.
- 608. "I couldn't rejoin you,
- 609. "or even tell you my name.
- 610. "I had only one intention,
and that was to hurry north.
- 611. No, I can't go back!
- 612. "As I climbed mountains
and crossed rivers,
- 613. "burying the bodies
left in the grasses and streams,
- 614. "my heart was racked
- 615. "Why must the world suffer
- 616. "Why must there be
such inexplicable pain?
- 617. "As the days passed,
I came to understand.
- 618. "I realised that, in the end,
- 619. "the answers were not
for human beings to know,
- 620. "that our work is simply to ease
the great suffering of the world.
- 621. "To have the courage
- 622. "to face suffering, senselessness
and irrationality without fear,
- 623. "to find the strength to create peace
by one's own example.
- 624. "I will undergo whatever training
- 625. "for this to become
my unshakable conviction.
- 626. "The Burmese priest
who has been my teacher
- 627. "has formally accepted me
into the priesthood.
- 628. "The captain's words
that we should all return
- 629. "and work together
to rebuild our country...
- 630. "... are still fresh in my memory.
- 631. "But when I saw how many dead
were left behind,
- 632. "I could no longer feel
the same way.
- 633. "I will stay behind
to create a place
- 634. "where those thousands
of young souls can find repose.
- 635. "After many years,
when that task is done,
- 636. "I may return to Japan if possible.
- 637. "But even then, I may not.
- 638. "My life may end here.
- 639. "I'm writing to you from my room
in the monastery.
- 640. "The parrot you sent me...
- 641. "... sometimes says the words
that it learned from you:
- 642. "'Hey, Mizushima,
let's return to Japan together.'
- 643. "Each time I hear those words,
- 644. "I'm startled.
- 645. "Today, filled with unbearable sadness,
I forgot my monastic vows...
- 646. "... and played a song of farewell
to you on my harp.
- 647. "I am now resigned to my fate.
- 648. "There is no end
to words of farewell.
- 649. "Those of you who still think of me,
- 650. "please accept my heartfelt thanks.
- 651. "From snow-capped mountains
- 652. "to the coast where
the Southern Cross stars shine,
- 653. "I shall wander throughout Burma.
- 654. "Whenever my loneliness becomes
unbearable, I shall play my harp.
- 655. "Thank you for everything
you've done for me.
- 656. "I shall always pray
for your happiness.
- 657. "Mizushima Yasuhiko."
- 658. When I get back to my house
in the mulberry orchard,
- 659. I'll take a nice long nap
on the veranda.
- 660. I wonder what's become
of the factory.
- 661. I miss the sound of those motors.
- 662. I'll whistle as I ride my bike
through the Ginza delivering telegrams.
- 663. And I'll go to movies and I'll...
- 664. You really think it'll be that easy?
- 665. You really think Mizushima
will never come home?
- 666. What?
- 667. You never cared about him before.
What's got into you?
- 668. Let Mizushima lead his own life.
- 669. Everyone lives as he pleases.
- 670. I used to be a station employee...
- 671. It was true... I hadn't given
Mizushima much thought before.
- 672. I didn't even think about him much
as we headed home.
- 673. All I could think about
- 674. was how his family would feel
as they read his letter.
- 675. In an oddly sincere way,
- 676. I hoped the captain would find
a good way to explain it.
- 677. The soil of Burma is red
- 678. And so are its rocks
- 679. The End