Harp of Burma shares a powerful human story about Japanese soldiers on the front lines in WWII.Winner of the prestigious Mainichi Shuppan Bunkasho prize and the basis for the critically acclaimed film The Burmese Harp by Ichikawa Kon, Harp of Burma portrays a company of Japanese troops who are losing a desperate campaign against British forces in the tropical jungles of Burma, the country known today as Myanmar. The young soldiers discover that the trials of war involve more than just opposing the enemy. The alien climate and terrain, the strange behavior of foreigners, the constant struggle to overcome homesickness and nostalgia, and the emotions stirred by the senselessness of war–all of these forces, new and baffling to the soldiers, contribute to their distress and disorientation.
In the midst of these overwhelming challenges, their commander’s ability to lead them in song helps them discover music’s power to make even the most severe situations more tolerable. Even though they face the inevitability of defeat, singing the songs of their homeland revives their will to live.
Through the story of these men and of the music that saw them through the war, Takeyama presents thought-provoking questions about political hostilities and the men who unleash them. Harp of Burma is Japan’s classic novel of pathos and compassion in the midst of senseless warfare.
Additional ISBNs: 9780804802321, 0804802327, 9781462903559, 146290355X