Selasa, 07 Desember 2010
Hideo Gosha - Ni-ni-roku AKA Four Days of Snow and Blood (1989)
"Ni Ni Roku," English title "Four Days of Snow and Blood," is Hideo Gosha's tribute to the idealistic young officers who rebelled against the direction pursued by the Emperor and his advisors during the war in China. 2-2-6 refers to the date of the rebellion, February 26, 1936. With a cast of hundreds of Japan's finest actors, Gosha recreates the conflict between the hyper-militaristic faction and, perhaps, the last sane group of soldiers in the Emperor's Army. It was a climate of suspicion, when those who dared speak against the rise of the military state were brutally assassinated. Most of us know the history of the four tragic years from 1941 through 1945. This is a fascinating glimpse into the spectacular failure of restraint that led to bloody war in the Pacific.
Ni Ni Roku is difficult to locate. I purchased this from a Canadian firm, purportedly selling legitimately licensed films in China, but it's a single layer rip, in spite of the impressive packaging. The film is still quite watchable.
link There's no information on the content of the film at IMDB, but the massive and spectacular cast is listed. Look for Nakadai, Tanba, Matsukata and other popular older actors among the best of the 1980s crop.
An interesting biography of Japanese writer Yukio Mishima.
Already in 1960 Mishima had written his short story Patriotism, in honour of the 1936 Ni ni Roku rebellion of army officers of the Kodo-ha faction who wished to strike at the Soviet Union in opposition to the rival Tosei-ha, who aimed to strike at Britain and other colonial powers. The Kodo-ha officers had mobilised 1400 men and taken Tokyo. However, Emperor Hirohito ordered them to surrender.
The incident impressed itself on Mishima. In Patriotism the hero, a young officer, commits Hara-kiri, of which Mishima states: "It would he difficult to imagine a more heroic sight than that of the lieutenant at this moment."
Mishima was again to write of the incident in his play Toka no Kiku and in his 1966 novel The Voices of the Heroic Dead. Here he criticises the Emperor for betraying the Kodo-ha officers and for renouncing his divinity after the war as a betrayal of the war dead. Mishima combined these three works on the rebellion into a single volume called the Ni Ni Roku trilogy.
Mishima comments on the Trilogy and the rebellion: "Surely some God died when the Ni Ni Roku incident failed. I was only eleven at the time and felt little of it. But when the war ended, when I was twenty, a most sensitive age, I felt something of the terrible cruelty of the death of that God... the positive picture was my boyhood impression of the heroism of the rebel officers. Their purity, bravery, youth and death qualified them as mythical heroes; and their failures and deaths made them true heroes in this world...."