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Japan 1933 – The echoes of the distant war in Manchuria hardly disturb 13-year-old Ichiro’s relaxed life in Kyoto, but following an under-age love affair, he is sent to a Zen Buddhist monastery. With the outbreak of war with China, he is seized from the monastery and conscripted into the Imperial Japanese Army. The saga of his war experiences in the subjugated countries of Asia changes him completely and culminates in his repatriation to his devastated homeland.
Set against the historical events of the Asia-Pacific war, the drama unfolds from the perspective of a young man caught up in the militarist ambitions of 20th century Japan.
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It’s 1950 and war rages over the Korean Peninsula. Carl, a U.S. fighter pilot, crashes and is imprisoned in a North Korean POW camp. His trials and tribulations lead to his decision not to return to the U.S. but to remain in Japan. Ichiro, a Japanese war veteran, wins a Fulbright scholarship to study in California, where events during his WWII service come back to haunt him. The career paths of Carl and Ichiro converge in Japan. A Cold War espionage plot is uncovered, then the Vietnam War engulfs Carl, and a natural disaster intervenes in Ichiro’s life.
An exceptional tale of the turmoil of 1950’s political life in America, and the resurgence of post-war Japan.