At the end of the second world war, imperial japanese fanatism seals the fate of all of one island's inhabitants as well as of its garrison, interrupting the love between a soldier and a fisherman's daughter. The girl survives and the war ends, but the other survivor, a soldier, doesn't know about neither and continues during thirty years to serve the emperor by defending the island against enemy attacks, tormented in his dreams by his memories and his secret aspiration to eternal rest. The soldier is regularly inspected and motivated by his former military inspector Yamada. The latter exploits the situation to entertain former japanese officers, nostalgic of war-waging imperial Japan, by luring visitors to the island, where the are enrolled by the soldier Taro to serve in the army of the Great Emperor.
For the thrill of the former japanese officers, Yamada organizes "inspections" during which the new recruits must prove their devotion to the emperor by sacrificing their lives. Shintaro, the hero of this story, is the son of the fisherman's daughter. She pushes him to find his father, who has disappeared on the island just before the massacre. Through the war veteran association of the japanese army, Shintaro learns about the island and decides to visit the island to look for hints about his father. Since Yamada works for the veteran association, Yamada takes Shintaro and other people to the island… and abandons them there. For Shintaro and his comrades this means forced enrollment, military drill and suffering. And Yamada prepares an inspection...
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