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Harp of burma - Essay Example

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Summary
The book relates the story of Japanese soldiers in a troupe, especially Private Mizushima who can play the Burmese harp, who were involved in the Second…
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Harp of burma

Download file to see previous pages... By using the analogy of music, the Burmese harp that Mizumshima played, Takeyama has tried to promote an ideal of peace after the ravages of World War II, keeping in mind the Buddhist teachings of peace and harmony.
After the Second World War, people saw the ravages of war firsthand.. Despite the dangers involved, the soldiers on both sides fought valiantly and fearlessly, perhaps not just because of their ideals, but for the pride and vainglory of their leaders and generals. To boost their morale at the war front, often troupes of musicians were sent to them to keep them entertained. This was done in an attempt to keep them fighting.
Despite the peaceful ideals of Buddhism, the Japanese fought the British in Burma, a Buddhist country and shed a lot of blood there. This was in direct contrast to the Buddhist teachings. As per Mayton, “Non violence is at the heart of Buddhist thinking and behavior. The first of the five precepts that all Buddhists should follow is [to] avoid killing, or harming any living thing” (47). People who shed blood in their own ancestral land are cursed. Added to this was the fact that due to the continuous onslaught of the British, and the defeats of the Japanese elsewhere, it was becoming more and more difficult to continue fighting, calling for the Burmese to surrender (Win 114).
There were many Japanese soldiers, however, who refused to surrender despite the surrender of their government. In the novel, Mizushima was asked to convince a group of soldiers, who were still fighting in the mountains, to surrender to the British. McDonald states that the Buddhist cultural practices and beliefs entail that if surrender achieves peace, then people should not be made to suffer by non surrender (23). The Burmese, being Buddhists, considered war to be foreign to their way of life, however, their Japanese occupiers were actively shedding blood in their land. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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