Fires on the Plain

is a 1959 Japanese war film directed by Kon Ichikawa, starring Eiji Funakoshi. The screenplay, written by Natto Wada, is based on the novel Nobi (Tokyo 1951) by Shōhei Ōoka, translated as Fires on the Plain. It initially received mixed reviews from both Japanese and international critics concerning its violence and bleak theme. In following decades, however, it has become highly regarded.


In February 1945, the demoralized Imperial Japanese Army on Leyte is in desperate straits, cut off from support and supplies by the Allies, who are in the process of liberating the Philippine island. Private Tamura has tuberculosis and is seen as a useless burden to his company, even though it has been reduced to little more than a platoon in strength. He is ordered to commit suicide if he is unable to get admitted to a field hospital. A sympathetic soldier gives him several yams from the unit's meager supplies.