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Near the end of World War II a number of young Japanese, eager to stay out of combat, volunteer for an army band undergoing an accelerated training course. The methods employed include a strong measure of discipline similar to that used by the army to prepare men for combat, and the young men complain of the harassment to which they are subjected. At the end of the course, the band is sent to the Chinese front to boost the troops' morale. On the way, they witness the havoc and destruction the war has caused, and eventually they are attacked and their numbers decimated by Chinese guerrillas. The few survivors are sent to the Philippines as prisoners of war.