Gonin no Sekkohei

Gonin no Sekkohei (Five Scouts) released in Japan on January 7, 1938, is the most complex of the many pro-war films made during the Pacific War. Directed by Tomotaka Tasaka and starring Hikaru Hoshi, Ichiro Izawa (Private Koguchi), Shiro Izome (Corporal Nakamura), Isamu Kosugi (Platoon Leader), Bontaro Miyake (Sergeant Fujimoto) and Toshinosuke Nagao. This story of a platoon fighting in China reinforced the approved military theme of diverse Japanese coming together to fight a faceless Chinese enemy, but is generally marked as a classic by film historians for its realistic portrayal of a combat unit under stress. The approved themes of familial support, self-sacrifice, heroism, and nationalism are all present, characteristics of all films censored by the military during the war. Filmmakers labored under strict censorship, and the military government recognized that film was an important part of propaganda activities during the war.
Caption Written By: 
Jason McDonald
Date Photographed: 
Thursday, January 7, 2038