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Prisoner A: ” ‘Never live to experience the shame of being taken prisoner by the enemy’ … that’s what the Imperial Japanese Military Regulations say, hence there must be no prisoners. So what’s happening here now are the dreams of ghosts” — from “Cowra no Hancho Kaigi” (“Honchos’ Meeting in Cowra”).

Last week in Tokyo’s bohemian Shimokitazawa quarter, I never expected to encounter one of those “ghosts.” Yet there he was at the Suzunari Theater, one of the few survivors of a breakout by Japanese troops from a POW camp in Australia that featured in a play whose premiere I attended there the night before.

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