Although this is being published as fiction, this is no more and no less than the story as told to Dr. Asada of a mutiny of sorts at a Japanese prisoner of war camp in New South Wales and it is difficult to agree with him that the ""book was written as a novel"" since it is so patently a documentary. The narrator is a medical officer who had gone down on a troopship, then found himself in the care of U.S. servicemen postponing from day to day his honorable death (""the way of the samurai""). In time death is no longer an objective while life holds little incentive. Less passive, however, is one Kajima who leads a P.O.W. attack which fails, prefatory to the mass suicide as most of the 1000 prisoners jump the barricades: 229 die, 25 take their lives, and 350 are wounded. The account, uninflected if not bone-bare, is footnoted and illustrated but one questions its more than minimal appeal in the half-light of retrospect.