In the middle of 1938, Kamei Fumio and his film crew got themselves attached to an infantry regiment which they followed around through China for about four months, filming their marching and their fighting and their waiting and their dying - in short, their suffering, and not theirs alone, but also that of the people around them, their designated enemies. The film was banned in 1939 before anybody could see it and vanished. Fighting Soldiers turned into a legend and was finally rediscovered in 1976, and celebrated as a masterpiece of anti-war cinema. Nevertheless, its anti-war sentiments were ‘incidental’, if the late Kamei Fumio is to be believed: 'I wanted to make a film to show the sorrow and the pain of the land, and the people and animals living there.… I just wanted to show the real thing as it was'. He certainly did.