A young American soldier parachutes to a lonely island inhabited by a single Japanese soldier. They are enemies ("kataki"), distrustful of one another, and the only weapon between them is a knife. This, then, becomes a microcosm of a senseless world at war. By their own means of communication, the enemies slowly dissolve the barriers of fear, and each has cause to save the other in moments of crises. They have learned what W. H. Auden dictated: "We must love one another - or die." At last the American rescue patrol arrives, and the Anmerican soldier runs to greet it. The intrusion shocks the Japanese back to the realities of the mad world beyond; and rather than surrender, he commits hari-kari.
"Hypnotic and remorseless. Here is the one spectator who won't be quick to shake off the evening's strange spell." - New York World Telegram & Sun. "Ticks with time-bomb suspense." - TIME Magazine "There is much tenderness in the play, much honest comedy, and several scenes of crisp drama... The writing is excellent." - Philadelphia Inquirer "Ranks with the Gallery's best." - Los Angeles Mirror