A tie binding the two best films starring David Bowie, The Man Who Fell to Earth and Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence, is their concern with the humiliation of those found both threatening and beautiful (or threatening in their beauty), though Oshima's film makes more prominent the beauty manifested in voice. It's about the oppressiveness of masculine codes of honor, and how behind much senseless violence is the need for self-expression (perhaps through song) that those codes render impossible—or sublimate violently. (It thematizes Bowie's status as a pop star more explicitly than the earlier film does, and especially in his relation to the P.O.W camp commander played by musician Ryuichi Sakamoto.)
At the end of Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence, it's important that Major Jack Celliers isn't exactly trying to correct for his past betrayal of his younger brother. He's (deliberately or not) reenacting his brother's suffering. Now he's the strange, beautiful blonde male whose very presence is simultaneously attractive and offensive to participants in masculine codes of honor (New Zealander schoolboys, Japanese P.O.W camp commanders). Obviously he reenacts his brother's punishment: both are buried up to their heads, just short of where they can emit their voices (or show their blonde hair). In both cases, those in power can maintain what they find beautiful only so long as they can humiliate it, only so long as they can't expose their attraction (and the vulnerability that that entails).
Addendum 2/6/16: It may itself be significant that, in writing the above, I completely neglected the significance of Celliers's brother's deformed back. (This seems to cut against the idea that what's difficult or unbearable for the bullies is their finding something about him beautiful.) It's tempting to write off the film's treatment of his deformity as just too literary, in contrast with the "properly" cinematic treatment of his beauty and his voice: we would be less likely to notice the deformed back had we not been told about it, whereas we feel, see, and hear (more saliently) the beauty manifested in his voice, and the vulnerability that it elicits from the bullies.
But I think that account alone would be too quick, since we're not just told about the brother's deformity; we're told about it by Celliers himself (in his voiceover). This suggests that the deformity is more significant for him than it is for his "audience" (the bullies, ourselves). And this may reflect Celliers's own difficulty in seeing his brother as other, as anything other than an extension of himself. (In remarking on his brother's deformity, he says that he could not stand being associated with anything imperfect. Unlike Celliers himself, his brother—as he imagines him—never ages, thus suggesting less a separate person than a frozen part of his Ego.) When Celliers sacrifices his brother to the bullies, he treats him as a part of himself that can be sacrificed, or must be sacrificed (exactly because of its imperfection). And when he reenacts his brother's punishment, he's again not exactly making up for a past wrong—that would require his seeing his brother as the sort of entity that he could wrong, namely a separate person—but rather reincorporating the part of himself he had been ashamed of.
That he's ashamed of the part of himself others find beautiful (even if only, in the discomfort of their attraction, to humiliate it) is one of the ironies in this profound and under-examined film.