The composition is based on the Battle of Shumshu. Shumshu is an island located in the northern most part of the Kuril Islands (known as the Chishima Islands in Japan).
On August 18th, 1945 three days after the end of the World War II, the Soviet Union made a surprise attack on Japan and invaded Shumshu Island. Japan was at postwar disarmament and they quickly rearmed and defended themselves. The battle quickly became violent and the Soviets suffered 3000 casualties and the Japanese 600 casualties. Although the Japanese military seemed to have had the advantage, the battle being post Potsdam Declaration and the main purpose for Japan was to defend themselves, Japan’s higher command ordered the Japanese military division to cease all hostilities and surrender on August 21st.
The Japanese soldiers were then taken to Siberia as Japanese prisoners of war. Many lives were lost under several years of severe living condition and forced labor.
I can only imagine how they must have felt going through all these horrific events. They were physically and mentally exhausted from WWII, yet another battle interrupted their rest and kept them from returning to their loved ones. They fought for Japan by duty but perhaps also to protect their loved ones. This work expresses the grief, fear, dismay and suffering of all those events.
1st Trumpet in Bb
2nd Trumpet in Bb
1st Horn in F
2nd Horn in F