Kiri no Hi

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Kiri no Hi
Genre Drama
Written by Yō Takeyama
Directed by Nozomu Amamiya
Theme music composer Takeshi Umōda
Country of origin Japan
Original language(s) Japanese
Running time 138 minutes
Original channel Nippon Television
Original release
  • August 25, 2008 (2008-08-25)

Kiri no Hi (霧の火?) is a Japanese television drama which originally aired on Nippon Television (NTV) on August 25, 2008. Directed by Nozomu Amamiya and with a screenplay by Yō Takeyama, it starred Etsuko Ichihara and Karina.[1] The production won a TV Drama Award at the 2008 Festival of the Arts of the Japanese Agency for Cultural Affairs (文化庁芸術祭).[2]


The story takes place in Maoka City, Karafuto, Japan (Currently Kholmsk, Sakhalin, Russian Federation) during the final year of the Pacific War. Nine telephone operators in Maoka took their own lives by taking potassium cyanide when the Soviet Union invaded the city on August 20, 1945.[3] The TV drama is based on this incident and is partially fictional (names of the characters, etc.).



The Soviet Union's invasion of Karafuto is a very sensitive topic and controversial in both Japan and Russia due to the border dispute between the two countries. A 1974 movie titled Karafuto 1945 Summer Hyosetsu no mon (樺太1945年夏 氷雪の門) portrayed the invasion of Karafuto by the Soviet Army that claimed the lives of thousands. However, due to political pressure from the Soviet Union, the Japanese government intervened and banned the movie from being aired and sold.

Kiri no Hi caused less political uproar from Russia due to the movie's insistence as "fiction" and it did not focus on the Soviet Army's brutal actions but instead talked about world peace. At the end, the granddaughter of the survivor of the Soviet Invasion pointed at Sakhalin and said, "Grandma, look, it's Sakhalin", with a big smile instead of calling the island its Japanese name of Karafuto, which hints that the Japanese people are willing to move on with the past and go forward even though they were the victim of the Soviet Army.


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