4. Background of This Song

Composed by Tadashi Yoshida and written by Koji Masuda as he wrote

down exactly what he was experiencing at that time out of his harsh existence

during the the days of his Siberian detainment, this song was sung by the Japanese

workers held as prisoners in Siberia as they went back and forth to the wood cutting

and coal mining work. Singing this song encouraged them. By singing this song together,

the prisoners bore up their tragedies, confirming their dream of “going back home no matter  

what” in the desperate environment of assigned physical labor and lack of food, in which

the comrade next to them lost their lives one by one, day to day. Yoshida was not able to

bring the original score back to Japan, but the detainees who made it back to Japan

remembered this song, and it was popularized in this song, titled, “On the Hill in a Foreign Land.”