One night in November
for flute and piano
completed in 2018, London
Recording: 2018.5.17 (rehearsal)
Piano: Vicent Ng
Flute: Marco Leung
One Night in November is about the ritual suicide of Yukio Mishima on 25th November, 1970.
Yukio Mishima (1923 - 1970) was a Japanese author and nationalist. His real name was Kimitake Hiraoka. At around 1960, Mishima became a political activist as he was disappointed with the loss of the national spirit and traditional value in the post-WWII Japan. On 25th November, 1970, Yukio committed traditional seppuku, self-disembowelment by a short sword followed by decapitation with a long sword at the hands of a trusted acquaintance, after a failed coup attempt at a military base in Tokyo. Masakatsu Morita, who was assigned the decapitation duty, failed to severe Mishima’s head. After 3 attempts he allowed Hiroyasu Koga, another member of Mishima’s militia, to behead Mishima. Soon after, Morita also stabbed himself in the abdomen and was decapitated by Koga.
Mishima’s death is believed to have deeply affected his friend and mentor, Nobel Prize winner author, Yasunari Kawabata (1899 - 1972) and eventually led to his controversial suicide in 1972. Some of Kawabata’s family and friends held the belief that his death has been accidental.