HIROHITO, (1901-1989), 124th Emperor of Japan

Discussion in 'Biographies' started by spidge, Nov 8, 2007.

  1. spidge

    spidge Active Member


    HIROHITO, (1901-1989), 124th Emperor of Japan, who succeeded to the throne in 1926 after a period of five years as regent. The Showa era, as his reign is called, witnessed dramatic transformations in Japanese life, including the status of the Emperor himself.
    Role in National Life
    The imperial messages of Aug. 15, 1945, concluding hostilities in WORLD WAR II , and of Jan. 1, 1946, declaring that the Emperor is a mortal, were epoch-making events in the history of Japan. The continued existence of the imperial system was left to the choice of the Japanese people. The constitution of 1947 determined that the Emperor would not have political power but would remain a symbol of Japan; sovereign power would lie with the people, war would be abandoned, and fundamental human rights would be guaranteed. Thus, during the long and eventful reign of the Showa Emperor, Japan emerged from a period of military expansion, culminating in national tragedy, and entered a new period of international cooperation during which it became one of the world's three greatest economic powers.
    Until the end of 1945, the Emperor was revered as a god. Afterward, Japanese political leaders attempted to bring him closer to the people. The initial step had been taken by the Emperor himself in his dramatic radio broadcast announcing the surrender of Japan. The sole condition sought by the Japanese government had been that the Emperor should retain his throne. In postwar Japan, the everyday life of the imperial family was reported in detail. The marriage in 1959 of Crown Prince Akihito (born 1933) to Michiko Shoda, the daughter of an industrialist, was eagerly accepted by the people.
  2. liverpool annie

    liverpool annie New Member

    I just wonder how I would have been affected by a childhood like this .................. he was a constitutional monarch ..... but was he a war criminal ? .... many books have been written ..... I liked this book ... very thought provoking ....... I have my own opinion of this man ... when you take away the wheat from the chaff ..... what do you have ? ..

    Hirohito and the Making of Modern Japan, Harper Perennial, Herbert P. Bix, Book - Barnes & Noble

    Hirohito was born on April 29, 1901. He was the first son of Crown Prince Yoshihito, who later became the Taisho emperor, and the grandson of Mutsuhito, the Meiji emperor. Following long-established custom, Hirohito was separated from his parents shortly after birth. He was cared for by a vice admiral in the imperial (of the empire) navy until November 1904, when he returned to the Akasaka Palace, his parents' official residence. Even after his return to the palace, he was only allowed to see his mother once a week and hardly ever spent time with his father.

    From early on, Hirohito was trained to act with the dignity, reserve, and sense of responsibility his future role would require and he grew into a shy and serious young boy. In April 1908 he was enrolled at the Gakushuin (Peers School) in a special class of twelve boys. The head of the school was General Maresuke Nogi, a celebrated soldier of the Russo-Japanese War (1904–05; a conflict with Russia over Manchuria and Korea). He took a personal interest in the education of the young prince and attempted to introduce him to respect the virtues of hard work, the importance of devotion to the nation, and the practice of stoicism (the ability to ignore pleasure or pain).

    In 1912 Mutsishito died and paved the way for Hirohito's father Yoshihito to take the throne. Hirohito then began an intense study of natural history. Under the guidance of his natural history tutor, he developed an interest in marine biology, a field in which he became an acknowledged expert.

    Hirohito Biography

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