Emperor Hirohito was the 124th emperor of Japan. Thought to be a descendant from the Sun Goddess, he reigned during a period of foreign expansion, international war, expansion and his nations defeat. As occupant for Japan’s throne for sixty three years, he was the longest living ruler in modern history. During Emperor Hirohito’s reign as ruler he tried to stay out of things and wasn’t a hand on man but as war started his military and government got out of his control and gave him a bad name under his belt that would live with him the rest of his life.
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Hirohito was born on April 29, 1901 in Aoyama Tokyo. He was the first son of Prince Yoshihito, who later became the Taisho emperor, and the grandson of Mutsuhito, the Meiji emperor. Hirohito was separated from his mother and father shortly after birth. He was looked after for by a vice admiral until November 1904, he later returned to the Alaskan Palace, his parents’ home. Even when he returned home to the palace, he barely got to see his parents. He was only allowed to see his mother once a week and barely ever spent any time with his father. From then on Hirohito was trained to act mature, with dignity and have responsibility for his future. He grew up very reserved, being shy and having to act like an adult at a very young age. In April 1908 Hirohito attended a very prestigious school, Gakushuin, which was very small and for the best of kids. In 1912 the then emperor of Japan died which paved the way for Hirohito’s father, Yoshihito, to take over as emperor. Hirohito, next to the throne after his father then had to start acting, and studying to be the next emperor. He not only studied history but he began studying marine biology and became an all around expert at it. On February 4, 1918 Hirohito got engaged with Princess Nagako, whose father was Prince Kuniyoshi Kuninomiya. The wedding was on January 26, 1924, and they later had 5 daughters and 2 sons.
On November 25, 1921 Hirohito was called on to act as ruler in time that his father was experiencing mental illness. In December of 1923 Hirohito tried to escape from being ruler and wanted to become a radical and normal citizen but got caught and had to go back to the palace. His dream didn’t happen and on December 25, 1926 Hirohito took the throne of Japan and was known as Showa Tenno, descent from the Sun Goddess. Hirohito said when he became emperor “They do not depend upon mere legends and myths. They are not predicated on the false conception that the Emperor is divine and that the Japanese people are superior to other races.” Hirohito loved his people and really thought Japan was the best, most powerful country on earth. As did all the people in Japan.
The beginning of Hirohito’s reign sovereign took place between 1926 and 1945. Military power was increasing within the government. The Imperial Japanese Army and Imperial Japanese Navy had held veto power over the formation cabinets since 1900’s. One big incident was the assassination of Prime Minister Tsuyoshi Inukai in 1932, which was the end of any civilian control in the military. Followed by this was the attempted military coup in February 1936, done but junior army officers. The coup murdered a lot of high government and army officials. The military group in Japan had almost all the political power and attempted policies that were leading Japan into a major world war.
Many believed that Hirohito was an evil man who was the brains behind the war while others thought he was powerless and had nothing to do with the war. Many people from the countries China, Taiwan, Korea and South-East Asia saw Hirohito as the Asia’s Hitler of the 2nd World War. Hirohito committed many crimes and was not tried for them and because of these war crimes against other countries many of those people reacted aggressive, mean, hostile and angry toward the Japanese Imperial Family and Japanese.
Emperor Hirohito supported the war against China from 1931-32 and supported the invasion of Manchuria in 1937. Hirohito then gave the ok for the attack on Pearl Harbor of the United Stated. That put them right in the middle of the Second World War. December 7, 1941 Hirohito sent his troupes out to attack the United States Pacific Fleet center at Pearl Harbor. Hirohito wanted to destroy the US Fleet for up to eighteen months, so Japan could then attack the Philippines and China. If Japan were so succeed in these they could go on capturing Australia, New Zealand and India. This would be called “The Greater East Asia Corporeity Sphere.” They wanted American out of the European war because they knew they would have a better chance without them there.
Japan wanted to eliminate America from the European war for a better chance at victory. Japans attempts to destroy America only put them in the worst place they could be in. Japan, Germany and Italy formed the Axis powers. No one knows exactly how big of a role Hirohito played in World War 2 but some say he was the main person behind Japans involvement in the war. On September 5, 1941 Japans prime minister, Konoe, submitted a document of Japans decisions and involvement to go to war. Hirohito didn’t want any trouble so he called a conference with military officials and he soon realized he had absolutely no control over the military any longer. On December 7, 1941 Japans military attacked United States Pearl Harbor without Hirohito’s consent. They destroyed the air fields and cargo, military ships and killed and wounded hundreds of citizens. After the attack of Pearl Harbor, Japan then invaded and attacked China and Southeast Asia. Hirohito tried to stay updated on the war and his troops but he had very little control over the government at this point and didn’t have say in anything.
Japan thought they had hurt American good with the attack on Pearl Harbor, which they had, they just didn’t know America would come back with a plan that hurt Japan even worse. Every American citizen wanted to destroy Japan. Parents sent out there daughters and sons to war. Women joined the industrial work force and helped being nurses and helpers. Americans didn’t care about cost they wanted to get Japan back for the attack on Pearl Harbor.
With American working together to get back at Japan they made a new weapon called the Atom Bomb. In the morning of August 6, 1945 a bomber named Enola Gay headed toward Northwest Japan. The main target was the city of Hiroshima, which contained 300,000 people and 43,000 soldiers. The bomb killed and wounded thousands of people. The real death toll is unsure but there are an estimated 70,000 people that died of the actual blast, heat and radiation effects. The Hiroshima death toll was around 100,000 and the five-year death toll had sky rocketed to exceed 200,000 people, not only from the bomb but from the long term effects on the people.
The war turned against Japan for the worse. Hirohito wanted to surrender but the army didn’t want the dishonor of surrendering. Germany surrendered May of 1945 which made Japan in even a deeper hole.
After this devastating time for Japan, Hirohito made a radio broadcast to his people telling his the war was off, they had surrendered. He told them to “Accept the unacceptable,” and gave a speech. “To our good and loyal subjects: After pondering deeply the general trends of the world and the actual conditions obtaining in our empire today, we have decided to effect a settlement of the present situation by resorting to an extraordinary measure. We have ordered our Government to communicate to the Governments of the United States, Great Britain, China and the Soviet Union that our empire accepts the provisions of their joint declaration. To strive for the common prosperity and happiness of all nations as well as the security and well-being of our subjects is the solemn obligation which has been handed down by our imperial ancestors and which we lay close to the heart. Indeed, we declared war on America and Britain out of our sincere desire to insure Japan’s self-preservation and the stabilization of East Asia, it being far from our thought either to infringe upon the sovereignty of other nations or to embark upon territorial aggrandizement. But now the war has lasted for nearly four years. Despite the best that has been done by everyone–the gallant fighting of our military and naval forces, the diligence and assiduity of out servants of the State and the devoted service of our 100,000,000 people–the war situation has developed not necessarily to Japan’s advantage, while the general trends of the world have all turned against her interest. Moreover, the enemy has begun to employ a new and most cruel bomb, the power of which to do damage is, indeed, incalculable, taking the toll of many innocent lives. Should we continue to fight, it would not only result in an ultimate collapse and obliteration of the Japanese nation, but also it would lead to the total extinction of human civilizationâ€¦” (Emperor Hirohito)
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After years of the Japanese people being taught they were invincible is came as total shock when Hirohito said this. The surrender came as shock to the entire nation and none of them thought it was true. Many of the Japanese accepted the surrendering but some couldn’t deal with is and it caused citizens to revolt against the government officials. Some people acted way out of control. People thought there race and country grew weak, thinking they should still be fighting.
Many people, including Harry Truman called on Hirohito to be charged with war crimes. The United States general Douglas MacArthur turned down these requests and decided that Japanese people needed Hirohito and he would help Japan get back on their feet. Hirohito was a great inspiration to his people, he gave them hope of survival and was needed for his countries well being at this terrible time for Japan.
Hirohito was spared the trials for his war crimes and suffered a great deal with Japans now dangerous image. He was forced to publicly state that he didn’t have power anymore over Japan and that he was not a descendant of the Sun Goddess. During the aftermath of the war Hirohito worked on changing the image for Japan to other countries by traveling and having meetings with other foreign countries. Hirohito would meet with other countries and apologize. He tried to change his countries image from a horrifying one to a friendly one.
Emperor Hirohito, the last of the World War II leaders and Japan’s longest-reigning monarch, died at the Imperial Palace. He was 87 years old. On September 22, 1987 Hirohito was diagnosed with duodenal cancer. The doctors although did not share that information with Hirohito do to traditional Japanese laws. On December 19, 1988 Hirohito suffered a terrible collapse and began to suffer from internal bleeding. And on January 7, 1989 Hirohito died of cancer.
Hirohito was the 124th Emperor of Japan and lived a very hard last years of life by suffering his cancer. Hirohito brought his country out alive during and after World War 2. He made bad decisions, good decisions, he wasn’t there for his people at times, but was there for a lot of the time. Hirohito was one of the greatest emperors of all time in Japan and is known for his efforts in World War 2 and telling his people and the world that Japan isn’t as strong and powerful of a country after all. Hirohito’s reign lasted for 62 years which was the most torturous era in Japans history.
When World War 2 started, Hirohito decided to ally Japan with Germany and Italy to form the Axis Powers. Exactly how large of a role he played in World War 2 is disputed, but some believe that he was the full force behind Japan’s involvement and military action. On a draft of the decision to go to war to Hirohito, who was reportedly
Hirohito called for a conference with top military officials and reportedly demanded World War, the
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