Hirohito Facts

Hirohito Facts
On December 26, 1926, Hirohito became the 124th Emperor of Japan. Like the monarchs of Europe, Hirohito's power was limited; but by all accounts he supported the military's actions before and during World War II and was in favor of the alliance with Germany and Italy. The first time Hirohito was heard by his people was when he announced Japan's surrender on August 15, 1945, which due to the type of language he used, was only understood by the most educated Japanese. After the war, American prosecutors believed that Hirohito did not wield enough power to be held responsible for war crimes, so he was not prosecuted and was allowed to continue his reign as emperor. With that said, many scholars and experts believe that Hirohito was equally culpable of war crimes as some of Japan's leaders who were executed. Hirohito was born on April 29, 1901 to crown prince and future emperor of Japan, Taisho, and the future empress Teimei. As the eldest son of his parents, he was the crown prince and trained to be the emperor from a young age. He married the Princess Nagako Kuni, who later was known as the Empiress Kojun, in 1924. The couple would have seven children.
Interesting Hirohito Facts:
Hirohito is known referred to as "Showa" or "Emperor Showa" as that was the era of his rule.
Hirohito survived an assassination attempt in 1923 by a Japanese communist.
Show means "enlightened peace" in Japanese.
Hirohito survived a second and even closer assassination attempt in 1932. The would be assassin was a Korean independence activist named Lee Bong-chang.
There was also a 1925 plot against Hirohito's life, but in that case the would be assassins were arrested in the planning stage.
Although many in Japan have mitigated Hirohito's role in World War II, all of the evidence shows that he fully supported Japan's imperial ambitions in Asia and supported the alliance with Germany and Italy. With that said, the emperor was clearly influenced by his cabinet, advisors, and military high-command.
The imperial family decided to choose a non-royal as prime minister before the war to give the family a degree of cover. Hirohito chose Hideki Tojo, who was a hardline militarist and pro-fascist.
After the war, the American military occupation forces saw Hirohito as a figure head who was manipulated by career politicians and the military high-command. This attitude was reflected in the Asian war crimes trials where most of those tried and convicted were members of the Japanese military.
Although there were calls from within the Japanese royal family for Hirohito to abdicate his throne, General MacArthur and other members of the U.S. military supported his rule so he stayed in power.
Despite not being tried for war crimes or stripped of his title, Hirohito was forced to denounce his claim to divinity.
Hirohito's post-war leadership was peaceful and focused on bringing investment to Japan. Thanks in part to Hirohito's efforts, Japan experienced an economic boom after the war that lasted until the early 1990s.
Hirohito died on January 7, 1989 of cancer at the age of eighty-seven.

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