Emperor of Japan
“A revolutionary leader that changed Japan with a quiet dignity and a peaceful attitude.”
Emperor Hirohito of Japan was born to Crown Prince Yoshihito (later the Emperor Taisho) and Crown Princess Sadako at the Aoyama Palace in Tokyo on April 29th, 1901. His grandfather, the Meiji Emperor, was in power at this time. Hirohito, whose name means “broad-minded benevolence”, was a member of the oldest reigning family in the world and 124th in a long, unbroken line of Japanese emperors. According to Japanese tradition, he was a direct descendent of the Sun Goddess, Amterasu Omikami, giving him a divine status. In keeping with Japanese tradition for heirs to the Imperial throne, Hirohito was separated from his parents when he was just three months old and put in the care of foster parents. At the age of five, he returned to his parents' palace for tutoring. He rarely saw his father and his mother was only permitted to visit him once a week. Young Hirohito met with his grandfather, Emperor Meiji, a few times a year, an important influence on his childhood. Hirohito continued his education, following a rigorous curriculum including geography, science, English, French, Japanese and Chinese literature, mathematics, law, ethics, and art history. Occasionally, he would disagree with some of his tutors because of his disdain for war and skepticism about his divinity. He enjoyed studying nature and particularly took an interest to marine biology. On September 9th, 1912, Hirohito was proclaimed heir to the Japanese throne shortly after the death of Emperor Meiji and the succession of his father, Yoshihito, who assumed the name Taisho. Hirohito was also appointed a sub-lieutenant in the army and a second sub-lieutenant in the navy at around the same time. In 1916, he was formally installed as Crown Prince and by 1920 he had achieved the ranks of an army major and a navy...