Topics: World War II, Hirohito, Emperor of Japan Pages: 6 (1846 words) Published: December 5, 2005
Emperor Hirohito was Japan's 124th emperor who is vital to the history because he played a major role within world history. He was known as the Showa Tenno emperor. Showa is translated into "enlightened peace" and Tenno is translated into "heavenly sovereign." This is exceptionally ironic because he was the emperor during numerous disasters (Hirohito, 2005).

The worst war Japan had ever seen and a depression are just a few of the events that occurred throughout history. According to the Japanese constitution of 1889 the emperor had divine power over his country although his authority was based on religion and myth. The Japanese citizens viewed him as a divine figure and his word became what was thought of as the word of god (Hoyt, 1992). His wrath was severe as he devastated many countries including his own.

This is because of events such as the bombing of Pearl Harbor and the rape of Nanjing. He shocked his own country when he denounced the claims that he was a divine figure and a descendent of the sun god Amaterasu. This was the first time the Japanese people realized that their emperor was truly a mortal (Hirohito, Emperor of Japan, 2003). He became what was known as Japan's most memorable emperor.

To completely understand Hirohito we must take a concise look at the Shinto religion. The Shinto religion was first recorded in 712A.D. in a book called Kojiki which means record of ancient things. It was also written in a book called Nihon Shoki, which means chronicles of Japan. Two deities created Japan. A male being named Izanagi and a female being named Isonomy (Mackenzie, 1994). There names translated into "he who invites" and "she who invites." After Izanami died Izanagi created Amaterasu which is the equivalent to what we think of as a sun goddess. Her name means heavenly light. It was thought that Izanagi then sent Amaterasu to rule the heavens. The deities discussed and then decided that Amaterasu's descendents should rule the land. Amaterasu's great grandson became Japan's first emperor (Mackenzie, 1994).

This means all of Japan's emperors were descendents of a god. This is why the Japanese believed that there emperor was a god, and not a mortal man. Hirohito was an interesting individual. He was born on April 29th, 1901 in the Aoyama palace in Tokyo (Hirohito, 2005).

His father was Yoshihito the Taisho emperor, and his mother was princess Sudako. He was the eldest of four sons. He was taken away from his mother when he was only a few months old, and given to count Sumiyoshi Kawamura. They did this to protect him from the social life of the palace and this is mostly because colds and fevers were frequent (Hirohito, Emperor of Japan, 2003).

Sumiyoshi took care of him until 1905 when he was taken back to the castle. At the age of seven he was enrolled at Gakushuin or peers' school. He was taught mostly by army and naval officers. His principal was Maresuke Nogi the victorious infantry general of the Russo-Japanese war (Hirohito, Emperor of Japan, 2003).

Nogi took special pride in teaching Hirohito and even went as far as to give him private classes. Sadly, Maresuke Nogi committed suicide on the day of Mutsuhito's funeral. He used the ceremonial suicide of junshi. This means "following your lord into death?" (Hirohito, Emperor of Japan, 2003).

Mutsuhito was Hirohito's grandfather, he was known as Emperor Meiji. After Nogi killed himself, Heihachiro Togo became his mentor. Hirohito's father, the Taisho emperor, took power in 1912. He then went on to finish peers' school in 1914 (Hirohito, 2005).

He became a crown prince and graduated crown prince's school in 1921. He then went on to married his distant cousin, princess Nagako. This took place on January 26th, 1924. She was the eldest daughter of prince Kuniyoshi. Many opposed the wedding because she was color blind and would taint the royal blood line. They had there first child (a girl) in December of 1926...
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