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Emperor Hirohito (Japan) Autographs, Memorabilia & Collectibles

Born: April 29, 1901
Died: January 07, 1988
Biography | show moreshow less
HIROHITO (1901-1989), born Michinomiya Hirohito, Japanese emperor during World War II, was originally designated as "Showa" or "Enlightened Peace". He became emperor in 1926 following the death of his father Taisho. Despite having supreme authority in Japan, he did little more than to ratify the policies of his ministers. Historians debate Hirohito's role in Japan's expansionist policies, which began in 1931 and one of the major causes of World War II. Some say he didn't support Japan's imperialist ambitions but was powerless to stop hawkish officials in the military and government. Others say he was intimately involved in Japan's empire building. However, Hirohito did urge for peace in 1945, when Japan was all but defeated by the United States, and became the first Japanese emperor to be heard on radio when he announced Japan's surrender on Aug. 15, 1945. He also became the first Japanese emperor to repudiate the divinity of Japan's emperors, one of the conditions of surrender. The U. S. forced Japan to become a constitutional monarchy, and the emperor's powers were severely reduced. Apparently, Hirohito adapted fairly well to his postwar status and tried to bring the Japanese people closer to the imperial family. His reign after World War II included numerous public appearances and the publication of his personal and family history. Hirohito's reign, the longest reign of any emperor in Japanese history, ended with his death in 1989; he was succeeded by his eldest son, Tsugu Akihito.
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