JN058 The Emperor Hirohito
The Emperor Hirohito (1901-1989) reigned as emperor of Japan from 1926 until 1989. He was the head of state during Japan’s expansionist assault on China and its entry into WW2 on 7 December 1941.
After Japan’s defeat in August 1945 he was not prosecuted for war crimes however his close involvement with wartime decisions and actions remains to this day controversial. During the post-war period, he became the symbol of the new state now emerging and the peace and prosperity it promoted and enjoyed. Here, however, we see him during WW2. On December 8 (December 7 in Pearl Harbor) 1941, Japanese forces struck simultaneous attacks on Hong Kong, Malaya, Singapore, The Philippines and elsewhere in the Pacific.
In Tokyo, the Emperor took a keen interest in military progress and was involved in helping to plan several military operations. In order to boost both military and civilian morale he also chose to wear the everyday uniform of a Japanese general complete, of course, with the traditional ‘Samurai Sword’. And that’s how K&C has portrayed him here.