Saturday, August 15, 2009

Victory over Japan

On August 15, 1945, Emperor Hirohito announced the surrender of Japanese forces in a radio broadcast to the nation. He was 44. It was the first time the Japanese public had heard his voice, and since he was speaking in an archaic form of the language no one could understand what he was saying. On New Year’s Day 1946, he announced that he wasn't divine.

Hirohito appears four times in A Book of Ages. At age 20 he was the first emperor to set foot outside Japan. When he was 74 he visited Disneyland. When he was 83 he came very close to apologizing for what happened during World War II and said he hoped it would never happen again.

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