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Old May 14th, 2012, 12:34 PM   #1
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Hirohito's power


I was doing a quick look through Hirohito wiki page and notice there seems to be some debate over how much power he had over Japan and specifically Japaneses war crimes. I have always thought the Army held the most power and Hirohito didn't know about or didn't have the power to stop Japanese war crimes. I am quiet curious about what other Historum members think about this and whether or not Hirohito should be considered a war criminal?
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Old May 14th, 2012, 01:24 PM   #2

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Difficult topic. My understanding has always been that Hirohito's role was, at best, ambiguous. To Japanese, he was clearly a god incarnate, and had significant power. But based on multiple assassination and coup attempts, he was also clearly not an absolute ruler. The Army called the shots in Tokyo-at least after 1900.
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Old May 14th, 2012, 01:25 PM   #3

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Quote:
Originally Posted by diddyriddick View Post
Difficult topic. My understanding has always been that Hirohito's role was, at best, ambiguous. To Japanese, he was clearly a god incarnate, and had significant power. But based on multiple assassination and coup attempts, he was also clearly not an absolute ruler. The Army called the shots in Tokyo-at least after 1900.
I think it may have been a case of, the closer one was to the Emperor, the less divine he was.
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Old May 14th, 2012, 03:41 PM   #4

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Hirohito always needed guidance. Let's keep in mind that even as a child he would not pick himself up after falling. He would wait until someone came and stood him up again, which never took long. Having said that, he was still the emperor and could command, but he was easy to manipulate. Hirohito's generals knew how to make him do what they wanted.
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Old May 14th, 2012, 03:58 PM   #5
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Does anyone know whether Hirohito knew about unit 731?
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Old May 15th, 2012, 06:20 AM   #6

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During my WWII phase I got quite fascinated by the rise of Imperial Japan and searched for a comprehensive English language history of that era in Japan's history. However it was very difficult to find one that embraced the whole period from Japans industrialisation to the end of WWII and did it from Japans perspective and not one of their (many) enemies. Then I stumbled upon this book:

[ame="http://www.amazon.com/Japans-Imperial-Conspiracy-David-Bergamini/dp/0688019056"]Amazon.com: Japan's Imperial Conspiracy (9780688019051): David Bergamini: Books@@AMEPARAM@@http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41CxIpQNQNL.@@AMEPARAM@@41CxIpQNQNL[/ame]

It is a thick volume (1364 pages). I am aware that Bergaminis interpretation is not accepted by all historians, but he does a pretty good job in connecting the deliberate imperialistic policy of the whole era not only to the usual military establishment but also to the imperial family itself. And it also goes into detail on all the Japanese colonial and imperialistic ventures, so it is a fascinating read even if you are sceptic about the conclusions of the book.
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Old May 15th, 2012, 02:12 PM   #7

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I don't think there was any doubt in the minds of Australians.
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Old May 16th, 2012, 07:44 PM   #8

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Quote:
Originally Posted by cavisboung View Post
My understanding has always been that Hirohito's role was
Click the image to open in full size.
I can't see the image. What is it?
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Old May 17th, 2012, 06:13 AM   #9

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Originally Posted by Jake10 View Post
I can't see the image. What is it?
You can't see the image because it has been moderated out. Cavisbourg was a spammer.
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Old May 17th, 2012, 06:25 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by diddyriddick View Post
Difficult topic. My understanding has always been that Hirohito's role was, at best, ambiguous. To Japanese, he was clearly a god incarnate, and had significant power. But based on multiple assassination and coup attempts, he was also clearly not an absolute ruler. The Army called the shots in Tokyo-at least after 1900.
I agree.
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