(c) 1999 John Borneman
& Linda Fisher, All Rights Reserved
After the defeat
Hirohito had claimed he was not a god, but a mortal, a mere man.
He changed out of his military uniform and into civilian clothing,
and replaced his stern, unsmiling, god-like image with that
of a humble, smiling grandfather figure. He and his wife Nagako
set off on a unprecedented tour to visit the Japanese people in
cities and villages, to meet them face to face, to shake their hands.
After the initial shock of hearing Hirohito claim he was not
a god, many Japanese cheerfully accepted his new image and continued
to venerate him, formally bowing to him as they had always done.
He now returned their bows and smiles. Until his death, some Japanese
remained vocal critics of Emperor and continued to point out his
responsibility for Japan's defeat and for brutal war crimes committed
in his name.
Sound: A Universal News Reel story from
the U.S. (1946) cheerfully describes that Hirohito is now "very
much a man". The background music you hear is characteristic
of soundtracks composed to accompany U.S. newsreels, WWII anti-Japanese
propoganda, and instuctional films for the WWII armed forces of
the USA.. (credit: National Archives, USA) --Load
time: ~6 sec.