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Does anyone else think the picture of Shōwa Tennō meeting Reagan should be moved down the article, out of the WWII section? elvenscout742 20:49, 19 Apr 2005 (UTC)
- The picture is really nice but if it is jpg, it would be more nice too. -- Taku 06:21 Feb 25, 2003 (UTC)
- Uh... what? Anyway, I'm going ahead and fixing it. elvenscout742 18:59, 5 September 2005 (UTC)
Why does the picture of Hirohito in the issue of Time Magazine have to be deleted? It seems to be a perfectly legitimate fair use context. Dr mindbender 05:27, 12 September 2006 (UTC)
Hirohito and WWII
dose anyoen know this infomation.... if yes please write it here... thank you
Can I rename the title to just Hirohito? Hirohito is just a name. The title sounds like John F. Kennedy of the United States. You got idea. -- Taku 16:23 Feb 24, 2003 (UTC)
- There are no regular people named "Hirohito", right? This goes against the standard of adding "of <country>" to ruler's names, but that rule was adopted to deal with the multiplicity of rulers named "Charles II" and the like, and I don't think theren't any other countries to confuse with "Hirohito". Still, if Japan is going to get an exception to the rule, best modify Wikipedia:Naming conventions (names and titles) so the next energetic standards-enforcer doesn't change all this back... Stan Shebs 00:05 Feb 25, 2003 (UTC)
I don't think Hirohito is a ruler's name in the first place. His name as ruler should be Showa not hirohito. Hirohito is just a his given name and he has no family name. -- Taku 00:17 Feb 25, 2003 (UTC)
I do too, and I just did. -'Vert
- I disagree. Hirohito is recognized more widely in English-speaking world. I guess. Bascially, we don't have to stick to the certain kind of synmetry, say with taisyo emperor because it is impossible to enfource uniform format in the field there are a lot of diversities. The article should be named Hirohito. What's wrong with that? -- Taku 05:59 Feb 25, 2003 (UTC)
Taku, you are Japanese, right? If you pick up the Manichi Shimbun and on the front page it has an article about the former Emperor, what name does it give him? Tannin 06:40 Feb 25, 2003 (UTC)
You mean today or something. I don't have Mainichi Shimbun. Anyway, the convention in Japan is irrelevant. Google gives much more hits with Hirohito than with Showa emperor. I believe Showa emperor or former emperor is a common referring in Japan, but in English-speaking, hirohito is probably common. There are also many books with title with Hirohito. I am quite sure about this. Besides, anyone has justification to favor showa emperor over hirohito? I don't see one yet. -- Taku 06:48 Feb 25, 2003 (UTC)
- Thanks Taku. I meant any newspaper of course, that one was just the first example that popped into my head. I have not the slightest doubt that "Hirohito" is more common in English, and very little doubt that the entry should go back to being under the best-known common name - i.e., "Hirohito" - but I like to get my facts straight before saying too much. -- Tannin
- Let me alter the question a little then. Back when I was in Japan for a couple of months about 30 years ago, there used to be three English-language daily papers. Er ... The Japan Times, Asahi Shimbun and one other as well, if I remember correctly after all these years. What name would they use? -- Taku 07:25 Feb 25, 2003 (UTC)
- I am sure public media use a ruler name, that is showa emperor or taisho emperor and so on. Hirohito is a first name if you put it in English context. It sounds funny if newspaper says "George demanded war against Iraq". So Japanese people know the name hirohito but they don't use it in everyday life. -- Taku 07:25 Feb 25, 2003 (UTC)
- Also, how would they distinguish between the Empror Hirohito and the previous Emperor and the current one? Thanks -- Tannin
- I think the current emperor is called Akihito or Heisei emperor. Likewise, the emperor before Hirohito is called Taisho emperor or his first (given) name (I mean in English-context). -- Taku 07:25 Feb 25, 2003 (UTC)
- Actually I have a doubt that there are those who believe hirohito is a name for royal family so there are hirohito I or hirohito II and so on. It is a rediculouslly misconception. The clamin in former article is just so stupid. Think what would American think if text says the current president Bush and Bush who waged Gulf War is the same person? -- Taku 07:25 Feb 25, 2003 (UTC)
Well, as long as "Hirohito" is a good, solid redirect here, whats the problem?-'Vert
- Heh, the instant redirect was educational in itself. I'd seen "Showa" in print a couple times, but was unclear on the relationship to "Hirohito". I doubt 1 in 1000 English readers will understand why there would be a redirect, but if it's explained in the first sentence, most will just accept it as another one of those "weird Japanese customs". :-) Stan Shebs 12:01 Feb 25, 2003 (UTC)
There is no such enlightment perpose on the title of an article. Wide-recognized convensions say the title should be the most familiar one to English-speaking. No more no less. -- Taku 15:51 Feb 25, 2003 (UTC)
OK, at least we have a little more content now to argue about. :)
I'm done for tonight (it's 2:45AM here) and will expect to see that some kind Wikipedian has corrected all my spelling errors by the time I take another look at this in the morning. :)
- OK I've done a few spelling corrections! :-). One thing I don't think is quite right - the pre-war prime minister was Prince Konoye, no? I've corrected a number of instances of "Koyone", but I notice that the first reference and link to another article is "Konoe". Is this just another translation from Japanese script, or a mistake? In any case I've not changed that occurrence, so it can be argued over, but we do need to be consistent - I've only ever seen the PM's name rendered as "Konoye". Arwel 01:29 Feb 26, 2003 (UTC)
- I think it is just misspelling. I am not expert in Japanese history, but in my knowledge the prime minister is Konoe. Besides, Konoye or Koyone not sounds like Japanese name. -- Taku 02:20 Feb 26, 2003 (UTC)
- Thanks guys. I'm at work right now - no references here - but I'll look into it tonight and correct as needed. Tannin
- OK, I've done some hunting: it's an alternative transliteration. The existing Wikipedia entry Prime Minister of Japan uses KONOE, but some of my texts and about half the Google pages use KONOYE instead. Numbers for a Google search for"Prime Minister" and:
- "Fumimaro Konoe": 109
- "Konoe Fumimaro": 140
- "Fumimaro Konoye": 133
- "Konoye Fumimaro": 25
- I'll change them all to KONOE. I guess there should be a redirect page created for KONOYE too. Tannin 13:51 Feb 26, 2003 (UTC)
I still need to do a few more paras (well, about 8 to 10 I guess) on Hirohito's role in the surrender - it was a very complex situation and is probably impossible to explain in much less space than that, and critically important, I feel.
To restore balance in the depth of coverage, someone needs to do some more on his earlier life and post-war events - especially his transition to his modern role during the MacArthur administration. (Not me! I'll stick to 1940 to '45 where I know what I'm talking about.)
The account I've given accords with all the modern histories I have read, and even quite a few of the older ones if we make allowance for the evidence that was not available in, say, 1951. I don't think this stuff is controversial anymore. the passions of the war generation have cooled, and a consensus view has emerged from them. While the general thrust of the section I've added is pretty standard stuff these days, it's worth mentioning that I've followed closely in the footsteps of two of the best histories of the period that I am aware of. (Both American, as it happens.)
- Gordon W Prange At Dawn we Slept, Penguin, 1981.
- Richard B Frank Downfall: The end of the Imperial Japanese Empire, Random, 1999.
Tannin 15:45 Feb 25, 2003 (UTC)
Hirohito as head-of-state
To date there has been a dispute about whether Hirohito should be considered monarch or simply a citizen after he abandoned his divinity. That view determines whether Japan is a democratic republic or a constitutional monarchary.
Removed the above ludicrous line. According to law, the emperor is the Japanese head of state. An emperor by definition is a monarch. A country with a monarch can no more be a republic than a sheep can be a cow. This stuff about being a monarch or a citizen is rubbish. I guess whoever wrote that is mixing up his or her terms and is confused. What they probably mean is for 'monarch' - old style divine Japanese monarch, for 'citizen' - non divine standard monarch. But every single sourcebook in existence states categorically and unreservedly, as does the Japanese government, that Japan is a constitutional monarchy. It could only be a republic if the monarchy was abolished. It has not been. Otherwise there would not be an emperor. STÓD/ÉÍRE 05:46 Mar 13, 2003 (UTC)
- This is a vandalism. Some people claim like you but some disagree. I will revert it. -- Taku 05:54 Mar 13, 2003 (UTC)
It is the view, Taku, of 100% of dictionaries, 100% of encyclopædias, 100% of lawyers, 100% of the government. You are mixing up terms and coming out with a meaning you may not intend but what you say there perhaps inadvertly is utter garbage would be laughed at if read. Read the page on Constitutional monarchy or any law textbook. Don't make a laughing stock of an otherwise good page.
- This bluntly is not true. It is the case that the Emperor of Japan carries out some of the functions of the head of state, but there is a *HUGE* debate within Japan as to whether or not he actually *is* head of state or merely act as head of state. A lot of sourcebooks are either unaware of this debate or don't want to discuss it in detail, but the status of the emperor within Japan is in fact a very controversial topic.
- Question 1: Who is the head of state of Japan?
- Answer: the Emperor. Sources - Japanese constitution, Japanese foreign ministry, Encyclopædia Brittanica, the Emperor himself.
The Japanese constitution says no such thing. Article 1 of the Japanese constitution states that the Emperor of Japan is the symbol of state and derives his power from the will of the people. This phrasing was *deliberately* made ambigious, and efforts to amend the constitution to name the emperor as head of state have been defeated.
Article 3 of the Japanese Constitution states that the power of the Emperor to perform acts of state is dependent on Cabinet approval. This turns the standard relationship between cabinets and head of state on its head, and means that the Japanese cabinet could remove the power of the Emperor to receive ambassadors.
- Acccckkkk..... This is wrong. I forgot about Article 7. -- Roadrunner
- Constitutions don't always say someone is head of state, but if he fulfils the standard head of state functions, he is head of state. The emperor does. It is that simple. STÓD/ÉÍRE
- Question 2: Is an emperor a monarch or a president?
- Answer: an emperor by definition is a monarch and can never be a president. A president is elected or selected. he does not in a democracy inherit a throne. An emperor inherits a throne, therefore by definition he cannot be a president.
- Question 3: Can Japan be a republic?
- 'Answer"": It is constitutionally impossible for a democratic state to be a republic if it has an emperor as head of state. For Japan to become a republic, it would have to sack the emperor, kick him out of his palace, declare a republic and elect a president. There is currently an emperor living in the palace, meeting diplomats. ministers, politicians and symbolising a nation, therefore the office has not been abolished, which means Japan by definition cannot be a republic. STÓD/ÉÍRE 06:26 Mar 13, 2003 (UTC)
Except it is far from clear that the emperor *is* head of state. There are people who argue that the Japanese emperor is not head of state, that they powers of the head of state belong to the prime minister and cabinet who have delegated them to the emperor. The Constitution and Japanese law has been structured specifically so that this interpretation is not ruled out. This ambuigity is intentional.
- That is not how the international community and international law deem the head of state. They say unambioguously he is head of state. STÓD/ÉÍRE
- "Question 4': Does the loss of the Emperor's divine status not mean his is no longer a monarch?
- Answer: The divine status itself is irrelevant to whether you a monarch. Queen Elizabeth II is a monarch and no-one ever thought her divine. The King of Spain is a monarch and was never thought of as a good. Japanese emperors were monarchs who were thought of as gods. Being a monarch doesn't make you a god, and not being god does not stop you being a monarch.
- "Question 5:' Can a monarch be a citizen and still be monarch?
- Answer: Of course, Louis-Philippe was known as the citizen-king. The King of the Belgians is a citizen-king. being a citizen does not make you a monarch, but being a monarch doesn't stop you being a citizen. As a divine ruler, the Japanese emperor was not thought of as a citizen, but since losing his divinity, he can easily be both monarch and citizens.
- It's nowhere that simple......
- Among other things the Japanese constitution *does not* name the emperor as the head of state, it's the symbol of state, and that phrasing is significant.
- No in isn't. Many constitutions don't name the head of state but if the head of state powers are exercised by a figure, under international law he is head of state. STÓD/ÉÍRE
- Well, now that I've been intrigued by the question of how the Emperor's personal status affects what kind of government the Japanese think they have, I'd like to see the article include some references or external links supporting these positions. "Cite your sources", as they say. :-) Stan 06:33 Mar 13, 2003 (UTC)
A head of state is the person in whom legal symbolic authority for representing a state on the diplomatic curcuit is vested. This involves the receipt of credentials, the signing of credentials, the meeting of diplomats, the making of state visits, etc. All these roles are fulfilled by the Emperor of Japan, according to international diplomatic usage. If he wasn't the head of state, heads of state from around the world would not have attended his enthronement.
- Except that these functions can and are delegated. The Queen of Canada is the head of state of Canada, but most of these powers are executed on her behalf by the Governor General of Canada. No one doubts that the Emperor of Japan *act* as head of state, but the Japanese constitutional question is whether that he *is* head of state, or has been implicitly been delegated that power by the cabinet.
- Wrong. The key diplomatic functions of the head of state in Canada are carried out under the authority of the Queen. Diplomats are accredited to the Queen, not the governor-general, etc. STÓD/ÉÍRE
- Another (extreme) argument that I've heard is that while the Emperor of Japan acts as head of state, that he does not have authority to do so under the Japanese Constitution, and that in performing diplomatic functions, he is acting unconstitutionally.
- There are a lot of legal theories possible, and the simplest (which I don't challenge) is that the Emperor of Japan is head of state and that Japan is a constitutional monarchy. The point of mentioning all of this is that the issue is a bit murky.
- What is much more relevant is not the emperor's current status, but how he got this status. It wasn't clear at all after WWII or in the early 1950's that the Emperor would end up performing diplomatic functions.
They would not sign letters of credence to him. he and his family could not carry out state visits. He would not meet with the diplomatic corp and sent a formal new year message to other heads of state. His functions are explicitly called head of state functions. If a head of state is elected/selected, then the state is a republic.
- As a matter of precise fact, that is not the case. See the 1911 Britannica on Monarchy, for instance. Most monarchies have or had an elective element, if not a democratic one (it was generally an oligarchic election, and for life). Even the British Monarchy still has this within its machinery, but it was most evident example for most of us is probably in the Electors of the Holy Roman Empire. Oh, and the remarks about "can't be both elected president and also inherit" are wrong too - just think of Napoleon III's phase as Prince-President of the French Second Republic. That illustrates another common constitutional mechanism, the holding of multiple positions in a mutually reinforcing way. PML.
- Not modern constitutional monarchy. And Louis Napoleon was not called Prince-President of the Republic, he was a prince and so the form of address was applied to him personally. STÓD/ÉÍRE
- Yes, modern constitutional monarchy. The British system, for example, is not explicitly hereditary, and never has been; the various hereditary parts provide "standing orders" to the Council of Accession, essentially an Electoral College, which then goes through a form of election (and has on occasion disregarded whichever "standing orders" were in force at the time, such as the will of Henry VIII, the analogue of US "faithless electors" not implementing a democratic vote; it could happen again). But even if the criticism had been accurate it would not have been applicable in a discussion such as this, which spans various times and places for comparative purposes.
- And the Napoleon III point misses the target: while it is of course true that no one formal constitutional component provides that sort of personal and multiple capacity, the point is that systems do indeed achieve that. If you want a wider range of constitutional examples, just look at the intermeshing of the Princes of Orange (nowhere near Holland) and the Stateholders (Stadthouders) of the Dutch United Provinces. Or there are many other examples. If you like, it's an off balance sheet thing, and saying it's not in the formal accounts is actually an illustration of what is going on rather than a refutation of the fact that it is going on.
- I think you are over-emphasising formal structures again... PML.
If it is through interitance then it cannot be a republic and is by definition a monarchy.
- inheriting a throne is by definition inconsistent with a modern republic. It is in the definition. STÓD/ÉÍRE
Executive authority may be vested in the prime minister (the same is true in Ireland, where it is vested in the cabinet) but if diplomatic functions are vested in the emperor he is head of state and the prime minister cannot be. Until 1949, those functions were not vested in the President of ireland, so even though he was president, he was not head of state and did not become so until 1st April 1949. Heads of state can only accredit ambassadors to other heads of state, no one else. Ambassadors are accredited to the emperor so in legal and diplomatic theory, in the eyes of the UN and the world, he and he alone is head of state. No one else can be. See the relevant articles on wiki and elsewhere STÓD/ÉÍRE 07:01 Mar 13, 2003 (UTC)
I did a little (=not much) research on this. The short answer to constitutional monarch question seems to be yes. Above reasons pointed by STÓD/ÉÍRE explain it well.
- Personally, I think that Japan is a constitutional monarchy and that the emperor of Japan is head of state. The point of raising this argument is that there are people who can and do argue otherwise and they aren't totally crazy. This *isn't* a big issue now, but it was right after the end of the war.
(this indented part is not mine, Tomos)
At the same time, many Japanese people, including scholars, recognize this categorization/labeling as a strange thing, since Emperor is "the symbol" of the state not "the head."
Maybe it is a good idea to explain that feeling of strangeness. (And I'm hoping Taku would do it...would you? :-)Tomos
Addendum: One of the recently debated issue was the public vote to elect the prime minister. Under the existing system, prime minister of japan is selected in the Diet. And some suggested that public election is against constitution because constitutional monarchy cannot go with the presidency-like system of publicly electing the head of the government. And others said the existing emperor-as-symbol system indeed permit such political system. Here is the report on this thing issued by some discussion group commissioned (?) by private minister (Koizumi), 
In the section 1, it refers to the ambiguous status of the emperor in that sytem, also saying this could develop into a source of further disagreements among scholars. Tomos 08:00 Mar 13, 2003 (UTC)
Just let me clarify one thing - I'm not an expert on this thing. So I expect that some experts may say those discussions Japanese has is still silly and there is absolutely no doubt that Japan is a constitutional monarchy and the emperor is the head of state. So rather than asserting that there is a ground to question those things, it would be better to say that some have no doubt at all about those matters while at least in Japan there are some debates. Without really implying which position is better. Well, maybe too obvious to say, but just in case.. Tomos
Hirohito and WWII (again)
Changed statement about Hirohito's involvement in World War II. The statement makes it sound like there is consensus among historians about his involvement in the war, whereas every history book I've read gives a different view of the subject, and I don't detect a consensus at all -- Roadrunner
In the immediate aftermath of the war, many Westerners believed that Hirohito bore a direct responsibility for the conflict, while others claimed that he was simply a powerless figurehead. The latter view was promoted by Allied occupation authorities, who refused to place Hirohito on trial for war crimes. The role of Hirohito in World War II remains a controversial topic with some historians arguing that his role in the war was minimal, and others, such as Herbert Bix, arguing that Hirohito was directly involved in promoting Japanese expansionism, personally approved the creation of Unit 731, which committed war crimes, and was personally culpable for hesitation in accepting unconditional surrender.
I'm moving this here for now. Roadrunner, there is ample consensus that neither of the two extreme views is justified: no-one of any stature still argues that Hirohito was the Evil Mastermind behind the war and planned the whole thing. Bix himself regards Hirohito as "the one individual whose very existence manifested the deepest political dilemmas of modern Japan", and as neither "an arch conspirator nor a dictator". Equally, no-one who knows anything about it claims that Hirohito had nothing to do with the war or that he was a powerless puppet. I've restored the previous balanced summary: Modern historians take the view that neither statement is justified. (i.e., neither dictator nor puppet.)
Now there is plenty of room still left for historical argument somewhere in between those two discredited extremes (as we both know), but the basic thrust of the modern view is very clear.
Here is a quote from a very rational review I stumbled across just now, which sets out the current consensus view as clearly as you like:
- As (Bix's) detailed account makes clear, Hirohito demonstrated very little executive leadership Only in a rare instances when his advisors were deadlocked in crisis situations, such as the army revolt in February 1936 and the surrender decision in August 1945, did the Emperor act decisively. He exerted his influence for the most part by indirect means. Bix's own meticulous description of the Emperor's role in the developments of the 1930s, including the Japanese takeover of Manchuria and actions and decisions that ultimately led to the Pearl Harbor attack, shows an often opportunistic, vacillating, and indecisive individual in situations where he in whose name actions were taken frequently had little control over the course of events. Hirohito's main motivations were to protect and maintain the prestige and prerogatives of the imperial institution as it was shaped under his grandfather during the Meiji Period. Events often took place without his knowledge before the fact and often not necessarily to his liking, but it was clear that he personally approved the general thrust of the military extremists towards expansion and military action once he was convinced that there was a chance of success. In sum, it is already a matter of historical record that Emperor Hirohito was actively involved in the Japanese governmental process that led to Japan's expansionism in Asia and ultimately to the Pacific War against the Allied powers. 
The place to discuss individual items from the broad historical canvas, such as the Pearl Harbor decision, the surrender decision, and so on, is in their correct historical order within the entry as a whole. We already have a fairly comprehensive coverage of Pear Harbour, and the first half of the surrender period (I'll try to get back and do the second half of it soon), but there remain some gaping holes - nothing on Hirohito's reign prior to 1939, nothing on his actions through the middle part of the war.
It's silly to suddenly interupt the flow of a biographical entry, before it even gets properly started, to interject with a summary of the views of one single historian before we have even begun to lay out the bare facts so that the reader may draw his own conclusions. By all means mention Bix - you don't win a Pulitzer for being a monkey with a typewriter, after all - and if you don't reinsert him at a more appropriate place then no doubt I will - please don't go inserting stuff way out of historical context. Tannin 10:12 Mar 13, 2003 (UTC)
- The problem is that while historians agree that neither the puppet nor the evil puppet master are correct, I don't think that it is fair to say that there is a consensus on Hirohito's role in the war. In between evil dictator and helpless puppet there is a lot of
- In particular, I don't think that there is any consensus among historians whether Hirohito should have been brought up on war crimes charges. -- Roadrunner
Tried to tweak that paragraph some more. One problem was that "direct responsibility for the war" was a bit less extreme that "evil mastermind behind the war." I think that one could argue that even if Hirohito didn't plan out the entire war that he bears "direct responsibility for the war" in the sense that he could have avoided the war if he had made different decisions. Roadrunner
- Yes. My intention was to say that there is a consensus that both the extreme views (which were both widely held at one time) are clearly incorrect. But, as you say, there is still plenty of room inbetween. My aim with the original statement was to mention the matter as briefly as possible and without taking sides on it, so as to warn the reader that we are about to enter some complex territory and deal with it in some detail.
- I think that it would be an excellent idea to deal with the historiograpy of Hirohito in more depth, to cover the public and scholarly debates that arose post-war and continue to this day, and that the proper place to do this is towards the end of the entry. Hirohito is a major figure in modern history and I should imagine that this article will need to go well over the 32k limit before he is dealt with in enough detail to do the subject justice. No matter: write away and we can split it up when and if the time comes. It would help, though, if we keep one eye on that prospect, and try (so far as possible) to confine the "was he/wasn't he" debate that took place post-war either to the section on his post-war life, or (better) to a "what other people said about Hirohito" section. Tannin 21:04 Mar 13, 2003 (UTC)
I think we are in agreement. Certainly no historian I know of argues that Hirohito was analogous to Adolf Hitler or Benito Mussolini. Germany without Hitler would have been completely different, while Japan without Hirohito would have been different in detail, but it would have still likely done something like Pearl Harbor.
I think the big problem I have with the original statement was that "bore direct responsibility" didn't capture the extremeness of the "Hirohito was the evil mastermind" view.
Japanese history around WWII is fascinating because people disagree about the basic facts. Every narrative of the Marco Polo Bridge incident or the Japanese decision to surrender seems to be completely different. The thing that always fascinated me about Japanese decision making pre-WWII is how apparently rational people can make such obviously stupid and counterproductive decisions, and decisions which a large fraction of the decision makers think are stupid and counterproductive.
Unfortunately, I see a lot of parallels between the Japanese decision to attack Pearl Harbor and the United States policy toward Iraq. -- Roadrunner
The article has been referring to Hirohito's "divinity" as if he actually was a god or a divine being. Since this POV is widely disputed (at least outside of Japan :-) may I suggest we refer to his "claim of divinity"?
What does the Divinity section add that wasn't already said earlier? RickK 22:47 13 Jul 2003 (UTC)
I was wondering, my History teacher told me of his rule as being stated a "revival of Shintoism" and he combined religion w/ military/government affairs. Is this veritable? And If so, how and in what ways? -- User: KidNovelist
When was he crowned?
But this article says this happened in December 1926. Which is correct? Or maybe the official ceremony happened in November 1928.... ---mav 07:29, 11 Nov 2003 (UTC)