Imperial Betrayal - Japan Discovers 'Royal-Bashing.'
Lamont-Brown, Raymond, Contemporary Review
ON New Year's Day 1946, in a speech broadcast to the Japanese nation, the late Emperor Hirohito, direct descendant of Amaterasu-o-mikami, Goddess of the Sun, formally renounced his status as a god. Aged forty-five, he had ruled Japan, albeit as 'a puppet figure', since 1926. Few Japanese had ever gazed on his face (it was lese-majeste to do so) and even fewer had ever heard of such of his siblings as Prince Takamatsu and Prince Mikasa. In 1987 the French Ambassador to Japan, Bernard Dorin, described how the Imperial Household Agency Chamberlain (who directs the protocol of the court) instructed him to keep his eyes downcast in Hirohito's presence as 'one does not look at the sun'.
Fifty years on the Japanese have not been encouraged by the court officials of the IHA to be curious about the Imperial Family. Indeed most Japanese would be pushed to name the present Emperor Akihito's brother Prince Hitachi and his four remaining married sisters. And many Japanese would be embarrassed if you asked them anyway.
For a while during the years of the US Occupation of Japan, when American military representatives photographed and even demanded autographs of the Emperor, protocol had slipped and …
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Publication information: Article title: Imperial Betrayal - Japan Discovers 'Royal-Bashing.'. Contributors: Lamont-Brown, Raymond - Author. Magazine title: Contemporary Review. Volume: 264. Issue: 1537 Publication date: February 1994. Page number: 91+. © 1999 Contemporary Review Company Ltd. COPYRIGHT 1994 Gale Group.
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