Explanation of Project: This project is an exploration into an issue of history in the Empire of Japan. The piece is meant not only to focus on culture and conflict at the time, but to link it to current society and to show how it is relevant today. This research project is not an essay, but instead a website, designed to provide information and interactivity for the reader.
Introduction Statement: Hirohito saw the rise and fall of the Empire, and he became a symbol of the Japanese people in the post-war period. The unity of Japan that characterized the postwar nation in contrast to other countries after World War II is in part due to Hirohito’s actions, and any insight into the reasons for Japan’s success is invaluable both as a historically significant event and a tool for transition in modern nations. An analysis of his personal influence, particularly the effects of his renunciation of divinity, would prove useful in understanding the dynamics of Japanese society in the Empire and the modern, democratic state. However, the most important impact of Hirohito was the transformation of his relationship with the Japanese people. Hirohito’s transition from a divine figure in the Empire to a man of the people and symbol of unity in the modern nation has affected Japanese society with an immeasurable impact.
Japanese Imperial History Research Project by Charlie Aresty, The Hotchkiss School, Lakeville, CT, USA
Photo: Showa Emperor at His Coronation. December 31, 1927. Photograph. Imperial Household Agency, Tokyo, Japan.
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