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Link back to: Hirohito & Japan Link back to: Hirohito & Japan
music montage of anthems and speech  (470K)-17 sec.
post-war ventriloquism
photo: MacArthur and Hirohito (40K)

Image: A few days after the surrender of Japan to Allied forces, a diminutive Hirohito paid a visit to General Douglas MacArthur, Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces. MacArthur arranged for this one photo to be taken, sending that the Japanese people an indisputable message that their Emperor was, in fact, a small man, and leaving no doubt about who was in charge. Later, on the Battleship Missouri, a formal ceremony would be held in which representatives of the Emperor would sign documents of surrender. Hirohito was spared execution for his war crimes, because the Allies felt that as a purely symbolic Emperor, he could be useful to them in carrying out their plans for post-war Japan. Under MacArthur's tutelage, Hirohito announced that he was not a god, but merely a normal man. MacArthur and the Americans prepared a new Constitution for Japan which is still in use today. (credit: unknown)

Music montage:
The Japanese National anthem, Kimigayo, begins and is at once interrupted by General Douglas MacArthur announcing the surrender of Japan accompanied by a rousing rendition of Star Spangled Banner, the national anthem of the U.S. A fragment of the Japanese anthem reappears and fades away. (credit: sound montage by L. Fisher combines fragments from Star-Spangled Banner, Kimigayo, and the voice of General MacArthur (United Newsreel, National Archives, USA) --Load time: ~17 sec.

(c) 1999 John Borneman & Linda Fisher, All Rights Reserved