Winner of the Pulitzer Prize
This ground-breaking biography of the Japanese emperor Hirohito—winner of the Pulitzer Prize—offers a complete, unvarnished look at the enigmatic leader whose sixty-three year reign ushered Japan into the modern world, Now updated with a thoughtful new introduction by the author highlighting the lessons that this history can teach us when we examine current Japanese American relations and the United States' policy in the region generally
“Fascinating. . . important and provocative.” —New York Times Book Review
This Pulitzer prizewinning and National Book Critics Circle award-winning rich and powerful biography is now given fresh relevance with a new introduction by the author that explores how Hirohito’s legacy persists in Japan to this day and how US foreign policy in the region in the last 10 years is informed by our troubled past with Japan and Hirohito as a ruler specifically.
Trained since childhood to lead his nation as a living deity, Japan’s Emperor Hirohito cultivated the image of a reluctant, detached monarch, a façade which masked a fierce cunning and powerful ambition. Historian Herbert P. Bix has
unearthed hundreds of previously untapped documents, including the unpublished letters and diaries of Hirohito’s royal court, tracing the key events of his 63year reign (1926 to 1989) and shedding light on his uniquely active yet self-effacing stewardship. Debunking the common image of Hirohito as a pawn in the hands of the military, Bix exposes the emperor’s personal involvement in every stage of the Pacific War. With rare insight, he shows how Hirohito avoided punishment for his nation’s defeat and how the Japanese people have struggled to come to terms with this dark chapter in their history.
Written in rich and vivid detail, Hirohito and the Making of Modern Japan brings new clarity to the impact this enigmatic figure has had on Japan and its place on the world stage.