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Emperor Showa Speaks: The Path to War

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  • Part 2 (1937?1941)
    Saturday, January 15
    12:10 pm on NHK 9.4
    Soon after Japan’s defeat, Emperor Showa spoke at great length about the path to the Pacific War. This discussion was recorded in the Haietsuki (Records of Imperial Audiences) by Tajima Michiji, the grand steward of the Imperial Household Agency. The emperor spoke of his remorse over the inability to restrain the Japanese military during a time of international upheaval. In addition, the journals of the emperor’s grand chamberlain Hyakutake Saburo were made public in September 2021. In 1941, the emperor had high expectations for negotiations with the US, while he lost sleep over the outbreak of war between Germany and the USSR. Japan’s advance into southern French Indochina (now Vietnam) brought American economic sanctions (prohibition of oil exports to Japan) that had not been anticipated, and calls from the Imperial Navy for a speedy commencement of hostilities became more insistent. In the end, the emperor ordered Tojo Hideki to form a Cabinet, and went on to sanction the beginning of the war. The journals record his anguish in great detail. These newly available historical documents, coupled with dramatic recreations, are used to examine the decision-making of the emperor and his close aides in the period leading to the outbreak of the Pacific War.
  • Part 1 (1928?1937)
    Saturday, January 15
    11:10 am on NHK 9.4
    Eighty years have passed since the attack on Pearl Harbor led to the start of the Pacific War. It has recently come to light that, soon after Japan’s defeat, Emperor Showa spoke at great length about the path to war. This discussion was recorded in the Haietsuki (Records of Imperial Audiences) by Tajima Michiji, the grand steward of the Imperial Household Agency. The emperor spoke repeatedly about his regrets over the failure to rein in the insubordination of the Imperial Army that began with the Zhang Zuolin Incident in 1928. In addition, the journals of the emperor’s grand chamberlain Hyakutake Saburo were made public in September 2021. The journals record in elaborate detail the emperor’s anguish as efforts to peacefully resolve the Sino-Japanese War ended in failure and the conflict escalated into all-out war. These newly available historical documents, coupled with dramatic recreations, are used to examine the decision-making of the emperor and his close aides in the period leading to the outbreak of the Sino-Japanese War in 1937.
  • Part 2 (1937?1941)
    Saturday, January 15
    6:10 am on NHK 9.4
    Soon after Japan’s defeat, Emperor Showa spoke at great length about the path to the Pacific War. This discussion was recorded in the Haietsuki (Records of Imperial Audiences) by Tajima Michiji, the grand steward of the Imperial Household Agency. The emperor spoke of his remorse over the inability to restrain the Japanese military during a time of international upheaval. In addition, the journals of the emperor’s grand chamberlain Hyakutake Saburo were made public in September 2021. In 1941, the emperor had high expectations for negotiations with the US, while he lost sleep over the outbreak of war between Germany and the USSR. Japan’s advance into southern French Indochina (now Vietnam) brought American economic sanctions (prohibition of oil exports to Japan) that had not been anticipated, and calls from the Imperial Navy for a speedy commencement of hostilities became more insistent. In the end, the emperor ordered Tojo Hideki to form a Cabinet, and went on to sanction the beginning of the war. The journals record his anguish in great detail. These newly available historical documents, coupled with dramatic recreations, are used to examine the decision-making of the emperor and his close aides in the period leading to the outbreak of the Pacific War.
  • Part 1 (1928?1937)
    Saturday, January 15
    5:10 am on NHK 9.4
    Eighty years have passed since the attack on Pearl Harbor led to the start of the Pacific War. It has recently come to light that, soon after Japan’s defeat, Emperor Showa spoke at great length about the path to war. This discussion was recorded in the Haietsuki (Records of Imperial Audiences) by Tajima Michiji, the grand steward of the Imperial Household Agency. The emperor spoke repeatedly about his regrets over the failure to rein in the insubordination of the Imperial Army that began with the Zhang Zuolin Incident in 1928. In addition, the journals of the emperor’s grand chamberlain Hyakutake Saburo were made public in September 2021. The journals record in elaborate detail the emperor’s anguish as efforts to peacefully resolve the Sino-Japanese War ended in failure and the conflict escalated into all-out war. These newly available historical documents, coupled with dramatic recreations, are used to examine the decision-making of the emperor and his close aides in the period leading to the outbreak of the Sino-Japanese War in 1937.
  • Part 2 (1937?1941)
    Saturday, January 15
    12:10 am on NHK 9.4
    Soon after Japan’s defeat, Emperor Showa spoke at great length about the path to the Pacific War. This discussion was recorded in the Haietsuki (Records of Imperial Audiences) by Tajima Michiji, the grand steward of the Imperial Household Agency. The emperor spoke of his remorse over the inability to restrain the Japanese military during a time of international upheaval. In addition, the journals of the emperor’s grand chamberlain Hyakutake Saburo were made public in September 2021. In 1941, the emperor had high expectations for negotiations with the US, while he lost sleep over the outbreak of war between Germany and the USSR. Japan’s advance into southern French Indochina (now Vietnam) brought American economic sanctions (prohibition of oil exports to Japan) that had not been anticipated, and calls from the Imperial Navy for a speedy commencement of hostilities became more insistent. In the end, the emperor ordered Tojo Hideki to form a Cabinet, and went on to sanction the beginning of the war. The journals record his anguish in great detail. These newly available historical documents, coupled with dramatic recreations, are used to examine the decision-making of the emperor and his close aides in the period leading to the outbreak of the Pacific War.
  • Part 1 (1928?1937)
    Friday, January 14
    11:10 pm on NHK 9.4
    Eighty years have passed since the attack on Pearl Harbor led to the start of the Pacific War. It has recently come to light that, soon after Japan’s defeat, Emperor Showa spoke at great length about the path to war. This discussion was recorded in the Haietsuki (Records of Imperial Audiences) by Tajima Michiji, the grand steward of the Imperial Household Agency. The emperor spoke repeatedly about his regrets over the failure to rein in the insubordination of the Imperial Army that began with the Zhang Zuolin Incident in 1928. In addition, the journals of the emperor’s grand chamberlain Hyakutake Saburo were made public in September 2021. The journals record in elaborate detail the emperor’s anguish as efforts to peacefully resolve the Sino-Japanese War ended in failure and the conflict escalated into all-out war. These newly available historical documents, coupled with dramatic recreations, are used to examine the decision-making of the emperor and his close aides in the period leading to the outbreak of the Sino-Japanese War in 1937.
  • Part 2 (1937?1941)
    Friday, January 14
    6:10 pm on NHK 9.4
    Soon after Japan’s defeat, Emperor Showa spoke at great length about the path to the Pacific War. This discussion was recorded in the Haietsuki (Records of Imperial Audiences) by Tajima Michiji, the grand steward of the Imperial Household Agency. The emperor spoke of his remorse over the inability to restrain the Japanese military during a time of international upheaval. In addition, the journals of the emperor’s grand chamberlain Hyakutake Saburo were made public in September 2021. In 1941, the emperor had high expectations for negotiations with the US, while he lost sleep over the outbreak of war between Germany and the USSR. Japan’s advance into southern French Indochina (now Vietnam) brought American economic sanctions (prohibition of oil exports to Japan) that had not been anticipated, and calls from the Imperial Navy for a speedy commencement of hostilities became more insistent. In the end, the emperor ordered Tojo Hideki to form a Cabinet, and went on to sanction the beginning of the war. The journals record his anguish in great detail. These newly available historical documents, coupled with dramatic recreations, are used to examine the decision-making of the emperor and his close aides in the period leading to the outbreak of the Pacific War.
  • Part 1 (1928?1937)
    Friday, January 14
    5:10 pm on NHK 9.4
    Eighty years have passed since the attack on Pearl Harbor led to the start of the Pacific War. It has recently come to light that, soon after Japan’s defeat, Emperor Showa spoke at great length about the path to war. This discussion was recorded in the Haietsuki (Records of Imperial Audiences) by Tajima Michiji, the grand steward of the Imperial Household Agency. The emperor spoke repeatedly about his regrets over the failure to rein in the insubordination of the Imperial Army that began with the Zhang Zuolin Incident in 1928. In addition, the journals of the emperor’s grand chamberlain Hyakutake Saburo were made public in September 2021. The journals record in elaborate detail the emperor’s anguish as efforts to peacefully resolve the Sino-Japanese War ended in failure and the conflict escalated into all-out war. These newly available historical documents, coupled with dramatic recreations, are used to examine the decision-making of the emperor and his close aides in the period leading to the outbreak of the Sino-Japanese War in 1937.