September 27, 1945: Hirohito Comes to MacArthur

Emperor and Shogun

 

When MacArthur took up his command as Supreme Commander Allied Powers it was suggested by aides that he summon Hirohito to appear before him.  MacArthur rejected that suggestion, stating that it was important that Hirohito come to him voluntarily.  That he did on September 27, 1945, the first of eight meetings between the Emperor and the American Shogun.  The meeting lasted only a few minutes with Hirohito taking complete responsibility for the War and requesting that any punishment for the War fall on him.  MacArthur said that the War was over and that he wished to work with the Emperor for the betterment of Japan. 

A picture was taken of MacArthur and Hirohito, side by side, that indicated the new order of things in Japan.  MacArthur, adopting a relaxed pose, dressed in a simple tieless khaki uniform, towered over the diminutive Hirohito.  Shocked members of the Japanese press, appalled at this lese majesty, initially refused to publish this photo, and had to be forced by MacArthur’s censors to do so.  Hirohito was relieved by the interview, realizing now that whatever other changes the Yankee might make in Japan, the throne would remain.  Hirohito began writing poems, which were published in Japanese newspapers, urging cooperation with the Occupation.  Whatever MacArthur was going to do henceforth, he could count on the agreement of Hirohito.

 

Published in: on September 27, 2015 at 5:30 am  Comments (1)  
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