The children still play, the housewife still prepares dinner for the whole family, and the times often change on such an ordinary day.
On December 25, 1926, Emperor Taisho, who was suffering from illness, died, and Hirohito became the Emperor of Japan and changed his name to Showa. “Showa”, taken from “Shangshu·Yaodian”: People Zhaoming, Xiehe Wanbang. The Japanese at that time might never have expected that Japan would enter the treacherous Showa era.
Hirohito is not only the emperor with the longest reign and the longest life in Japan, but also the emperor with the greatest power since the Kiyomori and Kamakura shogunates, and the most controversial emperor in Japanese history.
“Disturbing the nations”
Hirohito was born in Meiji 34 on April 29, 1901. At this time, the reigning emperor was his grandfather, Emperor Meiji, who spent more than 30 years seizing the real power that had been controlled by the shogunate and realizing the process of the emperor from being a puppet to real power.
Emperor Meiji liked Hirohito very much, so Hirohito was trained as a quasi-royal prince of Japan from an early age. However, Hirohito became thin from an early age because his parents got married with close relatives. As a result, Hirohito was fostered in the home of Lieutenant Admiral Kawamura Junyoshi since he was a child to cultivate his martial arts spirit, and later completely got rid of the “thin” image.
In the early morning of December 25, 1926, the 47-year-old Emperor Taisho died of a stroke. Hirohito became the 124th emperor of Japan, and he accepted the three artifacts that have been passed down for thousands of years-bronze mirror, emerald, and sword.
After the opening of the Showa Era, the so-called Concord Wanbang eventually “disrupted the Wanbang”.
In the first 30 years of the Showa era, the Japanese government was committed to aggression and expansion. In the “September 18 Incident” of 1931, the Japanese army invaded and occupied northeast China; on July 7, 1937, the Japanese army launched a full-scale war of aggression against China on the grounds of the “Lugou Bridge Incident”; in 1941, the Japanese army attacked Pearl Harbor and the Pacific War broke out. The aggressive activities of the Japanese government not only brought serious disasters to the people of Asian countries, but also caused great damage to all aspects of Japan.
MacArthur and Hirohito
During World War II, Japan lost 45% of its national wealth. Nearly half of its urban buildings, industrial equipment, and transportation facilities were destroyed or destroyed. 6.4 million people were killed or injured. The industry and mining production suffered heavy losses. In 1946, Japan’s steel output was only 8% of the pre-war level. %, agricultural production has also dropped to 60% of its pre-war level.
How the Emperor Showa viewed the war of aggression, from the beginning to the end, there is no official historical evidence to testify. Some people think that in 1931 he could not suppress the arrogance of the Kwantung Army and was unable to stop the Japanese attack on China, so the “September 18 Incident” broke out; others believed that he had a good understanding of the war situation and acquiesced to the Japanese aggression. Behavior, his silence after the war was only out of regret of defeat.
At the end of World War II, in order to dispel the vigilance of MacArthur, the US Embassy in Japan, Emperor Hirohito issued the “Manifesto of the World” in 1946 and stepped down from the altar to become an ordinary person. But afterwards, after reading a large number of books about European royal families and common people, Hirohito took off his generals’ dress, put on a suit and a top hat, and started an eight-year national tour, silently preaching the emperor’s authority and improving Improved national cohesion.
On the other hand, in accordance with the various principles governing Japan set forth in the “Potsdam Declaration”, the U.S. occupation authorities implemented extensive democratic reforms in Japan in the early post-war period, including amendments to the constitution, dissolution of chaebols, and rural land reform. Under the instructions of the occupation authorities, women have the right to vote, workers have the right to bargain collectively with their employers, a nine-year compulsory education is implemented, the spread of militarism and ultra-nationalism in teaching materials, freedom of press, publication and speech, and the disbandment of the secret police, etc. Completely eradicated the remaining feudal factors in Japan’s superstructure and economic foundation, removed obstacles to the development of Japan’s capitalist economy, and opened up the domestic market. This laid an indelible foundation for the rapid development of the Japanese economy and the creation of the “Showa Miracle”.
It can be said that the mid to late Showa period was indeed Japan’s “Beauty Age”. Without the threat of war, the financial and material support of the United States enabled Japan to obtain the funds and raw materials needed to restore its industry. After the outbreak of the Korean War in 1950, Japan made a fortune as a military base and supply of combat materials for the US military. The Japanese economy was completely activated, and there was a period of economic prosperity called “Shenwu boom”.
After a decade of economic recovery after the war, Japan’s industrial and agricultural production surpassed the highest level in history. By the mid-1950s, Japan had the favorable conditions for rapid industrial development and modernization. The Japanese government published the “Economic White Paper” in 1956, which stated that “the era of seeking development in recovery is over, and future development depends on modernization”, which set off an upsurge of equipment investment and modernization.
In 1973, Japan basically realized industrial modernization and became a world economic power second only to the United States and the Soviet Union.
In 1960, the Ikeda government launched the “National Income Doubling Plan”, which stipulated that within 10 years (1961-1969) Japan’s national income would double, workers’ wages would also double, and most of the agricultural population would be absorbed by industry, commerce, and transportation. . In the end, the plan was completed in only 7 years, during which the average annual growth rate of GDP exceeded that of the United States, Britain, and West Germany. In 1970, Japan’s GDP exceeded 65% of the planned figure. This period of Japan’s longest prosperous period is called the “Iseno Boom.” By 1973, Japan had basically achieved industrial modernization and became a world economic power second only to the United States and the Soviet Union. It ranks No. 1 in the world in terms of output of major industrial products such as shipbuilding, radios, and color televisions, and ranks No. 2 in the world for automobiles, electronic computers, and petroleum products.
Emperor Hirohito of the Showa era, who evaded war crimes, began his new life-he often appeared in earthquake-stricken areas to sympathize with the victims. He also visited Europe and the United States as a royal family, and he was interviewed by reporters for the first time. He also studied the biology he loves, and published many books.
Entering the 1980s, Hirohito, who was already in his 80s at the time, was deteriorating. At 7:55 a.m. on January 7, 1989, the then head of the Imperial Household Agency, Shoichi Fujimori, announced that the 87-year-old Emperor Hirohito had died at Fukijo Gosho at 6:33. His son Akihito took the throne and changed the reign to “Heisei”.
The Showa era has come to an end, but it is definitely an era worthy of careful study.
This week in history
On December 21, 1937, the first American Disney animated feature film “Snow White” adapted from “The Grimm’s Fairy Tales” premiered.
On December 27, 1945, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank were established.
On December 24, 1956, Britain and France withdrew their troops from the Suez Canal and suggested that Israel withdraw from the Gaza Strip. The Second Middle East War ended and Egypt won.
On December 21, 1967, the first patient who underwent a heart transplant, Louis Vashansky, died 18 days after the operation.
On December 21, 1968, the United States launched the Apollo 8 spacecraft carrying Polman, Lovell, and Anders. This is the world’s first manned spacecraft to orbit the moon.
On December 26, 1991, the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union held its last meeting and announced its dissolution, and the Soviet Union officially disintegrated.