Hirohito: Emperor of Japan

Hirohito was the 124th emperor of Japan. He was born on April 29, 1901 at Aoynama Palace in Tokyo, to Crown Prince Yoshihito and Empress Sadako. His grandfather was the Meiji emperor, Mutsuhito, Japansfirst modern emperor. (Meiji meaning Enlightened Ruler) Seventy days after his birth he was removed from his parents and entrusted to foster parents, a Vice Admiral of the Imperial Navy. When he died, Hirohito was returned to Akasaka Palace, which was a miniature version of the Palace at Versailles. Hirohito was an isolated child and suffered from a somewhat curved spine and a shuffle. He was not very big or strong but he was fairly shied, clumsy, and grave. At the age of eight he was sent to the Peers School where he was enrolled into a class of twelve boys. The head of the school was General Nogi Maresuke. This was the man who captured Port Arthur during the Russo-Japanese War. Hirohito worshipped Nogi and Nogi took a particular interest in him. He tried to instill in the young boy the virtues of stoicism, hard work, and devotion to the nation. (Encyclopedia of World Biography, NP) When Emperor Mutsuhito died, General Nogi and his wife committed ritual suicide leaving Hirohito without a mentor. His education was continued by Admiral Togo Heihachiro. He was a more pedestrian teacher than Nogi had been. The curriculum consisted of modern languages, military and technical sciences, politics, history, and marine biology. Marine biology was a field he was particularly adept in, later becoming an acknowledged expert in the field.
In September of 1913 when Hirohito was 11 years old he was nominated heir apparent to the Chrysanthemum throne.5 years later he became engaged to Princess Nagako. In March of 1921 Hirohito took a tour of Europe becoming thefirst crown prince of Japan to visit abroad. His visit to England had the biggest influence on him because of the way the British Royal Family lived so informally. When he returned to Japa…


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