Hirohito and the Making of Modern Japan

Hardcover, 800 pages

English language

Published May 11, 2000 by Diane Pub Co.

OCLC Number:

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Winner of the Pulitzer PrizeIn this groundbreaking biography of the Japanese emperor Hirohito, Herbert P. Bix offers the first complete, unvarnished look at the enigmatic leader whose sixty-three-year reign ushered Japan into the modern world. Never before has the full life of this controversial figure been revealed with such clarity and vividness. Bix shows what it was like to be trained from birth for a lone position at the apex of the nation's political hierarchy and as a revered symbol of divine status. Influenced by an unusual combination of the Japanese imperial tradition and a modern scientific worldview, the young emperor gradually evolves into his preeminent role, aligning himself with the growing ultranationalist movement, perpetuating a cult of religious emperor worship, resisting attempts to curb his power, and all the while burnishing his image as a reluctant, passive monarch. Here we see Hirohito as he truly was: a man of …

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One of the most in depth accounts of one of the most remarkable leaders of all time. While highly detailed, yet also highly readable, this book paints a very interesting picture of one of the most possibly infamous leaders in history aside from adolf Hitler, depending on how you look at history and which side you're on.

Hirohito was one of the most provocative and influential people of his time, and while he attempted somewhat to move his country forward, or at least he wanted to, this book demonstrates how he was stopped at every turn while trying to do so. He could have been more well-liked than we was is he hadn't been forced into starting a war that his people never should have had any reason to participate in.


  • Biography & Autobiography
  • Biography/Autobiography
  • Asia - Japan
  • Presidents & Heads of State