【PART 3】 The Mystery of the Security Treaty Village (1): The Showa Emperor and the Constitution of Japan

 

【10】 The Showa Emperor and the brilliant shadow cabinet

 

I was born in 1960. As far back as I can remember, my image of the Showa Emperor has been of a mild-mannered old man with a polite way of speech. Around the time that I was a junior high school student, I came to know that he was a biologist researching out-of-the-way subjects such as marine organisms and myxomycete.

Such an image was true in a way. Actually, however, it was made up purposefully after the war. The Showa Emperor’s evaluation in history varies; nevertheless, scholars have reached a consensus on the Showa Emperor’s personality: he was skilled at national strategy, with a clear head and tough mind. And he was surrounded by a loyal and highly capable group of aides.

Many notable historical studies have confirmed that the shadow cabinet–working with GHQ during the occupation–gave full play to its ability to build a new “post-war Japan” while preserving the Emperor system.