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


【26】 Beautiful double structure


From February 19, 1946, a month after the Declaration of Humanity, the Imperial tour throughout Japan began. The occupation proceeded, supporting the scenario of “the Emperor as a symbol of peace and democratization” with the two ideas of “MacArthur’s power” and “the Showa Emperor’s authority.”

Thus was formed a basic relationship between Japan and the U.S. in the late Showa era, created largely by the Showa Emperor and his aides as they realized the benefits of following the U.S. scenario while making changes in it. In this way, they never went against or betrayed the U.S., and in the end performed better than expected.

It is certain, however, that the logic of the Charter Oath as the main message of the “Declaration of Humanity” could work in Japan, but could not work in the world, because it was not true. The Showa Emperor understood this better than anyone.

In fact, the Showa Emperor was an industrious person who painstakingly made political efforts even after the occupation ended. For example, in 1961 when the magazine Bungeishunju planned a “talk session on the establishment of the Declaration of Humanity,” the Emperor advised Michio Kinoshita (former chamberlain) who was scheduled to attend the session: “Give an account of the Charter Oath mainly, and mention the living god slightly. It is not necessary to mention Blyth [a teacher of Gakushuin school, who functioned as liaison to the Imperial House and GHQ].” (Sokkin nisshi)

As I’ve mentioned earlier, the living god refers to the divinity of the Emperor. So, in other words: “The objective of the Declaration of Humanity was not to deny the divinity of the Emperor, but to publicize the democracy that Japan originally had.” The Emperor was so careful that he instructed the remarks for a mere talk session held by a magazine.

This illustrates a basic structure of post-war Japan, a double structure that he himself designed and embodied: creating a very beautiful fiction to maintain the pride of the defeated country, while knowing well the reality of being under the control of GHQ.

Through the efforts of the Emperor and the Japanese government, policies imposed by GHQ under its indirect occupation eventually became invisible to the Japanese people.