ISSA Proceedings 2006 – Reshaping Emperor Hirohito’s Persona: A Study Of Fragmented Arguments In Multiple Texts
The Imperial Rescript on New Year’s Day of 1946 was Emperor Hirohito’s first formal address to the nation after his official speech of surrender in World War II on August 15. The Rescript is popularly known as his “Declaration of Humanity,” in which he renounced his divinity, the core of the war’s ideology. The Rescript was not broadcast; rather it appeared on the front page of newspapers nationwide. Appearing alongside were articles covering the Rescript, along with the Emperor and his family.
In this paper, I review how McGee’s (1990) Theory of Fragmentation of Text explains the interactions between multiple texts and how they establish a new, human persona for the Emperor by constructing a coherent understanding of the Rescript. I demonstrate that the Rescript itself played a minor role in shaping this persona, and that fragments of text found in the article complemented the Rescript and constructed the “Declaration of Humanity” as it is remembered by most Japanese people today. First, I discuss the historical background of the study, exploring the political imperatives for the creation of the Emperor’s new persona. Next, I analyze the arguments of the denial of divinity. I then discuss the differences between the original Japanese version of the Rescript and the official English translation. Next I address the argumentative characteristics in the Japanese Rescript and how they fail to redefine the ideology of the Emperor’s theocratic authoritarianism. Finally, I analyze the newspaper articles surrounding the Rescript and discuss how their contents complemented the Rescript, helping reshape the Emperor’s persona by defining his “Declaration of Humanity.”
2. Historical Background
Emperor Hirohito is one of the most important public figures in Japan’s modern history. Before and during the Pacific War, the Emperor was regarded as a living deity and his existence was used to justify Japanese ultra-nationalism and fascism (Dower, 1999, p. 277). The ideology stated that the Emperor was the direct descendent of the Sun Goddess Amaterasu, the most sacred and highly-ranked god in Shinto, Japan’s indigenous religion (Dower, 1999, p. 277). Shinmin no michi (The Way of Subjects), a booklet issued by the Ministry of Education four months prior to the attack on Pearl Harbor, reinforced the ideology of the Emperor’s spirituality and supremacy. Shinmin (1974) states that the Imperial Throne is “coeval with Heaven and Earth” and that the Emperor is “the center” of all. Filial piety and loyalty to the Emperor are strongly emphasized. The pamphlet’s goal is to promote a selfless devotion to the state, a dedication to national defense, and a quest to realize the “Great East Asia Co-prosperity Sphere” in the name of expanding the Emperor’s supreme rule. In order to achieve these ends, the Emperor’s “subjects” are taught to sacrifice even their lives for the sacred mission demanded by the Emperor. Dower (1999) writes that: “Emperor Hirohito was sacrosanct. His war was holy. The virtues he embodied were unique and immutable” (p. 277). This deified image of Emperor Hirohito had been created and maintained beginning with Japan’s push for modernization in 1868. The spiritual quality of his image peaked during the Second World War, due to the political need to unify the people and justify aggression.
After the end of the war (August 15, 1945), Japan was occupied by the Allied Powers, the United States in particular. The occupation policy was the “Basic Initial Post-Surrender Directive to the Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers for the Occupation and Control of Japan.” This plan was approved by President Truman and sent to General Douglas MacArthur, the Supreme Commander of the Allied Powers (SCAP). One of the fundamental objectives of the occupation stated in the “Basic Directive” was to bring about a democratic state in which individual liberty, freedom of speech, and, central to the topic of this paper, freedom of religion were guaranteed. Another objective was to disarm and demilitarize Japan so that it would not be a future threat to world peace (Takeda, 1988, p. 105).
The existence of the Emperor became a controversial issue, for his presence continued to signify Japanese militarization. There was intense debate as to whether an anti-democratic institution such as the Emperor system should be abolished. Takeda (1988) summarizes the abolitionists’ arguments as follows:
… the institution of the throne in Japan was a cornerstone or sheet-anchor of the imposition of absurd myths of the Emperor’s divine origin and of State Shinto. The emperor was regarded as having personified and perpetuated for the Japanese the myth of Japan’s racial predominance with her manifest destiny to rule the world, which naturally resulted in military aggression. (p. 8)
In addition, there were many voices calling for “Hirohito’s indictment as a war criminal,” since “he was the person who gave official approval to the declaration of war” (Takeda, 1988, p. 8; Dower, 1999, p. 279). The abolitionist argument was prevalent among the Allied Powers; China, Australia and New Zealand officially called for a war trial for the Emperor (Matsuo, 1998, p. 25). A public opinion poll in the United States showed that 70 percent of Americans demanded an indictment of the Emperor as a war criminal (Hata, 1984, p. 166; Higashino, 1998, pp. 21-22)
Contrary to the abolitionist arguments, McArthur implemented a “utilitarian strategy” in which Hirohito would remain on the throne, serving as an instrument to facilitate the occupation (Large, 1992, p. 136; Dower, 1999, p. 283). According to Dower (1999), the Emperor’s responsibility for the war “was never seriously investigated” by McArthur and “[w]hen members of the imperial entourage raised the possibility of [the Emperor’s] abdication, [the] SCAP opposed this emphatically” (p. 278). In a telegram to Army Chief of Staff Dwight D. Eisenhower, McArthur stated that, “No specific and tangible evidence has been uncovered with regard to the Emperor’s exact activities which might connect him with the political decisions of the Japanese Empire during the last decade” (Takahashi, 1987, p. 34; Bix, 1992, p. 332). He went on to report that “the Emperor’s political actions had been determined by his ministers of state, who bore responsibility for the war” (Large, 1992, p. 139). Instead of accusing the Emperor of war crimes, MacArthur believed that the Emperor was indispensable to the smooth running of the occupation and intended to “resituate him as the center of [Japanese] new democracy” (Dower, 1999, p. 278).
3. McGee’s Notion of the Fragmentation of the Text
McGee’s view of text as “fragments” provides valuable insight in an analysis of multiple texts. In his article “Text, Context, and the Fragmentation of Contemporary Culture,” McGee (1990) contends that “no single text can comprehend all perspectives” in today’s fragmented culture in which sources of information are expanded and diverse (p. 288). McGee explicates this condition of necessitating fragments of a text from two angles. First, he maintains that “changing cultural conditions have made it virtually impossible to construct a whole and harmonious text such as Edmund Burke’s ‘Speech on Conciliation with the Colonies’….[w]e have instead fragments of ‘information’ that constitute our context” (p. 287). These fragments of information are essential to understand a discourse, since the “[d]iscourse ceases to be what it is whenever parts of it are taken ‘out of context” (p. 283). Since those fragments work as a part of the context, removing or overlooking any of them results in an incomplete understanding of the discourse. Secondly, McGee argues the possibility of an “invisible text” emerging from the fragments. In other words, “an ‘invisible text’… is never quite finished but constantly in front of us” (p. 287). Only by looking at text as fragments, can we find the “invisible texts” hidden among the fragments. McGee contends that a role reversal has taken place, “making interpretation the primary task of speakers and writers and text construction the primary task of audiences, readers and critics” (p. 274).
This view of fragmented texts posits that critics interpret them as providing a coherent understanding of perspectives represented in a discourse. With this in mind, I consider the multiple arguments in the newspaper articles surrounding the Rescript to be fragments. Furthermore, I argue that interactions among them expand the themes of the “Declaration of Humanity” which has become the shared meaning of the Rescript itself.
4. The Problem of the New Year Rescript
The Imperial Rescript consists of approximately six hundred words in eight paragraphs. The denial of the Emperor’s divinity appears in the sixth paragraph. Here I quote the entire paragraph from the official English translation:
We stand by the people and We wish always to share with them in their moments of joys and sorrows. The ties between Us and Our people have always stood upon mutual trust and affection. They do not depend upon mere legends and myths. They are not predicated on the false conception that the Emperor is divine, and that the Japanese people are superior to other races and fated to rule the world. (Imperial Rescript, 1946)
In this paragraph, the Emperor disavows his divinity as well as the legends and mythology upon which his divinity is based. By this, the Emperor rejects the ideology which had underscored the ultranationalism leading up to the war. The Emperor also states that the ties between him and people are based on mutual trust and affection, attempting to establish a human relationship with the people, rather than the religious bond promulgated in prewar days. It is a declaration by the Emperor himself that he is no longer the religious center of a war ideology and therefore will not be a threat to peace.
To form a better understanding of the Rescript, differences between the original Japanese text and the English translation need to be clarified. The English is written in a vernacular language, plainly written for readers who envisioned an end to Emperor worship and militarism. The Japanese version, on the other hand, is more esoteric and obscure in addressing the old ideology, and thereby does not significantly contribute to the creation of a new, democratic image of the Emperor. The Emperor’s words are written in classical language consistent with Imperial Rescripts from in prewar days. While this kind of text was intelligible to educated readers, it was very difficult for ordinary people to read, having been “worked over by a scholar of classical language and couched in the stiff and formal prose reserved for imperial pronouncements” (Dower, 1999, p. 316).
The formalized, obtuse language not only hampers people’s understanding of the Japanese version of the Rescript, but also obscures the Emperor’s denial of his own divinity. In the Japanese version “akitsumikami” is the corresponding term for “divinity” in the official English translation. Although akitsumikami is used in the prewar ideology of the Emperor, the term itself was arcane. Hence, “even well-educated people had difficulty identifying the term when confronted with it in writing, or explaining it if asked to do so” (Dower, 1999, p. 316). Vice chamberlain Kinoshita laments in his diary on December 30, two days before the Rescript is issued, that there is one among the ministers who is not able to read the word even phonetically (Dower, 1999, p. 300). In the absence of a simple explanation of akitsumikami, the Japanese version of the Rescript fails to clarify what the Emperor is renouncing, thereby failing to redefine the ideology of the Emperor.
Moreover, The Five Clauses of the Charter Oath of the Meiji Emperor were inscribed in the Rescript at the Emperor’s insistence (Togashi, 1989, p. 208; Tanaka, 1993, p. 116). The Charter Oath was a proclamation by the Meiji Emperor, Hirohito’s grandfather, at the beginning of his reign in 1868, almost eighty years before the 1946 Rescript was written. In the Rescript, Hirohito is idealizing the Meiji era. The Oath is quoted at the beginning of the Rescript:
In greeting the New Year, We recall to mind that the Meiji Emperor proclaimed as the basis of our national policy, the Five Clauses of the Charter-Oath at the beginning of the Meiji Era. The Charter-Oath signified:
1. Deliberative assemblies shall be established and all measures of government decided in accordance with public opinion.
2. All classes, high and low, shall unite in vigorously carrying out the affairs of State.
3. All common people, no less than the civil and military officials, shall be allowed to fulfill their just desires so that there may not be any discontent among them.
4. All the absurd usages of old shall be broken through, and equality and justice to be found in the workings of nature shall serve as the basis of action.
5. Wisdom and knowledge shall be sought throughout the world for the purpose of promoting the welfare of the Empire. (Imperial Rescript, 1946)
The Emperor claims in the Rescript that the Oath is “the basis of our national policy.” After quoting it, he praises the Oath as “evident in significance and high in its ideals.” Here the Emperor emphasizes that Japan has had great political principles and that a democracy has existed in Japan since its adoption by the Meiji Emperor. The Emperor attempts to transform the old order into a new image of reform and restoration. As he claims in the Rescript, “We wish to make this oath anew and restore the country” and “construct a new Japan through thoroughly being pacific… attaining rich culture, and advancing the standard of living of the people” (Imperial Rescript, 1946). By placing the Oath in a new context of reform and restoration, the Emperor is deflecting attention from the misruled government of Meiji and upholding it as a guiding principle for the peace and well-being of people in the future.
The inclusion of the Oath signifies the Emperor’s desire to return Japan back to the state of the Meiji era and construct a new Japan from that starting point. His reference to this period is problematic, however, in that “the repression and virulent Emperor-centered indoctrination” in Hirohito’s reign was, in fact, rooted in the Meiji era (Dower, 199, p. 313), resulting in the war of aggression in the Asia-Pacific region (Tanaka, 1993, p. 116). The inclusion of the Oath renders the Rescript a conservative argument preserving the old political system, rather than an argument discarding the old system for a completely new democratic government.
The Rescript does not, then, reject the old militaristic and undemocratic government; instead, it praises the Meiji era and nowhere denies the Emperor’s status as the direct descendant of the Sun Goddess. Since it is written in esoteric, arcane language, however, the Japanese people paid little attention to the problematic Rescript and the Oath (Tanaka, 1999, p. 119). They recognized that the Emperor had made an important statement on New Year’s Day, but did not clearly understand the meaning. Consequently, their attention was drawn to other newspaper articles which would help them interpret the Rescript. These arguments constructed various meanings of the Rescript.
5. The Construction of the “Declaration of Humanity”
The Japanese people retrospectively understand the Imperial Rescript as the Emperor’s “Declaration of Humanity.” Such an understanding, however, was created by the perspectives presented in other articles published on the same day and subsequent views. These complemented the Rescript, helping create the image of a human emperor.
Asahi (1946), a major national newspaper, put the Rescript at the top of the front page on January 1st.[i] There were also two commentary articles on the front page, appearing next to the Rescript itself. These commentaries, written in vernacular language, function as interpretations of the Rescript. One of the articles summarizes the Rescript in four points, the first being that the Emperor is concerned about the “confusion of thought” among people caused by the despair of losing the war and the devastation of the country, including the stagnating economy and the food shortage (Tenno, p. 1). The other three points clarify the Rescript’s renunciation of divinity: The affirmation of mutual trust and affection between the Emperor and the people, the denial of the superiority of the Japanese people, and the denial of the Emperor as akitsumikami. Significantly, the article does not provide a detailed explanation of akitsumikami; it simply redefines the pre-war Emperor as a shinpiteki sonzai or “mysterious existence.” Shinpi is used in vernacular speech to refer to something outside ordinary human understanding, for example sizen no shinpi (the mystery of nature).[ii] Hence, the denial of divinity is expressed in vernacular language that the Emperor is no longer a mysterious existence. When the vernacular term is used to refer to the Emperor, then it connotes a sort of spirituality; since it is far less ideological than akitsumikami, however, it is difficult to interpret shinpiteki sonzai as a clear denial of divinity. The article interpreting the Rescript even avoids mentioning the former status the Emperor is denying. By identifying the pre-war Emperor as a “mysterious existence,” the articles attempt to dissociate the post-war Emperor from the war ideology. This article concludes by affirming the Emperor’s determination to overcome the post-war difficulties and construct a new Japan with the help of the people. This gives the Emperor a future- oriented image and clarifies that he will stay on the throne, working to rebuild the country.
The other front-page article is a commentary by Prime Minister Shidehara. As a conservative politician, Shidehara does not mention the Rescript’s renunciation of divinity but emphasizes, in plain language, that the Oath is the founding principle of Japan’s democracy. Here he asserts that, “a healthy development of our parliamentary politics was promised” by the principles of the Oath. Shidehara (1946) qualifies this by saying that, “unfortunately it [the healthy development] has been repressed by the recent reactionary forces and the respect for freedom and the growth of the will of people has bore no fruit, therefore the will of the Meiji Emperor has been in oblivion” (p.1). Shidehara blames “reactionary forces” for nullifying the country’s democracy and the Meiji Emperor’s will (p. 1). His argument creates a scapegoat for the abuses of the government, at the same time granting Hirohito immunity. Finally, Shidehara upholds devotion to democracy, pacifism and rationalism as keys to constructing a new nation (p.1).
Overall, the views on the front page promote peace, democracy, and restoration. The headline for the Rescript reads “devotion to peace and improvement in the quality of life.” “Sovereign rights of the people” and “democracy” stand out in other headlines. In this context, the Emperor is not a “mysterious existence,” but presented as being “with the people” and working to reconstruct a democratic country.
The focus of these front-page articles is on the political aspects of post-war Imperial rule. On the second and third pages, the focus shifts to more humane aspects of the Emperor. Asahi (1946) features photos at the top of the second page depicting the secular life of the Emperor and his family. One shows the Emperor taking a walk with his 18-year-old daughter, Takanomiya. The Emperor is wearing a suit and soft hat and holding a walking stick. Takanomiya is standing beside him with a gentle smile. In the other picture, the empress and her three daughters are feeding their chickens on a farm. Such pictures would have been unthinkable in prewar days, given that it was considered beneath the Emperor to show his love for his family. These photos, then, imbue him with a strong family image, contributing to the construction of a “human” Emperor. One post in a reader’s column in Asahi on January 10, 1946 demonstrates the public’s reaction to the pictures:
When I took the newspaper on New Year’s Day and saw the pictures of His Majesty, my entire body immediately started to shake with an indescribable emotion. …. For the first time in my life, I saw His Majesty as a “human.” It is sad to see the differences between these pictures and those of him visiting Yasukini Shrine or in past military reviews… I saw, for the first time, the imperial house as a home and the Empress as a “mother,” seeing her sewing a vest with her children. It was a view into a peaceful family, living together happily. (qtd. in Tanaka, 1993, p. 126)
The pictures on the second page accompany an article whose headline states: “With his hat off and answering questions: A group of newspaper journalists were granted an audience with the Emperor” (Boushi wo, 1946). The article’s preface states how unprecedented it is to have an audience with the Emperor and have a conversation with him in person. It states that it is an honor to meet the Emperor, and at the same time it clearly notes the change which has taken place between the Emperor and people. The article goes on to describe how the Emperor shows common courtesy to other people. In greeting the journalists, the article states: “His Majesty stood and greeted each of us… bowing to each of us,” and that the bow “was not like a slight nod…but a very gracious, deep bow with his soft hat in his hand” (Boushi wo, 1946). This clearly shows that the Emperor is no longer either akitsumikami or a mysterious existence, for he performs secular greetings to the journalists in an extremely polite, even respectful manner.
However, this does not mean that the Emperor has become an ordinary person. Veneration for the Emperor is still maintained because every one of his acts is termed in the strongest honorific language available in Japanese. Such veneration is clear in the following sentence: “… if I am also permitted [to use my own] language [to describe His Majesty], he was wearing a white collar with gray necktie in brown suit … His Majesty looks like a ‘gentle scholar’ or a ‘kind gentleman’ to me” (Boushi wo, 1946). As further evidence of the Emperor’s gentle personality, the article notes the questions he asked the journalists, such as: “It is said that the food situation is incommodious. How is it for you?” and “Wasn’t your house burned down?” (Boushi wo, 1946). It can be seen here that Asahi has not completely rejected the prewar image of the Emperor, maintaining in its language a certain level of respect for the Emperor. This must have been acceptable to McArthur, maintaining as it did the Emperor’s popularity, necessary to the smooth running of the occupation.
The article then contrasts this gentle persona with that perceived by the outside world, as the one responsible for the war:
Although it was a short, 10-minute audience with His Majesty, hearing his relatively high and clear voice and feeling his grace in feminine gentleness, there is no way to think that he is the “Emperor” who is made to stand in the storm of public opinions in the world. (Boushi wo, 1946)
The article claims that once you actually meet the Emperor in person, you will see his true personality, which ordinary people have never known before. The “truth” is that the Emperor is so gentle and kind that it is impossible to associate him with the war. The article continues to stress the Emperor’s unimposing personality, stating that:
The general public imagines that an emperor who is surrounded by many subjects, would be proud, arrogant and selfish. However, there is no such trace seen in His Majesty. On the contrary, his trusting and amenable personality can be seen at first glance; he can even be seen as “weak.” (Boushi wo, 1946) The image of the Emperor as a dictator leading Japan into war is rejected in this commentary. The only explanation for his involvement with the war is that others must have taken advantage of his rather weak personality and used him for their own ends.
The article boldly concludes that “[h]ere the mystery of three thousand years of history is solved” and goes on to regret that it did not happen earlier (Boushi wo, 1946). As it explains, “[I]f we… could have met His Majesty like this [in person] much earlier or His Majesty himself had had the ‘freedom of speech’, we could have prevented a misfortune like this [sadness after losing the war] in advance” (Boushi wo, 1946). In the writer’s argument, the cause of this misfortune is that the Emperor has been separated from the people, so that they have not known the truth about him. The implication is that the military or “reactionary forces” Shidehara identifies are to blame. The Emperor is depicted as a victim who has been repressed and manipulated. It is further implied that now the “mystery of three thousand years” has been solved, the people will prosper.
The third page of Asahi features an anecdote related by Prince Takamatsu, one of Hirohito’s younger brothers. The headline reads: “My elder brother ‘His Majesty the Emperor Dislikes Crookery: Strain of Worry Affects the Appetite” (Oanigimi, 1946). These details reveal the “truth” about the Emperor as professed by his brother, who knows him well. First, Takamatsu characterizes the Emperor as an “upright person” who “dislikes crookery” and is “full of benevolence.” As the headline states, Takamatsu emphasizes that the Emperor is right and just. He then asserts that: “When there is an error or something that is different from the truth in the newspaper, His Majesty seems to be dissatisfied with it and wants to convey the truth” (Oanigimi, 1946). This not only emphasizes the Emperor’s upright moral nature, but also implies that the newspapers have been reporting untrue things about him, and that he was powerless to contradict them. This ties into the claim on the second page that the pre-war Emperor had no freedom of speech, and was thereby unable to prevent the country’s misfortunes. Takamatsu further depicts the upright personality of the Emperor by stating that the Emperor always reminds new Prime ministers of the need to be in compliance with the Constitution, which “clearly demonstrates that the Emperor himself considers the Constitution as a prime importance” (Oanigimi, 1946).
Takamatsu goes on to state that the Emperor plays by the rules when playing golf or other sports, and that the Emperor likewise “pays serious attention to international law and the like” (Oanigimi, 1946). With such a serious and upright personality, Takamatsu explains, the Emperor’s mood “swings between joy and sorrow because of various problems, affecting his appetite” (Oanigimi, 1946). This somewhat delicate image of the Emperor is consistent with the depiction by the journalists on the second page. Additionally, it evokes readers’ sympathy for an Emperor who is burdened with various important problems and worries.
Takamatsu goes on to establish the Emperor’s personality as peace-loving. He confides that central to the Emperor’s rightness is his belief that “violence is not right,” demonstrating that he is “peaceful” (Oanigimi, 1946). He backs this up with how concerned the Emperor was when Takamatsu had a cold, and how he frequently asked about his condition. Takamatsu remarks on his gentle character and how well-known it is at court: “people in the court are truly touched by the Emperor’s gentle heart on many occasions” (Oanigimi, 1946). The argument here is that those who know the Emperor personally could only agree with Takamatsu’s view of the Emperor as gentle and kind. Takamatsu asserts that the Emperor has always wished for peace, though for various reasons, his wish has never come true. Takamatsu states that there are always terms such as “peace” and “sharing well-being with all other countries” in every imperial decree and “His Majesty has often spoke of peace… however a war like this happens. It makes me think more deeply” (Oanigimi, 1946). Here, Takamatsu is clearly implying that the military has countered the Emperor’s wish for peace.
Third, the Emperor is given the image of a scientist. Takamatsu states that the Emperor is “not an active person,” and that naturally he likes reading about “history,” “political history,” and “diplomatic history,” as his position requires (Oanigimi, 1946). Nonetheless, the Emperor is interested in biology most, as Takamatsu states: “The Emperor does not particularly like paintings or music. He prefers biology or things of that nature. He is not a social person” (Oanigimi, 1946). To support this view, Takamatsu notes that “the Emperor caught baby spiders and played with them when he was a child” and the Emperor’s current hobby is to “plant and grow wild grass in the palace” (Oanigimi, 1946). Takamatsu also emphasizes that the Emperor’s interest is not in biology itself, but in its implications for the well being of the people. As Takamatsu puts it:
[His Majesty] is always concerned about the food problem. The other day, we talked about the lack of sugar. Then [he] started to talk about what kind of plant we can extract sugar from …. I heard that [His Majesty] is asking scientists about such things…. He always thinks about it in a way that it connects to the problems of the people. (Oanigimi, 1946)
The third page of the newspaper mainly characterizes the Emperor’s personality. He is depicted as right and just, peace loving, and scientific. There is also an argument buried in Takamatsu’s argument that implicates the military in the war and dissociates the Emperor from it.
As I have argued, the Japanese version of the Imperial Rescript on New Year’s Day is conservative in its content. Moreover, it is written in esoteric classical language which hampers people’s understanding of it. Therefore, the Rescript in itself does not significantly alter the Emperor’s persona. The creation of the “Human Emperor” or the “Declaration of Humanity” is accomplished by the arguments presented in newspaper articles accompanying the Rescript. These complement the Rescript with human images of the Emperor so that in the population’s mind the Rescript has been transformed into the “Declaration of Humanity” even today.
The fragmented arguments surrounding the Rescript represent the Emperor as “upright,” “kind and gentle,” “peace-loving,” and “scientific.” To transform him into a “human,” the image of a family man is promoted through words and photographs. Simultaneously, arguments are presented which scapegoat others for the war and dissociate the Emperor from it.
This study has analyzed the arguments of the Emperor’s New Year’s Day Rescript. McGee’s theory of the fragmentation of texts revealed how multiple arguments surrounding the Rescript interact with each other to create the notion of the “Declaration of Humanity.” Also, this study has demonstrated that an important public statement can be supplemented or even contradicted by fragments of arguments and can thus be remembered by people in an entirely different way.
[i] Asahi was the top selling newspaper during the occupation period. In 1946, for example, Asahi sold 3,319,045 copies in Japan; followed by Mainichi, 3,254,380 and Yomiuri 1,666,243 (Yamamoto, 1996, p. 650). English translation of Asahi is all mine.
[ii] See, for example, an authentic Japanese dictionary Kojien. It uses sizen no shinpi as an illustrative sentence for shinpi.
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