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Japanese Resistance to the Imperial House of Japan

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Title: Japanese Resistance to the Imperial House of Japan  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Japanese Resistance, Japanese dissidence during the Shōwa period
Collection: Japanese Resistance
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Japanese Resistance to the Imperial House of Japan

Japanese Resistance to the Imperial House of Japan is resistance by Japanese individuals, and organizations to the Imperial House of Japan (660 BC - Present) and/or its members.


  • Imperial Japan 1
  • Post-World War II Japan 2
  • See also 3
  • References 4

Imperial Japan

In 1908, a letter entitled "Open Letter to Mutsuhito, the Emperor of Japan, from Anarchists-Terrorists" was distributed among Japanese residents in the U.S. The letter denied the Emperor's divinity, and threatened the Emperor's life. It was suspected that the producers of the letter were Japanese revolutionaries in California.[1] In 1910, Kōtoku Shūsui was among 11 who were arrested, and subsequently executed for conspiring to assassinate the Emperor.[2]

When Hirohito was the regent, he was the target of assassination. In 1923, Namba Daisuke fired a pistol at Hirohito, and missed. In 1925, Kaneko Fumiko, along with Park Yeol, attempted to assassinate Hirohito, and his father, the Taisho emperor, by bombing the prince's wedding in 1925.[3] [4]

Post-World War II Japan

After World War II, Hundreds of Japanese Communists, including newly liberated prisoners, marched through downtown Tokyo waving red banners and shouting for the removal of the Emperor. Hundreds of Communists would parade down Tokyo's main streets and along the moat of Hirohito's palace where they shouted: "Down with the emperor! Banzai, MacArthur!". The Communists were reported to have turned their backs to the Imperial Palace, which is in defiance to the custom that requires passersbys to bow towards the emperor's quarters.[5] [6] [7]

The Japanese Communist party demanded the abolition of the "feudalistic emperor system" and asked that it be replaced by a people's democratic government with a Diet composed of a single house.[8] The Japanese Communist Party intended to pursue the war responsibility of Emperor Hirohito. They put the emperor at the top of there "war criminals" list. Yoshio Shiga blamed Hirohito for the attack on Pearl Harbor, and called for the Emperor to be exiled to China under Allied surveillance.[9] Tokuda Kyuichi denounced the Monarchy, and called for the Emperor to be ousted. Three communist leaders who were freed from prison told the United Press in an interview that Emperor Hirohito must go "by execution, exile or retirement" before Japan can fulfill the Allied peace terms. Earlier they had told a Chinese correspondent that they wished to get out of jail to lead a revolution against Emperor Hirohito and Japan's feudal system.[10] [11] Kyuichi Tokuda declared his intention to lead a movement to overthrow the emperor and the powerful ruling families of Japan.[12]

In 1946, the Communist Party censured Hirohito's public tours as a "pre-election campaign for the sake of reationary political parties." The Communists referred to the emperor as a "war criminal", an accusation not made by the Americans, including Gen. MacArthur. The Party resolution stated that "We demand that the emperor and all other war criminals be banned from carrying out any such" campaign." The resolution was to be presented at the imperial household.[13] [14] In 1949, Thirty-five Communist members of the House of Representatives boycotted the formal opening of the Japanese Diet (parliament) yesterday because of the presence of Emperor Hirohito.[15] In 1951, Communist posters screaming "Down with Hirohito" were posted in Otsu, Japan, horrifying residents, who ripped the posters down before the Emperor's scheduled arrival.[16] In 1951, Three thousand leftist students in Kyoto University heckled Emperor Hirohito. Before the emperor's arrival the students framed a five-point questionnaire which they asked Kyoto University president Shunjiro Hattori to submit to the monarch. According to the Kyodo News Agency, one of the questions was: "Will you as emperor of Japan, which has renounced war, resist rearming if and when it is forced upon us?" President Hattori refused to submit the question. The students then surrounded Hirohito's limousine and sang the "Internationale".[17]

In 1954, when Emperor Hirohito and Empress Nagako first royal visit to Hokkaido, they were greeted by critical Communist handbills. The Communists called the visit "American conspiracy" and that "The Hokkaido government is spending millions for the emperor's visit instead of aiding impoverished people."[18] [19]

In Hitoshi Motoshima received death threats after he publicly stated that Emperor Hirohito bears some responsibility for World War II.[20] [21]

See also


  2. ^ "Kōtoku Shūsui".  
  3. ^ Masako Gavin, Ben Middleton (Aug 21, 2013). Japan and the High Treason Incident. Routledge. 
  4. ^ Ben-Ami Shillony (2008). The Emperors of Modern Japan. BRILL. p. 141. 
  5. ^ "Remove Hirohito, Tokyo Reds Ask". The Pittsburgh Press. Oct 10, 1945. 
  6. ^ "REMOVE HIROHITO IS CRY OF FREED JAP COMMUNISTS". Toronto Daily Star. Oct 10, 1945. 
  7. ^ "Anti-Russian Organization Rises In Japan; Red Liaison Officer Says That American Occupation Too Soft". Times Daily. Oct 9, 1945. 
  8. ^ "Japanese Communist Party Asks End of Feudal System". Berkeley Daily Gazette. Feb 23, 1946. 
  9. ^ "COMMUNISTS OUT TO GET HIROHITO". The Spokesman-Review. Nov 13, 1945. 
  11. ^ "MacArthur Ousts High Jap Official, Fires Police Heads". The Daily Times. Oct 3, 1945. 
  12. ^ "BAN FREEDOM FOR JAP REDS". The Milwaukee Sentinel. Oct 3, 1945. 
  13. ^ "Japanese Communists Censure Hirohito Tours". The Tuscaloosa News. Mar 4, 1946. 
  14. ^ "JAPANESE SPLIT ON OCCUPATION". The Spokesman-Review. Mar 1, 1946. 
  15. ^ "Anti-Hirohito Diet Boycott". The Sydney Morning Herald. Mar 21, 1949. 
  16. ^ "Horrified Citizens Scrub Walls of Opposition As Hirohito Visits". Eugene Register-Guard. Nov 16, 1951. 
  17. ^ "3,000 Leftist Students Heckle Japanese Emperor". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Nov 13, 1951. 
  18. ^ "Hirohito, Wife Tour Island". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Aug 9, 1954. 
  19. ^ "Red Handbills Greet Hirohito". The Spokesman-Review. Aug 9, 1954. 
  20. ^ "Japanese can say what they think - except about the emperor". Ocala Star-Banner. Dec 29, 1988. 
  21. ^ "Japanese Still Revere Emperor". Lewiston Evening Journal. Apr 24, 1948. 

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