Hiroshima Response and Research
|Dr. Sasaki before the bomb|
One of the subjects that I was interested in learning more about was the Emperor of Japan at the time, and how his actions lead to eventually the United States feeling as if there was no other way to end the war but to drop the bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. So to understand further what was going in Japan at the time, I researched the Emperor's background and the events leading up to the bomb to fully understand what was happening at the time. Most history books only talk very briefly on him due to the great spotlight on Hitler and Nazi Germany during WWII.
Hirohito was the Emperor of Japan from 1926 to 1989 when he died. During his career, he militarized Japan from his decisions to ally with Nazi Germany, attack all of his Asian neighbors and attack Pearl Harbor igniting war and conflict with the United States. In his early years, he was the son of the previous, and was born April 29, 1901. As most children in his position, he was not being raised actively by his parents but rather the retired vice admiral. It would be safe to assume that his militaristic ideals were instilled in him at a early age. He was taught solely militaristic ideals and religion in his schooling. When Hirohito's father died in December of 1926, the political conflict in Japan was at an all time high. Many high ranking officials and even the prime minister were murdered in reaction to the outrage felt by the commoner people. This lead for the high ranking officials and the prime minister position to be filled by someone in the military, leading for Japan to be more militaristic than before. As conflict proceeded to happen in Japan's surrounding countries, it came no surprise that they would eventually ally with Germany who had basically the same military principles as them in the war. In September of 1940, Japan had signed a pact with Italy and Germany to assist and ally each other in the war efforts. Hirohito, himself, sanctioned it okay for the use of chemical warfare. Tensions with the United States lead to Hirohito declaring battle with the Americans and on December 7, 1941, Japan dropped the bomb on Pearl Harbor killing over 2,500 men. One short day later, the United States declared war with Japan. Even after the bomb dropped Hirohito refused a surrender. due to their customs of "fighting till death". Not until September 2, 1945 did Hirohito finally order a surrender to the United States. Even though he was not prosecuted as a war criminal, Hirohito's actions in WWII, to this day are still criticized and speculated.
|Emperor Hirohito c. 1945|
1.) History.com Staff. "Hirohito." History.com. A&E Television Networks, 2009. Web. 31 Mar. 2016.
2.) "Why Did the Japanese Delay Surrendering?" History News Network. Web. 31 Mar. 2016.