Tag Archives: Emperor Showa

Original audio of Emperor Showa’s surrender speech made public

On 1st August, Imperial Household Agency made available to the public for the first time the original audio from the vinyl master records of Emperor Showa’s speech announcing Japan’s surrender in World War II to the Allied Forces, called commemoraing the 70th anniversary of the end of the World War II.

You can listen to the speech (Imperial Household Agancy Website)

Full text of the speech (Gyokuon-hoso)

Text from Wikipedia “Gyokuon-hoso


After pondering deeply the general trends of the world and the actual conditions obtaining in Our Empire today, We have decided to effect a settlement of the present situation by resorting to an extraordinary measure.
We have ordered Our Government to communicate to the Governments of the United States, Great Britain, China and the Soviet Union that Our Empire accepts the provisions of their Joint Declaration.
To strive for the common prosperity and happiness of all nations as well as the security and well-being of Our subjects is the solemn obligation which has been handed down by Our Imperial Ancestors and which lies close to Our heart.
Indeed, We declared war on America and Britain out of Our sincere desire to ensure Japan’s self-preservation and the stabilization of East Asia, it being far from Our thought either to infringe upon the sovereignty of other nations or to embark upon territorial aggrandizement.
But now the war has lasted for nearly four years. Despite the best that has been done by everyone ? the gallant fighting of the military and naval forces, the diligence and assiduity of Our servants of the State, and the devoted service of Our one hundred million people ? the war situation has developed not necessarily to Japan’s advantage, while the general trends of the world have all turned against her interest.
Moreover, the enemy has begun to employ a new and most cruel bomb, the power of which to do damage is, indeed, incalculable, taking the toll of many innocent lives. Should We continue to fight, not only would it result in an ultimate collapse and obliteration of the Japanese nation, but also it would lead to the total extinction of human civilization.
Such being the case, how are We to save the millions of Our subjects, or to atone Ourselves before the hallowed spirits of Our Imperial Ancestors? This is the reason why We have ordered the acceptance of the provisions of the Joint Declaration of the Powers.
We cannot but express the deepest sense of regret to Our Allied nations of East Asia, who have consistently cooperated with the Empire towards the emancipation of East Asia.
The thought of those officers and men as well as others who have fallen in the fields of battle, those who died at their posts of duty, or those who met with untimely death and all their bereaved families, pains Our heart night and day.
The welfare of the wounded and the war-sufferers, and of those who have lost their homes and livelihood, are the objects of Our profound solicitude.
The hardships and sufferings to which Our nation is to be subjected hereafter will be certainly great. We are keenly aware of the inmost feelings of all of you, Our subjects. However, it is according to the dictates of time and fate that We have resolved to pave the way for a grand peace for all the generations to come by enduring the unendurable and suffering what is unsufferable.
Having been able to safeguard and maintain the Kokutai, We are always with you, Our good and loyal subjects, relying upon your sincerity and integrity.
Beware most strictly of any outbursts of emotion which may engender needless complications, or any fraternal contention and strife which may create confusion, lead you astray and cause you to lose the confidence of the world.
Let the entire nation continue as one family from generation to generation, ever firm in its faith in the imperishability of its sacred land, and mindful of its heavy burden of responsibility, and of the long road before it.
Unite your total strength, to be devoted to construction for the future. Cultivate the ways of rectitude, foster nobility of spirit, and work with resolution ? so that you may enhance the innate glory of the Imperial State and keep pace with the progress of the world.


[Article] Original audio of Emperor Showa’s surrender speech made public

Text from The Mainichi

TOKYO (Kyodo) — The Imperial Household Agency on Saturday made available to the public for the first time the original audio from the vinyl master records of Emperor Hirohito’s speech announcing Japan’s surrender in World War II to the Allied Forces.

The agency decided to release the original sound of the speech by the emperor, posthumously known as Emperor Showa, broadcast by radio on Aug. 15, 1945, as this year commemorates the 70th anniversary of the end of the war.

The surrender speech by the emperor, known as gyokuon hoso in Japanese, had been available only through the replicated audio until now.

The agency said it has found that the speech in the original audio is roughly 10 seconds shorter than the four minute, 40 second speech in the copied one as it believes it highly likely that it was recorded at a slower rotation speed by mistake.

A total of five vinyl master records of the emperor’s speech have been kept as part of the imperial family’s collection. The agency succeeded in digitally re-recording the whole speech in December.

The agency also released photos and films of a bomb shelter at the Imperial Palace. The shelter was the venue of a government meeting on Aug. 14, 1945, at which the emperor officially decided to surrender after the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

“We judged it is of great significance to make the major symbolic items related to the end of the war widely known to the public at the timing of the 70th anniversary,” the agency said.

In the speech, the emperor announced to the Japanese people the nation’s acceptance of the Potsdam Declaration, in which the United States, Britain and China — and later the Soviet Union — demanded Japan’s unconditional surrender.

After being recorded on Aug. 14 at a building of the agency’s predecessor, the emperor’s announcement was broadcast at noon the following day. Some Japanese soldiers tried to steal the records and stop the airing in a coup attempt.

The broadcast was the first opportunity for most Japanese to hear the voice of the Japanese emperor. But it was hard for some people to understand because the emperor used classical language in part of the speech.


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Annals of late Emperor Showa


On 8th September, Imperial Household Agency released the annals of the late Emperor Showa (Emperor Hirohito) chronicling details of his 87-year-long life.
The annals of Emperor Showa are made up of 61 volumes, including one for the index of contents, totaling 12,137 pages.
Events during his life are chronicled from his birthday on 29th April 1901, to his passing on 7th January 1989. The annals also include his funeral in February of that year and the registration of his grave on 30th March 1991.

Emperor Showa ascended the Chrysanthemum Throne on 25th December 1926, at the age of 25, assuming sovereignty as head of state.
He was involved in state policy decisions, including war policies, and directly made a decision to accept the Potsdam Declaration. He announced Japan’s World War II surrender by radio on 15th August 1945, and denied his divinity in his 1946 New Year’s message.
Under the nation’s new Constitution that came into effect in 1947, the emperor is now a symbol of Japan and the unity of its people.

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