A man—and a nation—in denial


As the official version of events has it, for most of this century Emperor Hirohito of Japan was merely a figurehead, serving as a symbol of the nation while a militarist elite led the country down a path of aggression that ended in humiliating defeat.

Herbert Bix’s biography “Hirohito and the Making of Modern Japan” blows the official myth to shreds. Bix’s Pulitzer Prize-winning work shows that the emperor was very much involved in plotting his country’s militarist course and details how he was able to cover up his involvement in the years after World War II — a cover-up that has left Japan unable to confront the moral issues that arose from its war strategy.

Bix will discuss his book today at 5 p.m. at the Penn Bookstore.


HERBERT BIX: 5 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 27, at the Penn Bookstore, 3601 Walnut St.

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Originally published on September 27, 2001