posthumously in Japan officially called Emperor ShÅwa
(April 29, 1901 â€“ January 7, 1989)
was the 124th Emperor of Japan according to the traditional order, reigning from December 25, 1926 until his death in 1989. Although better known outside of Japan by his personal name Hirohito, in Japan he is now referred to primarily by his posthumous name Emperor ShÅwa. The word ShÅwa is the name of the era that corresponded with the Emperor's reign, and was made the Emperor's own name upon his death.
At the start of his reign, Japan was already one of the great powers â€” the ninth largest economy in the world after Italy, the third largest naval country, and one of the five permanent members of the council of the League of Nations. He was the head of state under the limitation of the Constitution of the Empire of Japan during Japan's imperial expansion, militarization, and involvement in World War II. After the war, he was not prosecuted for war crimes as many other leading government figures were. During the postwar period, he became the symbol of the new state and Japan's recovery, and by the end of his reign, Japan had emerged as the world's second largest economy.
The first part of Hirohito's reign as sovereign took place against a background of financial crisis and increasing military power within the government, through both legal and extralegal means. The Imperial Japanese Army and Imperial Japanese Navy had held veto power over the formation of cabinets since 1900, and between 1921 and 1944 there were no fewer than 64 incidents of political violence.
Imperial Standard as Emperor
Hirohito narrowly missed assassination by a hand grenade thrown by a Korean independence activist, Lee Bong-chang in Tokyo on January 9, 1932, in the Sakuradamon Incident.
Another notable case was the assassination of moderate Prime Minister Inukai Tsuyoshi in 1932, which marked the end of civilian control of the military. This was followed by an attempted military coup in February 1936, the February 26 incident, mounted by junior Army officers of the KÅdÅha faction who had the sympathy of many high-ranking officers including Prince Chichibu (Yasuhito) one of the Emperor's brothers. This revolt was occasioned by a loss of ground by the militarist faction in Diet elections. The coup resulted in the murder of a number of high government and Army officials.
When Chief Aide-de-camp Shigeru HonjÅ informed him of the revolt, the Emperor immediately ordered that it be put down and referred to the officers as "rebels" (bÅto). Shortly thereafter, he ordered Army Minister Yoshiyuki Kawashima to suppress the rebellion within the hour, and he asked reports from HonjÅ every thirty minutes. The next day, when told by HonjÅ that little progress was being made by the high command in quashing the rebels, the Emperor told him "I Myself, will lead the Konoe Division and subdue them." The rebellion was suppressed following his orders on February 29.