Talk:Emperor Hirohito

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Akihito, his eldest son, is the current emperor of Japan. Why don't you like this words???? --User:Joaquín Martínez, talk 19:15, 3 July 2008 (EDT)

Hi Joaquín, it is not that I don't like them it is just that they were a little out of place in the introduction, which is about Emperor Showa. Also, there is reference to Crown Prince Akihito becoming Emperor a bit further down at the end of 'Early Life', so it was a bit redundant there. However, I have wikilinked that reference to the Akihito page. --JessicaTOhayo gozaimasu! 08:55, 4 July 2008 (EDT)
The consensus outside Japan in reference and popular books is to use the name "Hirohito." The Japanese themselves never use that name because of their religious traditions (the Emperor was so sacred his name could not be spoken)--but we do not have that religion here and the the tradition in the English speaking world is to call him Hirohito.
I agree that the West does refer to him as Hirohito, however, given that his posthumous name is Showa, he should be referred to as such. It has nothing to do with religion, but naming convention. The introduction explains the names and out of respect for the position of Emperor (whoever he may be), he should be referred to by his official name - in this case, Showa. You would not call Queen Elizabeth, Liz, in an article now, would you? Likewise, Emperor Meiji, is always Emperor Meiji, not Emperor Mutsuhito - the same applies to Emperor Showa. --KotomiTHajimemashite! 00:27, 13 September 2008 (EDT)
It's a naming convention only in Japan--it is not the naming convention used in the U.S. or anywhere else outside Japan. All the encyclopedias and reference groups agree (look at the titles in the bivbliography for proof). A suitable compromise would be for the Japanese language version of the article to use the Showa version. RJJensen 00:40, 13 September 2008 (EDT)
Again, I have to disagree and your edit summary indicates you are writing this with a bias, be for the War or whatever. His name as it stands now is Emperor Showa, I realise that he is probably still hated because of the war, but that is his name. Just like who you today call Emperor Akihito will become Emperor Heisei upon his death, and will be known as such. To go back to my previous point, what name will you use for Emperor Meiji? You have to be consistent, you cannot use one naming convention for one person and another for somebody else, whoever he may be. This in an encyclopaedia, so let people learn something new, not just what has been - and I again say - incorrectly passed down from generation to generation as a sign of disrespect for somebody who probably was a war criminal. There is a convention and it needs to be kept to. --KotomiTHajimemashite! 00:50, 13 September 2008 (EDT)
the point I'm making is that the customs and rules for the Japanese, which are based on the divine status of the Emperor, do not apply outside Japan--why should they? There are western standards that all reference books should adhere to--that means "Emperor Meiji" in one case and "Hirohito" in the other. Yes I think that our readers should know about the name issue, and the article does explain it. The Hirohito case is perhaps different because, unlike all other J emperors, he is most famous for what he did to other countries. In any case the Japanese rule is designed for Japanese people using the Japanese language, which does not apply at all to our English-language encyclopedia, or to Encyclopedia Britannica (which uses Hirohito). The Library of Congress uses Hirohito, as do the titles of English language books and articles. Anybody outside Japan who calls him the Showa Emperor will get in trouble on papers and exams--like the AP exam which uses HirohitoRJJensen 01:23, 13 September 2008 (EDT).
Again, the name of the Emperor has nothing to do with his divine status (he is of course no longer seen as such, but the naming convention stands). The fact that he is referred to as "Hirohito" (and not even Emperor Hirohito - again, would you call Queen Elizabeth Elizabeth?) shows that there is a persistent vilification - which you are perpetrating here - of the Emperor. Yes, he did bad things, but he remains an Emperor and at the very least should be referred to as such. Calling him "Hirohito" is disrespectful to the title. (Does the saying not go 'Respect the position, not the man?"). At the very least, references to "Hirohito" should be amended, and some respect and dignity can be shown to the title of Emperor - whatever your personal beliefs surrounding him may be. This is not an East/West thing, it is about writing a responsible article. I also find your last sentence positively scary - "be in trouble?" - if educators over there are that narrow minded, I am glad I did go through that system. --KotomiTHajimemashite! 01:38, 13 September 2008 (EDT)
The Japanese had special rules for the Emperor because of his divine status; no one else got the treatment. For example people in Japan could not speak his name—either when he was alive or dead. That certainly did not apply to foreigners. If Americans followed Japanese rules today we would not be allowed to say “Emperor Akihito.”

There is no disrespect intended. Our articles refer routinely to Henry VIII, Washington, FDR etc – without showing any disrespect for King Henry, President Washington or President Roosevelt. Titles are usually given in the opening paragraph, then dropped. The encyclopedia is especially designed for students, and I hope they use it to study for tests, like the AP History test, which asks about “Hirohito.”

I note that Japanese newspapers today in their English language editions use “Hirohito” – for example http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/nn20070310a1.html “The late Emperor Hirohito was critical of Japan's decision to start a war with China and felt his military planners had underestimated the enemy's strength, according to a recently found diary chronicled by his chamberlain between 1939 and 1945, Tokyo publisher Bungeishunju Ltd. said Friday.” Likewise Asahi: http://www.asahi.com/english/Herald-asahi/TKY200808130070.html “Previously, recollections by Hidenari Terasaki, an aide to Emperor Hirohito, and others, have hinted at Tojo's thoughts during this critical period” This suggests that even in Japan the rule applies only to Japanese language publications.

I’m curious what Japanese students know about Hirohito. I lectured on World War II to history students at six Japanese universities back in the 1990s and the undergraduates seemed to know very little about WW2. RJJensen 07:51, 13 September 2008 (EDT)

I must concede defeat on this - I was never good at arguing with even my own professors. :) Gomennasai. Admittedly - whether it be a good or a bad thing - most of my junior and senior education was outside of Japan, so maybe I do have slightly more background on our role in the war - although much of that is from self-study and family anecdotes. (A possible answer to your last question could be the national shame we still carry to a degree from generation to generation regarding the war - maybe we do not want to go into too much depth. I wonder what the situation in, say, Germany is?) If you like, I can have a chat to one of our history teachers and pass his point of view on. I have always grown up with using Emperor Showa as the naming convention in our household and I guess old habits are hard to break - again, considering this is targeted at a mostly American audience. The newspaper references were interesting - I will try and track down the Japanese versions and see how they refer to the Emperor.
I apologise again, I was probably out of line (I could say I was in a bad mood last night, but that is even less of an excuse) and this was also probably not the best footing to start off on. I hope we can put this behind us. --KotomiTHajimemashite! 08:25, 13 September 2008 (EDT)
It was also remiss of me not to thank you for the excellent work you did in expanding the entry. Sorry again and thank you. --KotomiTHajimemashite! 13:45, 13 September 2008 (EDT)
No you were not out of line and you have been doing good work--please keep it up! Outr little "debate" helped me think out the issue and so I've learned a lot too. RJJensen 01:45, 14 September 2008 (EDT)


! This article or part thereof was copied from Citizendium but the copied text was originally written by me, RJJensen, and does not include alterations made by others on that site. Conservlogo.png
RJJensen 22:52, 12 September 2008 (EDT)
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