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Hirohito, Emperor Showa

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Hirohito, Emperor Showa
Historical Figure
Nationality: Japan
Religion: Shinto
Date of Birth: 1901
Date of Death: 1989
Cause of Death: Cancer
Occupation: Marine Biologist, Emperor of Japan
Spouse: Empress Kōjun
Children: Seven
Turtledove Appearances:
POD: May 30, 1942
Appearance(s): In the Balance
Striking the Balance (although was probably still in power through Aftershocks)
Type of Appearance: Contemporary references
Days of Infamy
POD: March, 1941;
Relevant POD: December 7, 1941
Appearance(s): Days of Infamy
End of the Beginning
Type of Appearance: Contemporary references
The War That Came Early
POD: July 20, 1936;
Relevant POD: September 29, 1938
Appearance(s): Hitler's War
Last Orders
Type of Appearance: Contemporary references
Joe Steele
POD: 1878;
Relevant POD: July, 1932
Type of Appearance: Direct posthumous (novel);
Contemporary reference (story)
Date of Birth: 1901
Date of Death: 1946 (novel)
1945 (short story)
Cause of Death: Shot to death (novel);
Incendiary bomb (short story)
Southern Victory
POD: September 10, 1862
Appearance(s): The Center Cannot Hold
In at the Death
Type of Appearance: Indirect contemporary references
Hirohito, known posthumously as Emperor Showa (29 April 1901 - 7 January 1989) was the 124th Emperor of Japan according to the traditional order of succession, beginning his reign in 1926. Under his reign, Japan become a member of the Axis, and fought the Second Sino-Japanese War and World War II. Although he symbolized Japanese evils in U.S. propaganda during the War, the Emperor cooperated with the reorganization of the Japanese state during the Allied occupation of Japan (which had surrendered unconditionally in 1945), and was found not guilty of war crimes. Hirohito lived to see Japan become a highly urbanized democracy and one of the industrial and technological powerhouses of the world.

Hirohito in Worldwar Edit

When the Race's Conquest Fleet invaded Earth in 1942, Hirohito led Japan into a co-belligerency with his Axis allies as well as former enemies including the United States and China. Hirohito was firm about his country's intent to fight the Race from the outset, and the country remained independent,[1]. although not without a price. The capital city, Tokyo, was destroyed by the Race when they learned of Japan's atomic bomb program.[2] Thus, at the Peace of Cairo, Japan was less a negotiator and more an observer,[3] and had their gains in China taken from them by the Race without recourse.

After the war, Hirohito formed much closer economic ties with the United States.[4] In 1965, Japan successfully tested its own explosive-metal bomb at Bikini Atoll, and demanded full diplomatic relations with the Race.[5]

Despite his title, the Race saw Hirohito as a "false front" for those who wielded true power in Japan.[6]

Hirohito in Days of Infamy Edit

Hirohito gave his blessing to the the invasion of Hawaii as the opening stages of its war with the United States.[7]

Hirohito in The War That Came EarlyEdit

During the reign of Hirohito, Japan attacked China in 1937, and then the Soviet Union in April, 1939.[8] In summer, 1940, after Japan had successfully overrun Vladivostok, Japan and the USSR made peace.[9] However, tensions between Japan and the United States began ratcheting up throughout the remainder of 1940. On January 12 1941, Japan launched a war with the U.S.[10]

While Japan was initially able to gain substantial advantages in the Pacific throughout the war, by 1944, the fragile supply line they'd built began to collapse. With the war in Europe ending in mid-1944, the USSR turned its attention east again, and began closer cooperation with the U.S. in its war against Japan.

Hirohito in Joe SteeleEdit

Hirohito (1901-1946) was the Emperor of Japan during World War II. While he reigned over his country's gains against its enemies, as the war progressed, Japan found itself in dire straits. At the end of 1945, after the United States invaded Japan in the south, and the Soviet Union invaded from the north, Hirohito and his generals nonetheless remained publicly defiant to the bitter end, leading to Operation: Coronet. [11]

With Coronet underway, Hirohito attempted to flee Tokyo in a black car escorted by four tanks. On the road to Kyoto, the convoy was attacked by American Hellcats. Three tanks were destroyed immediately in the attack. The car was also disabled, and Hirohito himself was killed by two rounds from the Hellcats'.50 caliber machine guns. While the crew of the fourth tank survived, and attempted to rescue Hirohito, they were killed by U.S. troops who'd just happened to be present. One of the soldiers, Mike Sullivan, identified Hirohito.[12]

Japan surrendered shortly after, and was divided into two states by the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. Hirohito's twelve-year old son, Akihito, became the emperor of the Constitutional Monarchy of Japan, the puppet state established by the U.S.[13]

Literary CommentEdit

In the short story, Hirohito is killed when his train is struck by an incendiary bomb during the American invasion of Japan in roughly December 1945. While the U.S. still creates the state of South Japan, the story does not describe the type of government South Japan is.

Hirohito in Southern Victory Edit

Hirohito inherited a Japan that had proven itself as a military force. Japan defeated Spain in the early 20th century, taking the Philippines, Korea, and Formosa and shoring up its holdings in East Asia. During the Great War, Japan had taken colonies from Germany and forcibly purchased former French Indochina and Dutch East Indies from France and Holland respectively after the Entente's defeat. Under Hirohito's reign, Japan fought the inconclusive Pacific War. Japan also launched an attack on the United States during the Second Great War, which again proved inconclusive for both sides. Japan, unable to force the USA from the Sandwich Islands, abandoned Midway and Wake Island and turned its attention to the Asian holdings of its former ally, Britain.[14]

Literary Note Edit

Hirohito's role in Southern Victory is speculative, as Hirohito is not specifically named. However, nothing in the known history of the timeline counters this assumption.


  1. In the Balance, pg. 224.
  2. Upsetting the Balance, pg. 105-106.
  3. Striking the Balance, pg. 397.
  4. Second Contact, pg. 117.
  5. Down to Earth, pgs. 518-521.
  6. In the Balance, pg. 178.
  7. See the Days of Infamy series, generally.
  8. See Hitler's War through The Big Switch, generally.
  9. The Big Switch, pg. 296.
  10. Ibid., pg. 396.
  11. Joe Steele, pg. 315.
  12. Ibid., pgs. 321-323.
  13. Ibid., pg. 325.
  14. See, The Center Cannot Hold through In at the Death, generally.
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Emperor of Japan
Succeeded by
Regnal offices
(Joe Steele)
Preceded by
Emperor of Japan
Succeeded by
as Emperor of the Constitutional Monarchy of Japan

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