The People’s Emperor: Democracy and the Japanese Monarchy, 1945-1995

“Few institutions are as well suited as the monarchy to provide a window on Japan. For the first five decades following the end of World War II, this national symbol of Japan experienced momentous change. The monarchy has been significant both as a political and as a cultural institution. Indeed, an examination of the monarchy requires that we abandon a strict division of the political from the cultural and of the symbolic from the political. The emperor has embodied the modern Japanese nation-state and nationalism is a phenomenon that belies the compartmentalization of politics, culture and symbols”.