The Emperor’s Speech

I have never been able to “hear” the recording in its original form but this digitalized version was worth listening to.


On August 15, 1945, a speech from Emperor Hirohito announcing the surrender of Japan was broadcasted over the radio. It was the first time the Japanese heard his voice. A remastered recording of his speech was recently released, which you can listen to below:

Excerpt from Warpath Across the Pacific:

Fifth Air Force scheduled few missions for the 15th as a stand-down began to take effect. But the 499th and 500th Squadrons each got six aircraft off by 0530 hours for the daily sweep up Tsu Shima Strait and the Southern Sea of Japan. To the enormous relief of the aircrews, the other two squadrons had their missions cancelled during the pre-flight briefing.

About eight o’clock the dozen planes which were airborne reached their rendezvous point about 400 miles out and formed up to begin the morning’s sweep. 1/Lt. Shuler S. Gamble was one of the six veteran 499th…

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6 thoughts on “The Emperor’s Speech”

  1. Emperor Hirohito, the unassuming, unselfish man who only wanted to be a marine biologist – what it must have taken for him to speak these words.

    1. Interesting thought, gpcox. His actions prior to and during the war have been under scrutiny and interpretation for decades. MacArthur did have a tough decision to make. He probably made the right one back then…

      1. I believe he did. Smitty used to say Mac lived in the orient for so long that when he spoke of their culture and how the enemy might react, people listened.

  2. From July 1944 through February 1945 my father (U.S. Navy) help perfect the design of the Tokyo incendiary bombing in order to preserve Hirohito’s palace in the heart of the Shitamachie district. He was awarded the Legion Of Merit by the U.S. Army in 1946.
    Newspapers in Queensland, Australia headlined ”1-2 Million die in Tokyo air raid ”.
    I gave my father a proof copy of ‘Emperor Hirohito and Shο̄wa Japan: A Political Biography, 1992’;
    that was only the second time i saw my father in tears:(

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