TOKYO (AP) — The 4 ½-minute speech that has reverberated throughout Japan’s modern history since it was delivered by Emperor Hirohito at the end of World War II has come back to life in digital form.
Hirohito’s “jewel voice” — muffled and nearly inaudible due to poor sound quality — was broadcast on Aug. 15, 1945, announcing Japan’s surrender.
On Saturday, the Imperial Household Agency released the digital version of the original sound ahead of the 70th anniversary of the speech and the war’s end. In it, the emperor’s voice appears clearer, slightly higher and more intense, but, Japanese today would still have trouble understanding the arcane language used by Hirohito. more