Original sound of Japan emperor’s war-end speech released

Emperor Hirohito

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

7 Comments on Original sound of Japan emperor’s war-end speech released

  1. Hea-row, dees message eez to say Ja-plan sallenda. Preeze, no more bomb. We geeve you many theengs to stop: lice, feesh, cheek-in and Soobaloo car.

  2. Please, let us not forget the largesse of our government which forbade them from forming any sort of armed force, instead giving them billions of “reparation” dollars which enabled them to send our automotive and electronic industries into the toilet by undermining the extant pricing structure.

  3. Imagine being Japanese and actually hearing the living embodiment of the Japanese nation speak on radio as a man for the first time, ever. The average Japanese could not even look directly upon his face when he drove past, even in an official procession. This incredible break with the hide-bound, traditional way of things underscored to the rank-and-file Japanese that they were truly and unequivocally beaten. In fact, the royal family undermined attempts by the militarists to keep on fighting.

  4. “Ah so – you are surprise I speak your rangrage. You see, I was educated in your country…at UCRA.”


    (H/T to the Kingston Trio)

  5. Correction: Though the video doesn’t have subtitles, there is a written translation posted below the video.

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