Emperor Akihito’s Message to Japan

The first topic in this term’s Ideas and Issues class is “Issues in Modern Japan.” From NHK WORLD, here is a video of Emperor Akihito’s message to the Japanese people – with English subtitles – following the Tohoku earthquake. One day this will be remembered as an historic speech. What did you think of it?


2 Responses to Emperor Akihito’s Message to Japan

  1. masatochan says:

    Compared with Hirohito’s 1945 address expressing “surrender”, Akihito addressed, “Don’t give up hope” to public. Both are for national tragedy, but the content are different. Any other contrast between theirs?

  2. DW says:

    One interesting fact is that Hirohito’s surrender address was difficult for many Japanese to understand.

    There were two reasons. Firstly, the emperor used a very old form of “court” Japanese. Secondly, the actual recording was of a very poor quality.

    Emperor Akihito is said to use beautiful Japanese, and I’m sure all Japanese people can understand him!

    You can listen to Hirohito’s address here.

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