Book Break : Eiichiro Tokumoto, author of “The Emperors’ Files (エンペラー・ファイル)”
Wednesday, October 21, 2020, 18:15 - 20:30
A new book, The Emperors’ Files, by author and investigative journalist, Eiichiro Tokumoto, presents unpublicized behind-the-scene stories of Japan's past two and current emperors in the Showa, Heisei and Reiwa eras, and the colorful characters who surrounded them.
In the spring of 2007, through a chance encounter, Tokumoto obtained 20 audio cassettetapes containing recorded diaries of Hideki Masaki, the Emperor Hirohito’s longtime interpreter. Among the book’s revelations is that Hirohito continued to be politically active despite his role as a “symbol” of the state under Japan’s post-war Constitution. From visiting foreign statesmen and diplomats, he resolutely sought out intelligence about international affairs. Interestingly, the Showa Emperor was offered assistance by a former agent of America’s wartime intelligence service, OSS, and a Japanese right-wing fixer. The book also tackles the question ofwhat advice Hirohito obtained from a member of the House of Hapsburg, a principal sovereign dynasty in Europe.
Other areas in the book include the western influence on then-Crown Prince Akihito, who visited the United States in 1953 and viewed the Hollywood film "Roman Holiday" and was a guest at the Rockefeller's family ranch. These experiences opened his eyes to the freedom to make his own choices. How did that influence his activities when he became Emperor in 1989? Tokumoto also writes about the impact made on Emperor Naruhito who studied at Oxford University that mayalso influence the Reiwa era.
Based on years of research, personal interviews and incorporating numerous declassified documents in Japan and abroad, Tokumoto provides a new and revealing portrait of the epic story of Japan's Imperial family – spanning the period of the Second World War to the present day – against the dramatic backdrop of international politics.
The Emperors’ Files was published by Bungeishunju in February 2020 in Japanese.
Tokumoto is a native of Saga Prefecture in Kyushu. Among his books in Japanese are several works ofnon-fiction, Eikoku Kimitsu Fairu no Showa Tenno (“Emperor Hirohito in Secret British Files”) (2007) and 1945 Nihon Senryo ( “1945: Under the Shadow of the Occupation”) (2011), and a novel, Rinkai (“Going Critical”) (2014).
There will be a cocktail party - "Meet the Author - starting at 6:15 pm, followed by a set dinner with one drink at 6:40 pm (Menu: TBD). Drinks are also available on a cash basis in the room. Book Break charges are 3,100 yen/ 4,100 yen (members/ non-members) per person. The member price is applicable to members’ guests.
To FCCJ members: Sign up now at the reception desk (03-3211-3161) or on the FCCJ website. To help us plan proper seating and food preparation, please reserve in advance, by noon of the day. Reservations cancelled less than 72 hours in advance will be charged in full.
To non-members: Sign up now at the reception desk by email (firstname.lastname@example.org). Payment is in advance by Friday, October 16th, 2020. No refund is available unless the event is cancelled by FCCJ. Attendees with food restriction should inform the reception desk (email@example.com) three days before the event.
We kindly ask for your cooperation with Covid-19 prevention measures to have your temperature taken and wear your own mask whenever possible. Thank you.
(The talk will be in English /No photography, no filming, and no audio-recording allowed. 写真・動画撮影、録音はお控えください)