New York, Dec 7 : A memoir by former Japanese Emperor Hirohito about the country’s slide into World War II has fetched $275,000 at an auction in New York, a media report said on Thursday.
The 173-page document, written in pencil by an aide to the emperor in the spring of 1946, was sold by the auction house Bonhams on Wednesday to Japanese plastic surgeon Katsuya Takasu, reports Kyodo News.
Takasu tweeted that he will hand over the memoir to the imperial family.
Also known as “The Emperor’s Monologue”, covers events ranging from the 1928 assassination by Japanese militarists of Zhang Zuolin, the Chinese warlord who ruled Manchuria, to Japan’s defeat in the World War II in August 1945.
According to Bonhams, the two-volume notebooks are the only full record of the Emperor’s spoken memoirs and “constitute a key resource” for understanding Japanese history.
The document was first published in Japan in 1990, a year after the Emperor, who reigned between 1926 and 1989, died at the age of 87, Kyodo News reported.
In the memoir, the Emperor said that if he had refused to accept the Cabinet decision to launch the Pacific War, Japan would have been thrown into disarray and perished.
Hidenari Terasaki, who transcribed the recollections, is a diplomat who served as an interpreter during a meeting between the Emperor and Douglas MacArthur, the supreme commander for the Allied Powers after the war.