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Shōwa (Hirohito)
Emperor of Japan
Hirohito in dress uniform.jpg
Reign 25 December 1926 – 7 January 1989 (62 years, 13 days)
Predecessor Taishō
Successor Akihito
Born (1901-04-29)April 29, 1901
Died January 7, 1989(1989-01-07) (aged 87)
Burial Imperial Mausoleum (多摩御陵, Tama Goryō)

Emperor Shōwa (昭和天皇, Shōwa tennō, April 29, 1901 – January 7, 1989), also known as Hirohito (裕仁), was the 124th emperor of Japan according to the traditional order of succession. His reign started on December 25, 1926 and ended with his death in 1989.

The name "Shōwa" was given to Hirohito after he died. Emperors of Japan are normally renamed in this way; and people started using the new name in 1990. During his long reign, many people outside Japan call him Emperor Hirohito, or just Hirohito.

Events of Shōwa's life

Prince Hirohito was named regent for his father in 1921. He became emperor after his father's death.

World War II

Hirohito was the emperor and dictator of Japan during the Second Sino-Japanese War which became World War 2. (1931 to 1945). His role in this period is very controversial.

Constitutional monarch

After Japan's defeat in the war, the role of emperor changed. The emperor became a symbol of the state.

Hirohito was the first emperor to travel outside Japan. He visited Europe in 1971 and he traveled to the United States in 1975.

After his death

Showa Shrine
Hirohito's tomb in Tokyo

Emperor Showa died of small intestine cancer and was succeeded by his son, Prince Akihito.

The state funeral for the late emperor was an international event. World leaders attending the funeral included U.S. President George H. W. Bush, French President François Mitterrand, the Duke of Edinburgh.

Emperor Shōwa is buried in the Imperial Mausoleum in Hachiōji, along with Emperor Taishō.

In an overview of writings by and about Hirohito, OCLC/WorldCat includes roughly 900+ works in 1,500 publications in 15 languages and 31,000 library holdings .

  • 1967 – A Review of the Hydroids of the Family Clathrozonidae with Description of a New Genus and Species from Japan.
  • 1969 – Some hydroids from the Amakusa Islands.
  • 1971 – Additional notes on Clathrozoon wilsoni Spencer.
  • 1974 – Some hydrozoans of the Bonin Islands
  • 1977 – Five hydroid species from the Gulf of Aqaba, Red Sea.
  • 1983 – Hydroids from Izu Oshima and Nijima.
  • 1984 – A new hydroid Hydractinia bayeri n. sp. (family Hydractiniidae) from the Bay of Panama.
  • 1988 – The hydroids of Sagami Bay collected by His Majesty the Emperor of Japan.
  • 1995 – The hydroids of Sagami Bay II.


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