Memoir by Japan's Hirohito Fetches $275000 in NY

Cosmetic surgeon Katsuya Takasu pays $275000 for Emperor Hirohito memoir at New York auction

Hirohito's memoir chronicles Japan's slide into war

Japanese plastic surgeon Katsuya Takasu, who runs Takasu Clinic, claimed on his blog that he won the auction, adding that he will return the document, "Showa Tenno Dokuhakuroku" (Emperor Showa's Monologue), to the Imperial family.

Set for auction in NY on Wednesday, the handwritten document throws light on Japan's role in World War Two, as it records events dating from the 1920s, such as Hirohito's resolve not to oppose future cabinet decisions, even if he disagreed.

The "imperial monologue" covers events beginning with the Japanese assassination of Manchurian warlord Zhang Zuolin in 1928 to the emperor's surrender broadcast recorded on August 14, 1945.

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The document's contents caused a sensation when they were first published in Japan in 1990, just after the emperor's death.

The document is believed to be a carefully crafted text created to play down Hirohito's responsibility in case he was prosecuted after the war.

It was transcribed by Hidenari Terasaki, an imperial aide and former diplomat who served as a translator when Hirohito met with McArthur. A 1997 documentary on Japan's NHK television found an English translation of the memoir that supports that view.

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Japan's Emperor Hirohito did not veto his advisers' decision to declare war on the United States in 1941 because he feared triggering an internal conflict that would destroy his country, he said in an account dictated to an adviser.

This is a topic academics say has never been fully pursued in Japan, largely due to USA occupation authorities' decision to retain the emperor as a symbol of a newly democratic nation.

Japanese forces swept through Nanjing in December 1937 and killed scores of civilians and soldiers over a brutal six-week period.

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The transcript was kept by Terasaki's American wife Gwen Terasaki after his death in 1951.

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