For more than sixty years, Hirohito was Emperor a confusing blend of absolute ruler, constitutional monarch, and god. Although much was done in his name, we know little about Hirohito the man or the part he played in the making of modern Japan. In Emperor Hirohito and Showa Japan, Stephen Large tests the controversies surrounding Hirohito against the written evidence from his entire reign. This political history of Showa Japan is unique in its scope and objectivity. Many studies have focused on the War or on the imperial conspiracy theory of Showa politics. In this comprehensive study, Stephen Large provides a sweeping review of this era which spans enormous upheavals in state and society and identifies broad patterns of cause and effect while relating the monarchy to the complex problem of political power. Hirohito was confronted first with the political ambitions of the military and then with the democratizing reforms of the Occupation period. Inthis informative study, Stephen Large shows how the Emperors character and personal influence were to prove as crucial as his authority in preserving a significant monarchy.