Emperor Hirohito’s WW2 account sells for $275,000

Emperor Hirohito’s personal account of the second world war from Japan’s perspective has sold for $275,000.

The document crossed the block in Bonhams’ annual Voices of the 20th Century auction in New York, which featured memorabilia from the events and people that shaped the era.

Emperor Hirohito monologue

Hirohito served as emperor of Japan from 1926 to 1989

It’s transcribed from a lengthy monologue the emperor (1901-1989) made to US forces in the aftermath of the Japanese surrender.

The war in the Pacific was caused by Japanese imperialism in China and south east Asia, beginning in the late 1800s.

Japan became involved in the second world war in 1940, after signing a pact with Italy and Germany. A year later, it launched the Pearl Harbor attacks.

Throughout his monologue, Hirohito states that he went along with the war to avoid causing a constitutional crisis.  

These notes were published in Japan in 1990. They became a national bestseller.

Meanwhile, the racquet tennis star Billie Jean King used in her 1973 Battle of the Sexes match against former number one Bobby Riggs sold for $125,000.

Battle Sexes racquet

Billie Jean King thrashed Bobby Riggs with this racquet

Riggs, an avowed chauvinist, made a lot of noise about women being inferior tennis players.

He organised games against the biggest stars of women’s tennis to show them up. In his first match he beat champion Margaret Court.

But he met his match a couple of months later in Billie Jean King.

A major movie dramatisation of the contest, starring Steve Carrell and Emma Stone, is out in cinemas now.

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