Emperor Hirohito’s WW2 monologue to sell

Japanese Emperor Hirohito’s April 1946 monologue on the second world war could make up to $150,000 at auction.

The lot will appear as part of Bonhams’ Voices of the 20th Century sale on December 6.

Emperor Hirohito monologue

Japan had been aggressively expanding its overseas territories since the 1800s 

The text was transcribed during a series of hearings held by US forces in Japan at the end of the war.

It’s the only full record of these talks.

Hirohito traces the events that led to the war, going back as far as Japan’s covert assassination of the Manchurian leader Zhang Zuolin in 1928.

From the late 1800s, Japan had become a huge imperial power. It embarked on a ruthless campaign of annexation and colonialism.

In 1931 it took control of the state of Manchuria in China, where it installed a puppet government. In the intervening years it built up its military forces until tensions exploded in 1937 and the Second Sino-Japanese War was declared.

These notes were taken during the hearings by official Terasaki Hidenari.

They were later published in the 1990s, becoming a huge bestseller in Japan.

Joe Earle, senior consultant in Japanese art, said: "Bonhams is thrilled to have been given this opportunity to sell the only extant copy of a document that is critical to our understanding of 20th-century world history."

Other highlights include the tennis racquet Billie Jean King used to defeat Bobby Riggs in the legendary 1973 Battle of the Sexes match.

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