Emperor Hirohito of Japan observes, with the nation, his 60th birthday at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo seemingly in good health and, in many respects, still the most important man in Japan.
SCENES: Hirohito takes a walk in the grounds of his palace, moated and surrounded by walls of massive stones. The Palace was built originally as Yedo Castle in 1457. The Emperor looks as some of the trees and plants in the palace garden -- about 250 feet -- Inside the Emperor's private research laboratory lined with specimens of marine biology, the Emperor and Professor Tomiyama, noted biologist, handle specimens, look through a microscope and examine papers.
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Background: Emperor Hirohito of Japan observes, with the nation, his 60th birthday at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo seemingly in good health and, in many respects, still the most important man in Japan.
He is the only monarch in Japan's long line of emperors to experience defeat and surrender of his country, to renounce his 'divinity' under order from a combination of foreign powers, and to survive and retain his popularity. Hirohito and Empress Nagako still live in a relatively small building in the spacious Palace grounds at the centre of Tokyo, where they were forced to move when their Palace was razed by fire sixteen years ago during the B-29 raids on Tokyo.
Under the new democratic Constitution Hirohito's position and powers have been narrowed to functioning merely as symbol of State. He leads an isolated life at the palace and shares far less in public functions as do the reigning monarchs of Britain and Scandinavia. Nevertheless, on occasions of his public appearance
Hirohito invariably proves his popularity and importance as a stabilizing force. Two days before his birthday he returned to the Palace after completing a tour of western Japan, including the atomic-bombed city of Nagasaki, where he received a warm welcome from the populace. In his spare time the Emperor indulges much in his scientific hobby of collecting and studying specimens of marine life.
The 60th birthday, signifying longevity, sheds a special importance among Japanese as it means five complete cycles of the 12-year zodiacal calendar with each year assigned to a special animal.