JAPAN: Baptism

Twang! Twang! Twang! An unearthly noise resounded through the Japanese Imperial Palace in Tokyo. Two aged courtiers twanged a bowstring by bending a bow almost double and letting it go suddenly— they were frightening evil spirits away.

Upon a litter lay Empress Nagako. Erect and stern, Emperor Hirohito surveyed the scene before him. To one side court bards chanted a portion of the classics in a low tone. The great of the Empire surrounded the Imperial group. In it was Premier Güchi Tanaka, clad immaculately...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!