Science: Look Into a Legend

Legend has it that the first emperor of Japan was descended from the sun and the sea, and ascended the throne on Feb.11, 660 B.C.* During the 26 centuries since. Japanese governments have often used the legend as an anchor when storms rocked the ship of state. During the deadly gale of World War II, the government played up the legend to bolster morale, even forced eminent scholars into backing the "divine nation" story.

Since the war. the legend has dimmed. Few knowledgeable Japanese have taken the tale seriously since Emperor Hirohito conceded in 1946 that he was only human, after all....

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