The World: Hirohito: The First Gentleman

TWICE a year, Emperor Hirohito of Japan greets his subjects from a balcony of the Imperial Palace in the heart of Tokyo. Even these rare public appearances—on Jan. 2 and April 29, his birthday—have an atmosphere of isolation. Since 1969, when a deranged man fired a metal ball at them with a slingshot, Hirohito and Empress Nagako have been protected by a thick transparent shield. Last week, when four students invaded the palace grounds to protest the Emperor's trip to Europe, they had no idea where to locate him. When they hesitated,...

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