Royal symbolism
Crown Prince Hirohito’s tour to Europe in 1921
in Royals on tour
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This chapter provides a brief comparison of Crown Prince Hirohito's visit to Taiwan in 1923 with his earlier European tour. It highlights the role of the throne as Japan reaffirmed its hold on an empire in the post-war environment where the rhetoric seemed to foreshadow the end of empires. Hirohito agreed with Prince Saionji that regardless of personal preferences and imperial sovereignty, the emperor should not be involved in decision-making in order to maintain the transcendence of the throne. The experiences with Western democracy and lifestyles led to expressions by both Hirohito and the press of a desire to become a 'modern monarch' upon his return and appointment as regent in November 1921. In the United States the press also began extensive coverage of the tour, with the New York Times positioning Hirohito as the peer of European royalty.

Royals on tour

Politics, Pageantry and Colonialism

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