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The Yamato Dynasty: The Secret History of Japan's Imperial Family - Hardcover

 
9780767904964: The Yamato Dynasty: The Secret History of Japan's Imperial Family
The main entrance to the Kyoto Palace, ancient home of the Japanese imperial family, is called the Door to Heaven. How the emperors fell from heaven is a story that crosses two world wars, the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the American occupation of Japan, and Japan's phoenix-like rise from the ashes of the Second World War.

In this authoritative biography, Sterling Seagrave, bestselling author of The Soong Dynasty, and Peggy Seagrave bring to light the uneasy history of the Yamato Dynasty, from Emperor Meiji in 1852 to the present day. Revealed here for the first time is the full scale of the Japanese looting operation, code-named Kin No Yuri ("Golden Lily") --which systematically removed billions of dollars' worth of gold, platinum, diamonds, art, religious artifacts, and other treasures from a dozen occupied countries during World War II--and the fate of these hidden assets after 1945.

Drawing on decades of research, the Seagraves reveal Golden Lily and other secrets of the family's long reign, such as the police state resulting from the Meiji restoration; the folly that led to Japan's 1920s economic crash; the greed that forced hundreds of thousands of working-class girls into prostitution; the devastating effects of the Meiji dogma, which asserts that the imperial family is of divine descent and infallible; and how money--not Shinto--became the state religion of Japan.

Among the most important revelations in The Yamato Dynasty is how Japan has transformed itself since World War II. After the war, Japan's "official" financial status was so dismal it seemed the nation might never recover from bankruptcy and devastation. Yet today Japan is one of the world's richest nations. In The Yamato Dynasty, the Seagraves expose the shocking backstage manipulations that enabled Japan's astonishing full recovery--and the American involvement that ensured its success.  The Seagraves provide documentary evidence of how former President Hoover and General MacArthur colluded with Emperor Hirohito to deceive the world into thinking the war had bankrupted Japan, so that Tokyo would be exonerated from paying reparations and American investments would remain secure. The Yamato Dynasty shows how this promotion of American self-interest thwarted any hope of establishing true democracy in Japan, and denied war victims any compensation, while powerful figures like Hoover and MacArthur pocketed huge sums.

Presenting the facts in uncompromising detail and raising important questions about the role of dynastic rule in the new millennium, The Yamato Dynasty tells the story of the powerful men hidden behind the screen--the shoguns and financiers who control the throne from the shadows. It takes readers behind the walls of privilege and tradition to reveal the true nature of a dynasty shrouded in myth and secrecy.

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Review:
Most Westerners will know next to nothing of the Yamato, Japan's current imperial family. Neither do most Japanese. Much of Japan's modern history has been erased from postwar textbooks, and a whole generation has grown up knowing nothing of the Rape of Nanking, Pearl Harbor, the Second World War death camps, and countless other atrocities. All that remains are Hiroshima and Nagasaki, symbols of Japan's eternal innocence.

Sterling and Peggy Seagrave correct these falsehoods and expose the collusion and corruption that have been at the heart of the postwar Japanese economic miracle. And far from being a symbolic reminder of an ancient past, as the Japanese royal family is sometimes portrayed, the authors point out that it has been at the epicenter of venality and cruelty. Prince Chichibu, Emperor Hirohito's brother, turns out to have masterminded Golden Lily, the systematic looting of every country Japan occupied in the prewar years. Prince Yasuhiko was the brains behind the Rape of Nanking. And dear old Hirohito was so hands-on during the war that he could have halted Pearl Harbor. Moreover, the royal family was so comfortably in bed with the zaibatsu, the corporate ruling elite, that it made a fortune out of the war while the rest of the nation starved.

That none of this has come out before is only partly due to Japanese revisionism. We, too, have to share the blame. We had the evidence to try some of the imperial family as war criminals, but we chose not to. The Seagraves' book makes uncomfortable reading for all concerned. --John Crace, Amazon.co.uk

From the Back Cover:
"The Yamato Dynasty...cannot fail to have a lasting impact upon Japanese national politics, the way the Japanese view themselves, and the way the rest of the world views them."
--London Sunday Times

"[The Yamato Dynasty] unveils some of the most enduring secrets of the war in the Pacific...with a reality that is both shocking and absorbing."
--Business Age

"An incisive biography...contains all the elements of a political thriller: family squabbles, power struggles, duplicity and murder. It involves a huge pile of treasure--bullion worth billions stashed all over the world--and secret operations to retrieve it. And best of all, it's all true."
--South China Morning Post (Hong Kong)

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  • PublisherBroadway
  • Publication date2000
  • ISBN 10 0767904966
  • ISBN 13 9780767904964
  • BindingHardcover
  • Number of pages416
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