"Son Of Heaven" Hirohito May Say "Lay Off"
By E. K. GREEN. IT is strange how people will persist in saying simple things in two-shilling words. Like this Burma correspondent in telling us how the Nips will react to a negotiated peace. . . . "The' procedure would be for the Emperor to issue an Imperial rescript which would enable the commanders to lay down their arms without loss of face," he wrote, obviously quoting some Public Relations Officer who remembers the days when he attended a Law School. That is the kind of thing that keeps publishers tmsy turning out encyclopaedias, occupies courts of one sort and another with ponderous legal argument, and causes reporters to drag professors of law away from their Saturday afternoon golf. I, personally, don't know why he had to go back to the Byzantine empire, to the sources of Roman law, to find a word like "rescript," when it probably isn't right anyway. Declaring myself a jurist at a moment's notice, I think he means "pragmatic sanction." Laugh that off. ... What he is really getting at, however, is much simpler. He suggests that isolated Jap. commanders may not believe us if we drop leaflets telling them it's all over. They may not even believe their own Boss Men. The "Son of Heaven"—Hirohito— told them it was a holy war.
So the "5.0. H." may have to go to the microphone himself, givo the right call sign, and read his script as follows:—"Boys, you've had it. I led you up the garden path, and what a sticky path it was! Very sorry. Lay off and come home. If you don't, what those atomic bombs may do to my face is nobody's business." And then they'll knock their foreheads on the ground. "Very aprry, too, hop. '5.0. H ., We had a niceVime while it lasted. . . . Now, on this question of rehabilitation, have you been looking up anything of what New Zealand is doing?" Who Asks the Question? About this "Imperial rescript" question. If you look it up in an
encyclopaedia which has found the word you will be told that it concerns the "answers given by popes and emperors to questions of jurisprudence officially propounded to them." And that "rescripta principis wene one of the authoritative sources of the civil law and consisted of the answers of the emperor to those who consulted him ... on question of law. They were often applied for by private persons, especially women and soldiers, to solve their doubts or grant them privilege." Well, now—does it, or doesn't it? I don't doubt that a lot of Japs would like to ask Hirohito a question or two; to say nothing of Allied War Crimes Commissions. But I doubt if the commander of the notorious Jap. Sixth Division on Bougainville will-be tinkling on his field telephone to the Imperial Palace in Tokyo with the individual question, "Say, listen, hon. '5.0. H. ,, is this dinkum about surrender? And what do I do about my face?" Some Aussie patrol, listening in, might tell him . . . impolitely. As I said before. Emperor Hirolito could find such an instrument iandy, if it were a choice between that and an atomic bomb, and add a modern touch by doing it through a microphone . . . "This is the Imperial Palace station, and your announcer is the 'Son of Heaven.' About face. boys. You've had it." And he can follow~precedent by adding a line or two about the future of the Japanese throne. "I'm climbing, off it just now, anyway, and turning things over to Doug. Mac Arthur. Lou. Mountbatten and Klim Voroshilov. So sorry . . ."
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"Son Of Heaven" Hirohito May Say "Lay Off", Auckland Star, Volume LXXVI, Issue 190, 13 August 1945
"Son Of Heaven" Hirohito May Say "Lay Off" Auckland Star, Volume LXXVI, Issue 190, 13 August 1945
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