El fantasma de Hirohito

NUEVA YORK – La conclusión de la relación en 61 volúmenes de la vida del emperador Hirohito (1901–1989) por el organismo de la Casa Imperial del Japón encargado ha despertado mucho interés y atención en el Japón. Recientemente se mostró en público de forma limitada toda esa formidable obra y está prevista su publicación a lo largo de los cinco próximos años, pero ya resulta claro que la nueva relación refleja inadvertidamente la permanente incapacidad del Japón para abordar algunas cuestiones fundamentales sobre su pasado.

El proyecto, que se ha tardado un cuarto de siglo en compilar, contó con unas cuarenta nuevas fuentes, la más notable de las cuales es el diario y las notas de Saburo Hyakutake, almirante que prestó sus servicios de Chambelán de la Corte de 1936 a 1944, pero, si bien reconocen la enorme magnitud de la empresa, los especialistas parecen coincidir en que la nueva relación no ofrece descubrimientos extraordinarios ni interpretaciones innovadoras sobre los numerosos y cambiantes papeles desempeñados por Hirohito en el período más tumultuoso de la historia moderna del Japón.

Tal vez no sea de extrañar, por proceder del equipo oficial de compiladores de una conservadora institución imperial. La relación abona al máximo la idea de que la tarea del historiador es, como dijo Leopold von Ranke en el siglo XIX, la de mostrar “lo que ocurrió en realidad”. Dicen que es una crónica excelente de los sucesos cotidianos de la Corte, que revela, por ejemplo, que el Emperador celebraba la Navidad de niño, que se le hizo una intervención quirúrgica nasal en su juventud y con quién y cuantas veces se reunió.

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