In 1946-47, as part of a public relations exercise designed to endear him to his former subjects, now free citizens of an imperial democracy, the Emperor Hirohito went on an extensive tour of his domain, meeting his people face to face in a way which before the war would never have been imaginable. Unfortunately, little in his previous experience as a "manifest deity" had prepared him for this experience. Not for the direct descendants of the sun goddess Amaterasu the bourgeois art of small talk. Nor could a man whose flesh might not even be touched by doctors easily assume an air of interest in the common man.
As he inspected his ruined country, brought to the brink of starvation and despair by his own aggressively militaristic, imperialist and racist policies, he was perhaps unprepared for what he was to see. What words of comfort, then, could he offer to the people of Hiroshima when after nearly two years of these tours he was at last taken to that ruined city?
"There seems to have been considerable damage here."