The original recording of Japan’s Emperor Hirohito’s war-ending speech has come back to life in digital form.
Hirohito’s four-and-half-minute “jewel voice” was broadcast on Aug. 15, 1945, announcing Japan’s surrender.
The voice on the radio 70 years ago was muffled and nearly inaudible due to poor sound quality. This version may be clearer, but Japanese today would still have trouble understanding the arcane language used by the emperor.
The original sound was released Saturday by the Imperial Household Agency in digital format, ahead of the 70th anniversary of the speech and the war’s end.
The emperor’s voice sounds slightly higher and more intense than the familiar recording that was heard on TV and elsewhere as a replica of the 1945 broadcast.