Production still for "The Emperor Regrets". Anthony Wong as Emperor Hirohito. Photographer: Jeff Busby
The Emperor Regrets
02 October 1992 – 24 October 1992 Merlyn Theatre
Playbox Theatre Company,
New Writing Theatre World Premiere
Ravaged by cancer at the end of his life, Japan's Emperor Hirohito is visited by ghosts. They have come, amidst his morphine-induced dreams, to question him about the unreconciled past. Notions of honour, guilt and responsibility were perhaps no clearer in 1945 when Hirohito surrendered Japan to the Allies than they are today. From our perspective of the past emerges a view of the future and The Emperor Regrets challenges those expectations.
The play investigates the complicated and often tense relationship between Australia and Japan and the unsettled issue of sadism and cruelty in war. It borrows from Japanese ritual to illustrate the clash in Japan between technological brilliance and ritualistic traditions.
Production still for "The Emperor Regrets". Matthew Crosby. Photographer: Jeff Busby