Making Love in the Disco Room over Hirohito’s Dead Body

by Brian Grover

On the morning of the funeral he was already in Kyōto. Not Tennoheika, of course. Just Greg Hampton. The emperor’s passing had given everyone in Japan an extra day off so Greg took the opportunity to return to Kyōto one last time, catching the final train out of Tokyo the night before. He stayed at Shin Tanahashi’s guest house at the northern edge of the city just as he had when he first arrived five years before. Unlike then, though, this trip was strictly nostalgic.

Originally he had come to study Japanese at Kyōto University for a year as a prelude to taking up a position as a research assistant in Tsukuba Science City. A long time passed before he realized that the Japanese would never let him conduct hands-on research. The professors kept him around for impromptu English lessons and to explain arcane articles written by illiterate American scholars. By far his most important duty, however, was to be dragged to bars and parties like a trained, dancing bear. His ineptitude with the Japanese language always assured him instant comic success.

Greg was philosophical about his position, though. Afterwards, when he’d returned to Canada, he usually told friends that he “went to Japan to be a highly paid gigolo and they gave me a PhD for it too.” That was all true enough in the sense that he had spent most of his time going over some of the finer points of molecular biology with the campus co-eds. And since he had already been lurching and leering around the university for four years the doctorate was a gracious way of saying scram. He had not even written a thesis for it.

So Greg was on his way out and just wanted to pay his respects to a city that was as full of charms as Tsukuba was full of vulgarity.

He used a more sober response when Mieko asked him that morning in the common room why he had come to Japan. The question was inevitable so, for amusement, Greg had developed an array of responses that he usually spread out in front of him like a Japanese fan before answering. His choice depended on the audience. Mieko surprised him though. He gave the standard nonsense answer that he was “undertaking to determine the feasibility of looking at DNA recombination theory in the light of recent micro-surgical advances.”

His response had not rebuffed her as expected, however. Instead she waited politely for him to continue and then, when he did not, asked “Well, is it? Feasible, I mean.” Greg stammered a couple of times and then said “Yeah, kind of.”

He made some green tea which Mieko accepted and then she told him that she was studying International Relations at Ritsumeikan University and had moved into the guest house to improve her spoken English. ‘I bet,’ Greg thought but said “That’s nice.” He was well aware that a major in International Relations was the latest euphemism for partying your brains out over a four year period and then graduating with honours and an empty head. And he’d already helped enough eager female freshmen ‘improve their English’ to know what that meant. In a raunchy crowd he called it cunning-English though now he pretended to be charmed by her ingenuity.

“So where is everybody anyway,” he asked.

“Most of them went to Kinnosaki to take the waters,” she replied, meaning that the other guest house residents had gone to a popular hot spring village in the adjacent prefecture. Greg could not help thinking that her English was really quite good, especially for an outback girl. She came from Tottori prefecture. Urban Japanese could be quite cruel to their country cousins but Greg did not find her in the least bit imo kusai. She neither looked nor smelled like a potato. In fact, he found her rather attractive though she was pretty much the standard model: long, black hair, slender, nearly skinny, with those deep black alluring eyes that could send spasms to the knees of a strong man or utterly destroy the weak. She had the requisite small, firm breasts and cute buns and Greg could not help recalling the remarks of an American woman he had met in this very same guest house when he had lived here before. She had been a big horse of a woman reared on Diet Coke and potato chips in some such place as Indiana and she had said in all seriousness “I don’t know what you guys see in those Japanese women. They don’t even have bottoms.” ‘‘Cause you got it all, babe!’ Greg had thought of saying but had uttered a perfectly colourless “Ah-so,” Japanese style, instead.

Greg outlined his reasons for returning to Kyōto and mentioned that he was planning to walk downtown to revisit some of his old haunts.

“Walk?” Mieko exclaimed as if he had suggested tramping the Tokaido Highway. “I think the buses are going today.” Like most of her countrymen she found the idea of moving without mechanical assistance abhorrent. When Greg explained how he enjoyed traipsing through the old neighbourhoods she invited herself along, adding “If you don’t mind.”

He did not, so they went, quickly losing themselves in the labyrinth of alleyways and passages that interlaced the spaces between the main boulevards. They worked southwards though not directly: that would have been impossible. These were routes that had barely changed over thousands of years. Some of them must have started out as deer tracks long before the sun-goddess Amaterasu-Omikami commanded her grandson to descend to earth and beget the first emperor. As the empire expanded the tracks became forest footpaths for hunters or warriors or discrete lovers and gradually houses and outbuildings settled along the routes, forming villages first, then towns, then sprawling together to form Heian-kyo, the imperial city. A grid was imposed on it but traces of the ancient trails lingered yet.

And history crashed through time like a great rolling tsunami leaving an unbroken line of emperors and empresses in its wake thirteen centuries long: a hundred and twenty-three sovereigns in all. Recently yet another corpse was relegated to the past, that of Hirohito, or, as the Japanese more respectfully called him, Tennoheika. Soon, a ceremony would bestow a final name upon him, that of Showa, entitling him to join the 800 myriads of gods and all the imperial ancestors that had preceded him. The name of Showa would also restore, in a way, the deity status that had been so unceremoniously stripped away by McArthur’s general issue constitution following the utter annihilation of all Japanese hope to spread imperial divinity well beyond these streets to encompass all of Asia.

Unlike many of the other unlucky hopefuls of the time, Hirohito had been given a choice: dance on the end of a rope like Tojo or become a mortal man. Since either choice had, alarmingly, the aura of mortality, the wise emperor selected a mid-career shift into the obscurity of amateur botany. Immortality could wait. It had, more than forty years but was being restored at a ceremony in Tokyo as Mieko and Greg wound their way through the humble streets of its origin.

Some of the streets were less than a meter wide with tidy wooden houses lining the curbs on either side. A frigid breeze rattled shutters and screens along their route though they kept warm by walking briskly. A fine mist had started but Greg and Mieko had yet to unfurl their umbrellas since these would have impeded their progress through the narrowest sections.

“Gawd it’s quiet today,” Greg remarked. “Do you think everyone’s watching the ceremony on NHK?”

“Yes. But maybe many people have rented videos too,” Mieko replied and it struck Greg as the more likely response to this epoch-marking event.

“Are you hungry?” He asked. “I know a great little ramenya-san near here.” Evidently he knew where they were because she certainly did not.

“That would be nice but I think that it will not be open.”

“Because of the holiday?” he asked, well aware that a day off for the nation meant a bonanza for all the noodle shops and book stores and family restaurants in the land. Even during oshogatsu, the new year frenzy, places to eat, drink and be merry abounded.

“Yes, for the funeral.”

When they got to Tengu-ya, as the Chinese noodle shop was called, he realized that she was right. No inviting noren fluttered over the entrance way. The windows were shuttered and only a gigantic mask of the long-nosed devil, Tengu, grimaced from the roof, rain dripping down his bright red face.

A little further on they came to Imadegawa-dori and decided to cut through the grounds of the Gosho, the old imperial palace. There were more than the usual number of guards but nobody else. “This place gives me the creeps,” Greg said.

“The creeps?”

“Yeah. It’s kind of spooky.”


“Kind of ghostly. Desolate and empty, you know.”

“I see. Like the master is not home,” Mieko said and she was not far off. The master had not resided there since the latter half of the 19th Century when, with the demise of the Shogunate, spiritual power was once again realigned with that of politics and the emperor had been whisked off to Tokyo to consolidate the shift towards popular government. To accommodate these changes Heian-kyo became simply Kyōto and, at the heart of the city yet, the Gosho bore the unmistakable air of permanent exile. Instead of bustling with servants great and small, the gateways remained locked to all except a few aged caretakers and patrolling policemen. And to a world now caught up in the frenetic pursuit of technological advancement, the Gosho simply endured.

The pine strewn grounds outside the walls tolerated public enjoyment but here too an atmosphere of vacancy prevailed. Though joggers sometimes crunched over the crushed rock avenues or lovers lingered long after dark, the park failed to attract the noisy hordes of tourists and uniformed school children that famous localities in Kyōto usually did.

“This way,” Greg said. “I want to show you something.” Near the bottom end of the park, not far from the imperial palace proper, was a garden. The centrepiece was a small pond, shaped like the infinity symbol, with an arched bridge over the narrow part. “This is my secret spot,” he said. “Hardly anybody comes here. A few people pass by, that’s all. I don’t know why. I don’t even know the name but it’s my favourite place in all of Kyōto.”

Mieko seemed to enjoy the sight. To one side of the biggest part of the pond was a symmetrical little tea house, its wood stained the colour of rust by age. On the other side was a tiny shrine in front of which projected a rocky peninsula in miniature. “It’s kind of… um… cliché, isn’t it? she asked.”

“Yeah, I know,” Greg continued, “but I like it. In summer there are turtles and usually some animals around the shrine over there. Always some cats and a duck. Once I counted fourteen cats. Locals come here to feed them. The duck is really funny because it gets angry and chases the cats away but other cats jump in and gobble up the food. The duck is like royalty in a court that couldn’t care less.”

“Let us go see,” Mieko suggested. The duck was still there, nestled together for warmth with a large tabby cat under the eaves of the shrine. When they saw the two people they got up and approached, the cat meowing and the duck muttering to itself as they sometimes do.

“Sorry guys,” Greg said, as a couple of other cats came loping out of the bushes looking for handouts.

“There must be something open in Shinkyogoku,” Greg said and, though Mieko remained skeptical, they raced for the covered shopping street, umbrellas now open as the mist changed to drizzle.

Like Tengu-ya they found both Shinkyogoku and Teramachi-dori deserted except for a few furosha — floating on the water people — languishing on the pavement in palaces of cardboard. Nothing was open: none of the movie houses, pachinko parlours, souvenir shops or restaurants. Even Shakey’s, the home of corn and squid pizza, was shuttered. As they moved through the drab corridor their footsteps echoed, making them recall the enthusiastic mobs of the young, the splashes of colour, the welcoming cries of merchants that had all too completely vanished on this day of mourning.

When they reached Shijo-dori they turned east only to discover the ever-open Karafuneya coffee shop closed. “I can’t believe it,” Greg uttered though he was beginning to. On the corner of Shijo-Kawaramachi Haagen-Dazs was closed too but they crossed the street anyway since Greg had an idea. They plunged into the usually riotous entertainment area called Kiyamachi. For once it had more the quality of the crypt than the combat zone. Instead of gaiety all they heard was the slap of their own feet on slick pavement. For the first time ever perhaps, no drunken salarymen reeled through the streets, stopping to puke or pee at convenient lampposts. The drip-drip of drops from eaves and signboards had replaced the mindless chatter of fashionable young ladies.

Silent too was Pub Africa, a hang out of foreigners and their so-called bacteria girls. Greg had thought that at least a gaijin joint could show a little disrespect on a day like this.

“I don’t get it,” Greg muttered once or twice. As far as he had been able to tell most Japanese were profoundly indifferent to the Royal Family. While Greg had been somewhat captivated by the enigma that was Hirohito he had yet to meet a local that shared his interest. He could never quite grasp why Topo Gigo and Mickey Mouse held greater fascination for the populace than the world’s longest living monarch. Hirohito, the god, had presided over the nation’s transition from backwater to global bully. Then as a man, the emperor’s nation rose from the ashes of a crushed and broken wasteland to become economic superpower without peer. And nobody gave a hoot.

Greg and Mieko crisscrossed the neighbourhood, working northward but everything — the streets, the buildings, the electric signboards — was dark and shiny. The rain was coming hard now so they made their way back to the main street which at least afforded cover. On the way, passing Tsukiji, Greg’s all-time favourite coffee shop, he did not even glance up to note that its lights were off too.

Back on Kawaramachi they headed north and soon noticed a small queue outside an Indian curry shop. Indeed it was open so they crossed the street and joined the line even though Greg knew from before that the food inside was detestable.

“I have to admit I’m surprised people have shown so much respect for Tenno.” Greg said once they were comfortably seated inside.

“Yes. It is strange,” Mieko said. “But there is also the uyokudantai… I do not know how you say in English. You know the men who have the noisy trucks and jeeps. They look like army but they are not.”

“You must mean the ultra-right-wing fascist meatheads,” Greg suggested, offering a quirky if fairly precise translation.

“Maybe. They have the big speakers on the trucks and they play the World War II songs.”

“Yeah, that’s right. The nationalist idiots.”

“They threaten to explode any business that opened today.”

“Yeah, okay. I heard about that.” He had read something about it in the newspaper on the bullet train the day before. Someone had been quoted as saying ‘business would continue only over the dead bodies of the armies of the right.’ He remembered grinning and wondering about the inconsistency of the nationalists who would have to carry out of the firebombing attacks on the day of the Emperor’s funeral. He had wondered too if the TV crews and the police and the dignitaries and even the Shinto priests who would preside at the ceremony would be exempt from their anti-work decree. Or did it only apply to noodle shop owners and others who were weak enough to be bullied into submission. Whatever the case he had not thought anyone would comply. These thoughts allowed him to relish his curry in spite of the taste.

“I have another idea,” he said when lunch was finished and the milk tea was served. We should have thought of it sooner. I bet the Kyōto Hotel is open. It has to be. I’d like to buy something to read.” Besides a couple of large department stores, the hotel book shop was one of the few places in town with English books and magazines. “Let’s have a coffee there too,” Mieko said but they lingered over their milk tea just to be on the safe side.

Greg asked her how she liked living at the guest house and she said it was fine. “But sometimes it’s hard because everyone asks me to help them with things that they can’t understand.”


“Like banking. Or to talk to a new landlord. Like to call about the visa and so on. It is sometimes hard but it is good for my English and I have many nice friends there.”

“Anyone… um… special?” At this she looked down as if ashamed or as if she were praying or something and just as suddenly looked up again, moving only her eyes, looked up and directly into Greg’s eyes and held them. It was a gesture familiar to him, remarkable in both its simplicity and its effect. Every Japanese woman knew it, was born with it, it seemed. It promised something: answers? questions? Something very close at hand that seemed to reside at the bottom of the deep, dark warmth of the eyes themselves. It was a gesture as subtle as a short samurai sword slit across the abdomen and equally effective.

Recovering from the sudden assault Greg asked, “Ah.… Why didn’t you go with the others to Kinosaki this weekend?”

“I have homework to do,” she said, turning the look off as abruptly as it had come on. “To be honest, I was looking forward to being away from the others. Sometimes I get tired, you know?”

“Yeah, I know. The place was a zoo when I lived there. The faces change but nothing else. But it’s fun too.”

“It is fun,” she agreed, thinking his laugh was too. To Mieko his laugh seemed musical like an arcade full of silly, useless games. She could never tell when Westerners were serious or happy and Greg was no exception. He would laugh when he was not supposed to or when the jolly countenance of a tanuki was called for he would slip into the sad, worried expression of a borrowed cat. For this reason whenever he smiled she thought of pain.

Like his mood, she had trouble guessing his age. Even his thinning hair was not really a clue because, as she knew, all Western men suffered from this malaise. And since his face was as yet unlined, the best she could do was place him between 27 and 35. Not that baldness had ravaged Greg. In fact, his sandy hair disguised its onset to all but the most curious onlookers. Mieko thought his nose was his best feature even though it did not really suit him. She had often wished for a nose just like it — straight and long — so she could wear glasses without having them slip off. Glasses, she had thought, would lend her an air of maturity and dignity.

They paid for the meal and headed north again. Far ahead of them on the otherwise deserted sidewalk an old woman scuffed along, a huge wicker packsack full of cardboard on her back. At regular intervals she stopped, stooped over and rummaged through a garbage can.

“Slim pickings today, I bet,” Greg said as they approached. “I wonder if the Nationalists are going to slip a bomb into her pack too. Boom! Granny everywhere!”

They both laughed loudly. The old woman stopped, turned and watched the source of the strange voices as they stepped on past her.

At the Kyōto Hotel they had a coffee and eventually the topic drifted towards family and friends back home. They soon discovered that they had both been in Charlottetown during the same period the summer before, Greg visiting relatives and Mieko snapping pictures. At one point Mieko turned on the eyes again briefly and asked “You have no one special, too?”

“Only my mother,” he said and they both laughed, breaking the spell. “Can I ask you a question?” Greg said, changing the subject.

“Yes. Of course.”

“What do you really think of Tenno? I mean, do you think he was responsible for the war? Or do you think he was the victim of a conspiracy?”

“It is a very hard question. Even people who study these things cannot answer. I do not know. All his life Tenno was a difficult man to know. A private man.”

“I know but do you think he should have been executed as war criminal too?”

“I cannot say. I cannot decide. For some things maybe there are no answers.” This was the kind of comment Greg had come to expect. He was a product of a society that wanted clean streets and simple answers. When he had first arrived such ambiguity drove him to a frenzy though gradually he had learned to live with paradox by simply ignoring it.

“Do you think he was a god, is a god?”

“God? But he was Tenno. What do you think?”

“Not a god. I think he was just a sad man.,” Greg said.

“I heard that maybe he was kept alive until after the New Year holiday.”

“I don’t know if I can believe that. What’s more likely is he died before oshogatsu but it was kept a secret until after.”

“What did you think of him?”

“A crook or a coward, that is the question now, isn’t it? Probably a little of both. What I don’t get is, if he had the power to stop the war when he did, why not sooner? Why even let it start? For that, maybe he should have been strung up. For the most part though he just seemed like a nice old man who liked to putter around in the imperial garden. I wonder what secrets he carried with him all those years. Did a gust of guilt ever overcome him as he stooped to cross-pollinate a flower?”

“Cross what?”

“Cross never mind. Let’s go to the book shop. You’re going to think I’m a nut if I keep going on about Hirohito.”

“I already think you are a nut.” Her eyes, like mystery, had connected again, just for a second and then she stood up.

Greg bought a book by Kawabata, in translation, and then suggested taking a taxi back to the guest house. “Unless you can think of someplace else to go.”

Perhaps the taxis were not running, perhaps they were, but in front of the hotel there was nothing but noise and shouting and whistles blowing. Police were running everywhere and there was a small crowd of demonstrators marching about in the street, chanting.

Most of them had red industrial helmets on, helmets emblazoned with Chinese characters which Greg couldn’t read. Many also wore sunglasses in spite of the weather and had either bandanas or cold masks over their mouths. Some carried banners which Greg couldn’t read either but one said “Fuck Off Hirohito” in English. These were the left wingers. Sekkigun, Greg always called them, the Red Army, but he was wrong. Most of the Red Army had been squashed under the official heel of conformity long since. Any stragglers were in hiding. But these youths shared with the Red Army the belief that the Imperial Household represented all that was rotten and corrupt in their society just as the nationalists found in it a symbol for all that was pure and right. Between these two poles was the great bulk of the population that just accepted whatever life sent their way, regardless of belief, and carried on day to day the best they could. In Japan you either succumbed to the intense pressure to conform or broke through it screeching.

Bellowing into a megaphone, one of the demonstrators blurted anti-imperial slogans. Linking arms and breaking into a trot his comrades chanted them back. They marched first up the street then circled back, their feet drumming out double-time on the sodden tarmac. The rain was still heavily falling. A platoon of national riot police positioned themselves across the road, aluminum riot shields and long sticks like kendo clubs at the ready. The police were marking time to the cadence set by the demonstrators. At just the last moment before the two forces collided, the leftists turned right, then right again, wheeling through a complete U-turn in front of the police. As the last rank completed the turn the police fell in behind them, keeping perfect step with the marchers. The whole parade resembled a rather silly human choo-choo train, half with red helmets and half with grey.

Other police redirected what little traffic there was while a truck with an armoured video taping platform moved in to capture the scene. Intelligence units would go over the tapes at a later date, make identifications where possible then selectively, discretely pull individuals from the pack: just for a chat.

After making several circuits up and down the street the choo-choo abruptly came to a halt. The demonstrators shouted a few more slogans and stamped their feet in unison after each volley while the platoon stood silently alert behind them. Then suddenly the demonstrators all dispersed like Sunday-service-over and the police about-faced and marched back toward the drab, wire-windowed buses that awaited around the corner. The demonstrators drifted off in twos and threes, chatting in the rain. It was over. The police still had to clear their own vehicles out of the streets, get traffic moving again in the right direction but it was over. Strange, Greg thought, the right-wing had stayed away. True to their principles after all: no work today. “That was pretty wild,” he said.

“They are weird,” Mieko replied, frowning.

“How about that taxi?” he asked and they started walking south again. Police swarmed about the intersection now, relaxing their armour and mounting the steps of steel grey buses topped with water cannons, making it difficult for Mieko and Greg to pass. Police had outnumbered the demonstrators five to one as if they had clearly anticipated more strenuous opposition. Perhaps opinion dissolves in the rain, Greg thought and it struck him that democracies and despots alike all over the world would always keep the manpower and technology close at hand to beat their people into submission. Principles like freedom of speech were fine in some of the more open societies but even there they were only tolerated as long as they remained abstractions. When unfavourable opinion reared its head throughout the world it would always be bonked back down, like baby seals in Labrador, no matter how lofty the aims that guided the power behind the club.

Breaking through the mob of police, Greg and Mieko continued back towards the curry shop but no taxis or buses were to be seen. “Do you want to walk back?” Greg asked, stopping since the guest house lay in the opposite direction.

Suddenly Mieko said, “It is my turn to have an idea,” and grabbed his hand, pulling him into a side-street that led west towards Shinkyogoku again. Still holding his hand, she turned off into a dim, narrow alley before they reached the covered mall. “What’s up?” Greg asked.

“You will see,” she said. “Maybe.” For several blocks they trudged past dark buildings. Mieko paused once, gesturing with a laugh, “Even the love hotels are closed today. There can be no love on Tenno’s grave.” Then she laughed again though it sounded more like the snappy little yip that a nervous puppy would make. A block later she stopped and said, “This one is open.”

Greg looked up, noticing first the dimly lit interior then the name on the door written in katakana, the syllabary for foreign words. Sounding it out slowly he read Fantasy Fashion Hotel. “If you want to, I mean,” she added, dropping her eyes along with her voice as if preparing another one of her debilitating glances.

“Um… yeah… of course,” Greg stammered. “If you do.”

She smiled weakly and led him into the lobby. The lobby was empty but along one wall was a display of pictures depicting all of the rooms in the hotel. “It’s full,” Mieko announced.

Greg, who was examining the pictures, asked “How can you tell?” in an abstract, disinterested way. The hotel offered quite a variety he noted. There was a dark and sinister S & M room, a Disney room complete with revolving tea cups, a cowboy room with saddles instead of chairs, a jungle hut for primitive lust, a maharajah’s tent and for would-be samurai, a sparse and spartan tea room with murals of a placid garden showing through sliding paper doors. Just then one of the pictures, of a disco room, lit up from behind and Mieko said “There’s one” and pushed the button underneath it. Something rumbled and a numbered key dropped into a slot under the row of pictures. She grabbed the key in one hand and Greg’s hand with the other and said “We can go now,” her voice faltering slightly.

An older couple was descending the stairs so Greg and Mieko waited a moment for them to pass. They seemed startled to see a foreigner but quickly looked away, darting towards the tiny opening through which they could complete their transaction. “Do you think they’re having an affair?” Greg whispered.

“I think so.” Mieko replied. “I think they had our room.”

“Before us?” Greg said, shocked but he could see her logic. As they reached the third floor the cleaning crew was just disappearing into its cubbyhole though the last one looked up, doing a double-take, when she saw Greg.

The suite was huge, bigger than most apartments. Apartments were paid for by the month. One could only afford this by the hour. Mieko busied herself by hanging up their jackets and making green tea from the bottle of hot water on the table in the front room. This was the disco dance room. Dark and glittering, the floor, the ceiling and walls were mirrored and all were embedded with flashing, tubular lights. Stroboscopic spotlights and a twirling, mirrored ball completed the image. The bedroom, about three times bigger and off to one side, was similarly styled though, oddly, a forested mural covered the wall at the head of the king-sized bed. An abstract structure of indigo neon writhed across the ceiling and the sound of surf crashed interminably from hidden speakers. The wall next to the bed was glass and looked into a huge bathtub big enough for a family of four. Adjacent to that, in a separate room, was the toilet and sink. Everything was sparkling clean and spacious; an island of luxury in a cramped and filthy little country.

Mieko handed Greg a cup and he made a toast to “Tea, the soul of Japan!” They stood in the middle of the dance floor facing one another and taking timid, hurried sips. Mieko glanced up at him between sips, disembowelling him with each glance. Finally he took the cup from her hands, put both cups on the little table and pulled her towards him. He kissed her lightly on the lips several times and then one of her little yelping laughs escaped and she apologized.

“It’s okay,” he said and Mieko replied, “Let me make the bath.” Greg watched her walk away then suddenly turned towards the mirror, making a John Travolta salute.

While Mieko was filling the tub with bubbles and scalding water Greg noticed a little book with a pen on top next to the tea paraphernalia. It was a guest book, presumably to keep people from marking the walls. He picked it up and leafed through though he could not read much, a sentence here and there and a few given names written in Roman letters. Then he opened it to a blank page and wrote across it in large capital letters: FUCK YOU HIROHITO. He replaced the book when he had finished.