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Emperor (2012)

PG-13 | | Drama, History | 27 July 2013 (Japan)
2:24 | Trailer

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As the Japanese surrender at the end of World War II, General Fellers is tasked with deciding if Emperor Hirohito will be hanged as a war criminal. Influencing his ruling is his quest to find Aya, an exchange student he met years earlier in the U.S.



(screenplay), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Toshiyuki Nishida ...
Mitsuko Kajima
Masatoshi Nakamura ...
Masatô Ibu ...
Takatarô Kataoka ...
Lt Col. Rogers
Shôhei Hino ...
Hideki Tojo
CIC Commander


A story of love and understanding set amidst the tensions and uncertainties of the days immediately following the Japanese surrender at the end of World War II. On the staff of General Douglas MacArthur (Jones), the de facto ruler of Japan as Supreme Commander of the occupying forces, a leading Japanese expert, General Bonner Fellers (Fox) is charged with reaching a decision of historical importance: should Emperor Hirohito be tried and hanged as a war criminal? Interwoven is the story of Fellers' love affair with Aya, a Japanese exchange student he had met years previously in the U.S. Memories of Aya and his quest to find her in the ravaged post-war landscape help Fellers to discover both his wisdom and his humanity and enable him to come to the momentous decision that changed the course of history and the future of two nations. Written by Production

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Japan 1945: General Douglas MacArthur was given a mission to decide the fate of a nation, the guilt of a leader, and the true price of peace.


Drama | History

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for violent content, brief strong language and smoking (historical) | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:







Release Date:

27 July 2013 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Imperador  »

Filming Locations:



Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$1,014,099, 10 March 2013, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$3,345,315, 9 June 2013

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$3,346,265, 13 September 2013
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


Aya Shimada is based on a woman, Yuri Watanabe, Fellers met at Earlham college in 1915. Fellers and Watanabe were lifelong friends until her death in June 1954. See more »


When General Fellers arrives at the Dai Ichi the first time, and gets out of the jeep, the badge on his hat is straight. As he is coming up the steps it is crooked, tilted towards his left. When he stops and turns around to look at the Imperial Palace across the street it is straight again. See more »


Koichi Kido: [describing the Supreme Council meeting the on midnight of August 9th, 1945] The Emperor, who was quietly listening, began to speak, "I trust the Allies," he said. "I want to accept their terms. I wish you all to agree with me." The War Minister Anami begged the Emperor, "Emperor, please do not surrender. You must not surrender." The Emperor repeated, "I wish you all to agree with me."
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User Reviews

Compelling and Thought Provoking
3 March 2013 | by See all my reviews

I recently saw Emperor at a preview ahead of the upcoming March 8 opening. I found it well paced, carefully constructed, and beautifully shot. The interwoven sequences work tightly together. The protagonist's personal past and present personify the larger struggle over how to treat a brutal enemy that's been justifiably vanquished at horrific cost to both sides. Tommy Lee Jones and Matthew Fox deliver emotional performances as military leaders pivoting from years of war to peace. It's an absorbing story that puts you in their characters' shoes, and is compelling and thought provoking even though you know the historical outcome.

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