General Richter: [referring to wartime Prime Minister Hideki Tojo's attempted suicide] Shoots himself in the chest and misses his heart? What was he mumbling?
General Bonner Fellers: He was apologizing for taking so long to die.
General Richter: These people are barbaric.
General Bonner Fellers: They have different ideas of honor.
General Douglas MacArthur: I don't want the Communists in here. But Washington wants vengance on the emperor, because their voters do, and their voters have no fucking idea what's good for them.
General Douglas MacArthur: After careful consideration, I've decided that General Richter can go piss up a rope.
General Kajima: We did our duty, but we lost our humanity. You must understand, we Japanese are a selfless people capable of immense sacrifice because of our complete devotion to a set of ideas. We are also ruthless warriors capable of unspeakable crimes because of that same complete devotion. I cannot tell you if the Emperor is guilty or innocent. I don't know if he brought us to war, but he has brought us to peace.
General Bonner Fellers: McArthur believes in honor.
General Richter: And glory. His own, of course. At your expense.
General Douglas MacArthur: Gentlemen, we will take no weapons with us when we step off this airplane. Nothing will impress them more than a show of absolute fearlessness. If they don't know they're licked by now, they will get the picture today. Now let's show them some good old-fashioned American swagger.
General Kajima: There are two Japanese words you should know. Tatemae, the way things appear. Honne, the way things really are. When you look at Japan, you see the most modern and westernised of Asian countries, but that is tatemae, the surface.
General Bonner Fellers: And honne?
General Kajima: It is the true heartbeat of my country, which is more than 2000 years old, it has nothing to do with the west. Japan runs on the ancient warrior code of loyalty and obedience.
Emperor Hirohito: [Stands up, appeals directly to MacArthur in careful English] I come to you, General MacArthur, to offer myself as the one to bear sole responsibility. I wish that the punishment will fall on me, not on Japan.
General Douglas MacArthur: I appreciate that. Please be seated... This has nothing to do with punishment, Your Majesty. I need your help. So, let's see what we can do to get Japan back on its feet.
Teizaburo Sekiya: [re-enacting Emperor Hirohito's recital of a tanka poem to the ministers at an Imperial Council Meeting three months before the outbreak of war] "It is our hope that all the world's oceans be joined in peace, so why do the winds and waves now rise up in an angry rage?"
General Bonner Fellers: We will never know who started the war, General. But we do know who brought it to an end.
General Douglas MacArthur: We're a full day ahead here, Fellers. Today, here and now, is still yesterday in Washington.
General Douglas MacArthur: I've never met an Emperor before, much less a god. What the hell do you say to a god?
General Bonner Fellers: [Narrating, while his Army transport plane approaches Tokyo] Japan has surrendered, brought to its knees by the most terrible weapon ever devised: the atomic bomb. The country is a smoking ruin. Despite this, their ruler, Emperor Hirohito, is still worshipped by his people as a living god. We have placed this "Sacred Son of Heaven" on the protected list - until we decide what to do with him... I fear the Japan I fell in love with will be scarred beyond recognition. I'm seeing aerial reconnaissance photos, but they only tell part of the story.
General Bonner Fellers: You know the Emperor well.
Prince Konoe: As well as anyone can know His Majesty.
General Bonner Fellers: Was he against the war?
Prince Konoe: His Majesty is against all wars. He is a pacifist by nature - very gentle.
General Bonner Fellers: Yet he gave permission for Pearl Harbor.
Prince Konoe: When Tojo and the militarists took power, His Majesty was... "drawn in". It was a national delusion.
General Bonner Fellers: Could he have stopped it?
Prince Konoe: I don't know. I was removed from power by then.
General Bonner Fellers: So The Emperor does bear responsibility for starting the war?
Prince Konoe: It's not a black and white issue, General.
General Bonner Fellers: Millions of people died in his name. Your skies were filled with kamikazes. Atrocities were committed every day, as he expanded his empire - invading, conquering, decimating.
Prince Konoe: [Standing up] You incinerated two of our cities, turning our children into shadows on the walls. We are both guilty. Yes, we seized territory in China, but did not Great Britain, even Portugal, precede us? Yes, we took Singapore and the Malaya, but we took it from the British. We did not take the Philippines from the Filipinos, but from the Americans, who themselves took it from the Spanish! If it is an international crime to take territory by force, who convicted the British, French, Dutch and American leaders?... Nobody. And what is different with Japan? Nothing... You see, General, we are simply following your fine example.
General Bonner Fellers: I don't need a history lesson, Your Excellency.
Prince Konoe: The only thing I know for certain is, during the war, there was a fever over Japan. I was part of that fever. I cannot give you what you want, General.
Aya Shimada: [Noticing Bonner Fellers looking at a propaganda pamphlet on her shelf] The Army is teaching kids to hate foreigners. Those pamphlets on the shelf - they hand them out everywhere. I hate what it's doing to people.
General Bonner Fellers: Sir, the Emperor rallied his people in ways that were unimaginable only a month ago. He did so by ordering them to surrender without ever using the word "surrender". He simply asked that they endure the unendurable.
General Bonner Fellers: [voice-over] The worst war in all history is over. Now is the time to win this fragile peace.
General Douglas MacArthur: [as Japanese troops successively turn their backs on the passing American military motorcade] Not your usual surrender formation.
General Bonner Fellers: They avert their gaze for their Emperor too, Sir. They are paying you the ultimate respect.
General Bonner Fellers: [voice-over] On the night of the 10th of March 1945, our bombers turned the Japanese capital into the largest crematorium the world has ever known. One hundred thousand people were incinerated in a single air raid.
Aya Shimada: Well... I am too... how do you say?... outspoken for a Japanese girl.
General Bonner Fellers: Outspoken? Is that a serious flaw?
General Bonner Fellers: [referring to Koichi Kido, Lord Keeper of the Privy Seal] He's not going to show, is he?
Takahashi: No, Sir. He's afraid he'll be arrested.
General Bonner Fellers: You send him a message from me. When he sees his Emperor hanging from the end of a rope, it was Kido that hanged him.
General Bonner Fellers: Revenge is not the same thing as justice.
General Bonner Fellers: [surveying the badly-destroyed school at Shizuoka City] I want to know who survived this raid. I would like a list.
Takahashi: I can get you a list of the dead, Sir.
General Bonner Fellers: [referring to Vice Minister Teizaburo Sekiya of the Imperial Palace] Call his office.
Lieutenant Red: It's after nine, General.
General Bonner Fellers: Call tonight, call first thing in the morning, send a messenger, and then call again.
Aya Shimada: If you understand devotion, you will understand Japan.
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."