Declassified Documents from the MacArthur Archives

MacArthur Archives

Excerpts from Classified GHQ Intelligence Reports
on Kumazawa Tenno & the Nancho Claim to the Throne

MacArthur Headquarters Intelligence Briefings

15 May 1946

Pretender to the Throne

Abstract: Nancho Hotai Kokumin Domei (League to Uphold the Southern Dynasty)
seeks to substitute Kumazawa Hiromichi for Emperor Hirohito.

(a) Formation of Alliances: The Nancho Hotai Kokumin Domei was formed on 1 May 46 by followers of Kumazawa Hiromichi, who claims the right to the Throne as the direct descendent of the Southern Dynasty (Nancho) Emperors. It is an outgrowth of the Nobumasa O Kinyokai (Society to Publicize Emperor Nobumasa), an inactive organization formed in 1936 by Kumazawa and others for the purpose of conducting research on Japan's Imperial genealogy.

(b) Kumazawa's Explanation of Claim: When interviewed by CIC, Kumazawa asserted that the Imperial line was unbroken and undisputed from the time of Jimmu Tenno (600 B. C.) until the 13th Century. At that time Emperor Gosaga, who abdicated, changed his favor from his elder son, Gofukakusa, who already had been enthroned, to Kameyama, his younger son. But Gofukakusa, cleverly persuaded his brother to agree to have their descendants alternately succeed to the Imperial title. This arrangement failed, Kumazawa said, through treachery on the part of Gofukakusa and his progeny, who established the Northern (Hokucho) Dynasty now reigning, and who forced Kameyama and his successors, who form the Southern (Nancho) Dynasty, from the Capitol in to hiding until Aug. 45.

(c)Current Activities: Nancho Hotai Kokumin Domei seeks to realize its objectives by presenting the "true facts" about the Southern Dynasty to the people. At least four public lecture meetings have been held. Although an average of 70 yen was paid as rent for each meeting hall, no admission fee was charged and no donations were collected. Three of these meetings were held in Aichi Prefecture and one in Gifu. The average attendance has been something more than 500. Other plans of Nancho Hotai Kokumin Domei include the publication of a book of Imperial genealogical tables, booklets and pamphlets for distribution by mail, and demands for a Diet investigation.

(d) Strength of Organization: The president of the organization, Kobayashi Suiichi, a 43-year-old paper salesman, has told CIC that Nancho Hotai Kokumin Domei has a present total membership of about 1,000, most of whom have joined as a result of lecture meetings. Branches, besides the main office in Nagoya, are being established at Ichinomiya (Aichi Pref.), Toyohashi (Aichi), Gifu (Gifu), Tokyo, Arayama (Fukushima), Toyoshima (Nagano), and Koshimizu (Hokkaido).

(e) No Present Connection With Politics: Kobayashi, who voted for the Socialist Party candidate in the 10 April elections, has stated that Nancho Hotai Kokumin Domei has absolutely no connections with any political party, although should a party amiable to the League's purposes be formed, Kobayashi, as the organizations president, would have no objections to such an affiliation.

(f) Attitude Toward Present Cabinet and Occupation: Kobayashi was vehement in his denunciation of the Government, which he considers to be in support of the reigning Emperor and his Family. At the same time Kobayashi reiterated that the Allied Occupation "is splendid, run in the best possible fashion, and acting in the best interests of the Japanese." Kobayashi declares that he is grateful for the freedom of speech and of assembly afforded the Nancho Hotai Kokumin Domei by the Occupation Forces.

Comment: Although this group appears to border on the eccentric and to constitute no real threat to the present Emperor, the organization's purpose is revolution and for that reason Nancho Hotai Kokumin Domei will continue under CIC and CIS scrutiny.

4 June 1946

"Kumazawa Emperor"

One of the extremely leftist newspapers, consistently opposed to retaining the Emperor in power, published an interview between one of its correspondents and a spokesman for the "Kumazawa Emperor," a grocer in Nagoya who claims to be the legitimate heir to the throne. Yoshida Chozo, whom the writer described as the "Imperial Household Minister" of the Kumazawa family, declared that Kumazawa was collecting materials to prove the authenticity of his claim that "the present Emperor Hirohito descended from the Northern (Hokucho) Dynasty , one of the two dynasties created in the Fourteenth Century when the Imperial Family was split by feudal warlords, but the legitimate line of succession went through the Southern (Nancho) Dynasty to the Kumazawa Emperor. The legitimate Emperor of Japan," the spokesman asserted, "has never declared war against the Allies and consequently has no responsibility for the war." This claim of the "Kumazawa Emperor" undoubtedly will continue to receive support in communistic newspapers, which hope to discredit the present Emperor. ("Minpo")

14 June 1946

Renewed Interest in History of Royal Family

Historical explanations seeking to justify the claim of the grocer, "Emperor Kumazawa," to the Japanese Throne as the rightful descendant of the Emperor Godaigo, were made by four speakers at a meeting on 21 April at Arago. It was stressed that the present reigning family should retire in favor of the Kumazawa in consideration of the war responsibility of the previous dynasty. The meeting was attended by 750 people, who appeared to be impressed with the ideas of the speakers.

9 July 1946

Emperor System

"Emperor" Kumazawa: The press continues occasionally to report the activities of Kumazawa Hiromichi, the Nagoya grocer who reportedly "created a nationwide sensation after the war ended, when he declared himself to be the legitimate Emperor." According to the latest report, Kumazawa came to Tokyo on July 5th to confer with the Justice Minister Kimura regarding charges of lese majeste, which is said the Justice Minister is said to be investigating. Kumazawa also intends to have the historical reasons for his claim placed before the Diet. Asked if it was his intention to ascend the Throne, Kumazawa said: "No, I don't expect to do so. But now that the pressure of the Kempeitai ("Thought Police") has been eliminated, and freedom of speech has been restored, I have come out with the facts." ("Asahi")

12 September 1947

Kumazawa Appeals for Throne

In 1946 KUMAZAWA Hiromichi began to gather followers around him. They organized a political party and proclaimed KUMAZAWA as Emperor. This "Emperor" spoke in Tokyo and received wide publicity, to the utter amazement of most Japanese. He traced his lineage back through five centuries to Emperor GO-KAMEYAMA, the deposed Emperor of the legitimate southern dynasty. He claimed that he is the real Emperor of Japan and that HIROHITO is an impostor and has no right to the Throne.

In 1947 "Emperor KUMAZAWA" appealed to President Truman to depose HIROHITO and the spurious northern dynasty and have the peace conference recognize the heir to the southern dynasty as the Emperor of Japan. In his petition to President Truman, "Emperor KUMAZAWA" presented evidence of the war of the succession, and numerous photographs and documents, relics, and tombs, in an effort to prove his right to the Throne.

He claimed that his ancestors were the first victims of the militarism and aggression of the present dynasty. He revealed that the Imperial Household had investigated the claims of his family to imperial lineage in 1910 and had found it authentic. He said that the Emperor MEIJI had tried to compromise the issue by offering the title of marquis to the father of KUMAZAWA who promptly rejected it. After that the head of the family was closely watched by the secret police. During the recent war the Imperial Prince KAYA visited the tombs of the KUMAZAWA family and paid the respects of the northern dynasty to the southern dynasty.

Nancho Archives | GHQ Imperial History