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What may be the only existing copy of Emperor Hirohito’s account of World War II and the era leading up to the conflict is set to go on the auction block in New York next month.

The 173-page, two-volume document — known in Japan as “Showa Tenno Dokuhakuroku”(“Emperor Showa’s Monologue”) — was dictated by the Emperor to several of his aides soon after the war and transcribed word-for-word by senior diplomat Hidenari Terasaki. It was published by the monthly Bungei Shunju magazine in 1990, causing a national sensation.

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