MASHIKO, Tochigi -- A renovated hotel building in which Emperor Emeritus Akihito took shelter during World War II has been reopened with a new peace gallery, following its relocation to this town north of Tokyo in the 1970s.
The municipal government marked the opening of the renovated hotel building, now known as Mashiko Yuwakan, and the peace gallery in a ceremony on June 12. In the building is the very room where the Emperor Emeritus listened to the radio announcement of Japan's surrender by his father Emperor Hirohito on Aug. 15, 1945, when he was Crown Prince.
Emperor Emeritus Akihito stayed at the establishment, formerly known as Nanma Hotel, between July 1945 and November the same year, when it was located in the city of Nikko in Tochigi Prefecture. However, the hotel went out of business after the end of WWII and a potter moved the structure to Mashiko, a town famous for its namesake ceramics, in 1973.
Although the building was used as a traditional Japanese inn and for other purposes, it was donated to the Mashiko Municipal Government in 2016.
(Japanese original by Keina Hagihara, Utsunomiya Bureau)