Tuesday, June 28 1921: Utako Shimoda visited Prime Minister Takashi Hara

1921 (Taisho 10) Tuesday, June 28 Utako Shimoda, president of the Patriotic Women’s Association and a person with connections to the Imperial Family, visited Prime Minister Takashi Hara. Her mother, Empress Teimei, who had opposed Crown Prince Hirohito’s visit to Europe, is now very pleased to see the success of the visit. Hara gained the trust of Empress Teimei as well as Genro (elder statesman) Aritomo YAMAGATA during this period. Emperor Taisho was sick in those days. Instead of her husband, she was at the center of the Imperial family. The following is the content of Takashi Hara’s diary on this day.

Utako SHIMODA came. We talked about the situation of the Patriotic Women’s Association. She told me that it is deplorable that Japanese women’s ideas are disordered. The contents related to gossip in the Imperial family are also described below. Everyone in the palace is saying that the Crown Prince’s visit to Europe was a great success. The Empress Teimei opposed his visit to Europe before the departure of the Crown Prince, but now she seems to be very satisfied. The Empress is concerned that Takashi HARA will resign as Prime Minister. Her Majesty seem to have become nervous after reading such a report in the newspaper. When Shimoda asked me what the actual situation was, I answered as follows. I have no intention of resigning now. Never said that. Those who talk about my resignation are my opponents. But I don’t want to, so it’s enough for them to laugh at rumors. At any rate, Prince Hirohito is currently away in Japan on a visit to Europe. I will never cause political turmoil at such a time. Shimoda promised to tell the contents to Empress Teimei, and she said Her Majesty must be relieved to hear the words.

“Takashi Hara Diary Vol. 5: Prime Minister’s Era” edited by Keiichiro Hara, Fukumura Publishing, 1981, p. 405

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