Victoria and Albert Museum

The world’s greatest museum of art and design

Opening times

10.00 to 17.45 daily
10.00 to 22.00 Fridays

The Emperor's New Clothes

The Emperor's New Clothes

This piece accompanies the winning short story of GQ's annual competition.
The narrative allows us a glimpse into the American Army's office in Japan shortly after the Japanese surrender in 1945. There, looking into a mirror held for him, the Japanese emperor dressed in a western suit borrows an old hat that he decides to doff when greeting his people.
His reflection shows the traditional Emperor's dress, representing a Japan that had disappeared forever.

Ellie Foreman-Peck's illustration to accompany The Emperor's New Clothes
Ellie Foreman-Peck's illustration to accompany The Emperor's New Clothes