On January 7th 1989 Emperor Showa, 124th Emperor of Japan, better known as Hirohito outside the country, died.
Hirohito reigned for over 63 years, one of the longest reigning monarchs in history (he reigned; he did not rule, and was the head of state). Following the dissolution of the Empire of Japan in 1947 he became "the symbol of the state and of the unity of the people."
Hirohito was also forced to reject the claim that the Emperor of Japan was an incarnate divinity, making him the last emperor to reign as a god.
Image: See page for author [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons (commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Hirohito_in_dress_uniform.jpg)