Wolf Hall actor Mark Rylance blasted for comparing Churchill to Hirohito

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Oscar winner Mark Rylance is blasted after comparing Winston Churchill to Japan's wartime leader Emperor Hirohito who ordered atrocities against Allied troops  Sir Mark's grandfather Osmond Skinner, fought the Japanese in Hong Kong  His grandfather had no military training was spent the war in a POW camp Winston Churchill urged everyone in Hong Kong to resist the Japanese invasion  He said these men were 'fooled' into fighting because of  'ideas of Empire' 

By Chris Hastings for The Mail on Sunday

Published: 01:49 GMT, 1 December 2019 | Updated: 02:01 GMT, 1 December 2019

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Oscar-winning British actor Sir Mark Rylance was last night branded ‘ludicrous’ after he provoked outrage by likening Winston Churchill to Japan’s Emperor Hirohito, the wartime fascist leader who ordered atrocities against Allied troops.

In a new Channel 4 documentary, Sir Mark, 59, claims Churchill’s impassioned plea in 1941 to British troops in Hong Kong – then under colonial rule – urging them to fight to the last man to defend the Empire was akin to Hirohito’s orders to his own soldiers.

Sir Mark, who shot to fame in the BBC drama Wolf Hall, said he believed that British troops – like their Japanese counterparts – had been ‘fooled’ into fighting ‘by ideas of Empire’.

Sir Mark Rylance, pictured, has provoked outrage by likening Winston Churchill to Japan’s Emperor Hirohito, the wartime fascist leader who ordered atrocities against Allied troops

Sir Mark Rylance, pictured, has provoked outrage by likening Winston Churchill to Japan’s Emperor Hirohito, the wartime fascist leader who ordered atrocities against Allied troops

But Andrew Roberts, a biographer of Churchill and a leading military historian, said: ‘Sir Mark should not always, as he does so often, seek to blame his own country automatically for everything that goes wrong with the world. National self-hatred ought not to be his first point of contact. He ought to read some history instead.’

In the documentary, My Grandparents’ War, Sir Mark travels to Hong Kong to

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