Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The Latest from Japan

Today, Her Imperial Majesty Empress Michiko of Japan celebrates her birthday. She was born in 1934 in Tokyo to Hidesaburo Shōda and his wife Fumiko Soejima. She attended the University of the Sacred Heart in Tokyo, Harvard in the United States and Oxford in Great Britain. On April 10, 1959 she married HIH Crown Prince Akihito who became Emperor of Japan in 1989. The Mad Monarchist wishes Her Imperial Majesty, the world's last Empress, a happy birthday and many, many more.

Getting bigger every day, HIH Princess Aiko of Japan was cheering loud at the victory of her team in a relay race during an annual autumn sports event at her Gakushuin elementary school in Tokyo last Saturday. Her proud parents, TIH Crown Prince Naruhito and Crown Princess Masako were also on hand to watch and were all smiles like any other pair of proud parents at their daughter's contribution to the victory. She is an adorable little girl, though I am glad that issue of her succession was able to be dodged. Princess Aiko is a great girl, but, call me old fashioned -you wouldn't be the first, I simply cannot picture Japan without an Emperor.


  1. Giving the situattion for the Japanse royals, A woman on the throne is not such a bad Idea (it isnt the fiest time).

    And after reading these articles, Succession may not be an issue, if it has any merit to it.



  2. What did happen with the succession? I'm vague on this point.

  3. There have been 8 empresses in Japanese royal history if I remember correctly.

  4. The succession issue was taken up by some politicians but the sense of urgency died when the Crown Prince's brother (Prince Akishino and Princess Kiko) had a son (little Prince Hisahito). So, as of now, no changes have been made.

    I know there have been empresses before (didn't think the number was 8) but in any event the most recent was like in the Middle Ages. I just can't picture it myself, I don't know how it would work with the priestly role the Emperor has in the Shinto religion and, given the problems they have had so far, I think it is better for the health and wellbeing of Crown Princess Masako and her daughter that they can pass the succession to someone else.

  5. Then if that's the case, the only option for them is to end the law stating that women from the family have to renounce their royalty upon marriage, and soon. The Japanese Imperial Family is not that big of a family. And the last male born in to the royals was the first in 41 years, meaning fertility is a highly uncertain gamble. The choices for marring a Prince are exclusive and giving the story for the last three consorts, the imperial’s upbringing and the IHAs influence, I don't think there will be woman bold enough to marry into the family. Along with the first article I gave, we might as well say that Hisahito is the last emperor of Japan.

  6. I totally reject such a notion. They just need to have more children -all of them- and that's not difficult. I also don't think the IHA is quite the bogey man most people think. I had reservations about posting the above comments at all just because of the defeatist nature of them. I could not fathom Japan without an Emperor. Japan with no emperor would not be Japan at all. They may be a minority, but there are still enough proud Japanese who look back at the thousands of years of imperial history to feel the same way and one way or another I don't think they would allow such a thing to happen.

  7. Up to this day there are still many Shinto ceremonies that can only be performed by the Emperor (as a high priest) because he is believed to be the descendant of the Sun Goddess.
    This belief was the main reason of Japan’s participation in WW II; but don’t forget that the same belief had saved the people of Japan again and again from tremendous blood bath every time a shogunate dynasty fell (compared it to the appalling condition of the Chinese people every time an Imperial dynasty fell).
    Personally my concern is not whether H.I.H Princess Aiko is allowed to become a Reigning Empress or not. My concern is who will succeed her. Her children will follow their father’s family name not hers. So the children of Princess Aiko cannot be considered as the descendant of the Sun Goddess. This will bring contradiction with the de facto role of Japanese Emperors as high priest in Shintoism (NOT STATE SHINTO).
    Throughout its history Japan only has one continuous Imperial Dynasty (Yamato Dynasty). With Princess Aiko’s descendants on the Throne Japan will have her second, third, and so on Imperial Dynasty for the first time in its history; and of course with their coming the unique belief that the Emperor is the descendant of the Sun Goddess will be forever lost.
    NB: all the Reigning Empresses in Japanese history were intermarried with member of the cadet branches of the Imperial Dynasty, so their descendants were still member of the Imperial Dynasty.
    All the cadet branches had been reduced to commoner by the american invaders in the end of WW II.


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