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Akihito, the Emperor: More Than a Monarch

Thursday, 15 October 2009

emperor akihitoJapan appears to be one of the dynamically developing countries of the world that is the leader in the sphere of high technologies. Still, the country adheres to traditions and customs observed for over thousand years. There is still the strict hierarchy in Japan where the junior obeys to the senior; a woman submits to a man, a subordinate is accountable to the boss.  The samurai spirit still prevails in the country and the emperor is still regarded as the super person but not the mere person who ritually sit on the throne.

And even if Japan lost the World War II, the Japanese Emperor had to issue the edict where generally he refused from the divine origin advocated throughout the centuries. By the way, the statement was made so vaguely that if and when necessary the words might be interpreted vice versa, yet, even now in XXI century the ruling emperor Akihito is more than an emperor for his people.

To perceive in the full extent, it is enough to find out that the Japanese people actually live in the 20th year of Heisei era, but not in the year 2009. The Heisei era which means Peace Everywhere is the Japanese chronology which is measured by the years of ruling of every emperor. Akihito Tsugu acceded to the throne on January 7, 1989, so welcome to calculate the year of the new era.

The 125th Emperor of the Land of the Rising Sun was born on December 23, 1933. And the rare dynasty may be proud of the continuous rulers in the family. The emperor was born to the family of the 124th Emperor of Japan, Seva Hirokhito, and the Empress Nagako. Akihito was the welcome son though he was the fifth child of the imperial couple but the first sun and only male children may inherit the throne and thus, the power. Crown Prince had all chances to receive traditional for the country education and social skill and manners. However the world history played its role and particularly the defeat of Japan during World War II. The process of active penetration and use of all American (and thus, western) into the life of Japanese society immediately concerned the ruler-to-be. Akihito completed the course of elementary school at the privileged educational institution for boys and at the same time he was brought up with the immediate participation of the American teacher, author of the books for kids Elizabeth Gray Winning who introduced to the basic landmarks and values of the civilization of the West. And the crown prince made his first steps to welcome the «other half» of the world in 1953 when he was on his half-year trip to the countries of Northern America and Western Europe. In addition, he studied at the faculty of Political Sciences and Economics at the most prestigious universities in Japan which make it easier for him to perceive the necessity of the thought-out integration of the country with the world culture, economics and politics.

Akihito made first step in the process of integration. First, he breached the court traditions obeyed within centuries and the Crown Prince, the future Emperor, married to the girl from the highest aristocratic society. His wife-to-be Sedo Mitiko was the daughter of the wealthiest people of the world, the owner of the flour-milling company. However, she did not present the middle class but not the aristocratic society. Nevertheless, the necessity to turn aside from the strict observance of all formal charters of ancestors was accepted not only by the Prince but by the Highest Government of the country - the Council of the Imperial Palace. The Council consisted of the representatives of all the vital authorities and the choice of the Prince was approved officially, and the wedding took place in April 1959.

Akihito also made corrections into the process of bringing his kids up. His first child, Naruhito Hiro was born in 1960 (the current heir), the Prince Fumihito Aya-no-Miya was born in 1965 and in 1969 the world welcomed the birth of princess Nori. For many centuries the imperial children were brought up by the entire group of babysitters, valets, advisors, ushers and other replacements of biological parents, though the Prince and his wife practiced using the western manner of bringing up. They spent lots of time with kids explaining all situations they faced.

As the Crown Prince and the Emperor Akihito always accentuated that his major goal was to keep the stable national form of government, observance of the Constitution and strengthening of peace in the Japanese society. The special attitude that reigns in Japan as to the Emperor and members of imperial family proves that Akihito managed to achieve his goal.

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