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And The Next Japanese Emperor Is …

November 13, 2020
Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako
外務省ホームページ, CC BY 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons


Last spring, Japan’s Emperor Akihito officially stepped down from the Chrysanthemum Throne and his eldest son, Crown Prince Naruhito, became the new Emperor of Japan.
 His ascension ushered in the Reiwa era. It’s been less than two years since Emperor Naruhito’s ascension, but the next Japanese Emperor has already been chosen. Why? To guarantee that the dynasty lives on, of course! Earlier this month, Japan formally declared Crown Prince Akishino, the brother of current Emperor Naruhito and son of Emperor Emeritus Akihito, as the successor of the Chrysanthemum Throne. Imperial family members, Japan’s prime minister Yoshihide Suga, and other foreign dignitaries were at the ceremony to witness the continuation of the Japanese monarchy. To commemorate this historical moment, here are three interesting facts about the Chrysanthemum Throne.

Prince Akishino
Presidencia de la República Mexicana, CC BY 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

1.  Crown Prince Akishino’s father, Emperor Akihito, is the first emperor in over two hundred years to abdicate from the throne. He chose to step down because of health problems.

2.  The Japanese monarchy is one of the oldest hereditary dynasties in the world and many believe that they are direct descendants of the sun goddess, Amaterasu Omikami.

3.  Although Emperor Naruhito has a daughter, Princess Aiko, under Japanese law, she cannot ascend to the throne. Only male members of the imperial family can ascend to the throne.