West Meets East: An American in Japan | All Blogs

The Emperor

By Josiah Lebowitz

The Old Imperial Audience Chamber in Kyoto

Japan is the only country in the world to still have a ruling emperor. In fact, the imperial line is said to have descended from the sun goddess Ameterasu over 2600 years ago in 660 BC. Even though there are some doubts that the imperial line began that early, it has been conclusively dated back over 1500 years, making it the world's oldest continuous hereditary monarchy. The current Emperor’s name is Akihito though Japanese people usually call him by generic titles that translate to things like 'His Majesty the Emperor' or 'His Current Majesty'. He resides in the Imperial Palace which is located in the center of Tokyo although for most of Japan's history the Emperor resided in Kyoto (which was also the capital of Japan back then).

According to the current law, when he dies, the emperor is succeeded by his oldest son. There were some female emperors in the past but current laws prohibit a daughter from taking the throne. Although there was some debate about that not too long ago when it looked like a mail heir might not be born.

A Part of the Old Imperial Palace in Kyoto

Throughout history, the role and power of the emperor has varied considerably (ranging from pretty much total control of the government and army to virtually no control at all). For a lengthy period of time the emperor was nothing but a puppet for the Shogun (military commander). In fact, it was a Shogun who first moved the heart of Japanese government to Tokyo, leaving the emperor behind in Kyoto to show that he longer had an important role in running the country.

Power was restored to the emperor during the Meiji revolution (a reaction to the then current Shogun’s failure to keep Perry’s fleet out of Japan) though the Meiji Emperor relinquished much of that power to form Japan’s first democratic government in 1890 and the emperor’s power was further reduced after World War II. These days, the emperor has no real power and serves more as a figurehead than a politician.

The Imperial Palace's Moat in Tokyo

While you can tour the old imperial palace in Kyoto (which I’ll probably talk about more in-depth in a future post), the palace in Tokyo is off limits except on the emperor’s birthday and a day or two right after new year’s, when the public is allowed to gather in one of the place’s courtyards to listen to an address from the emperor. The rest of the year, the best you can do is follow the moat around the perimeter, which passes through some nice gardens offers a few glimpses of the palace buildings.

Despite his lack of power, the emperor remains a very important figure to the Japanese people, serving as a role model and a symbol of the country’s long history and ancient traditions, much as England’s monarchy and may very well continue to do so for centuries to come.


Please Login or Register to leave a comment.

You have done a great job. I will Kccatl profile followers on instagram and i personally recommend to my friends. I am confident they will be benefited from this site.

So luck to come across your excellent blog. Your blog brings me a great deal of fun… Good luck with the site.
seo and marketing services

Thanks for writing such a good article, I stumbled onto your blog and read a few post. I like your style of writing…
I Love Lauren

Very informative post! There is a lot of information here that can help any business get started with a successful social networking campaign!
travel blogger

Thanks for writing such a good article, I stumbled onto your blog and read a few post. I like your style of writing…
Supply Chain Transformation Toolkit

The excellent post went ahead and bookmarked your site. I can’t wait to read more from you.

I appreciated your work very thanks   Penny Millionaire Software

i love reading this article so beautiful!!great job!  IT Support Markham

I came onto your blog while focusing just slightly submits. Nice strategy for next, I will be bookmarking at once seize your complete rises…
Idea Design Studio News

Great post! I am actually getting ready to across this information, is very helpful my friend. Also great blog here with all of the valuable information you have. Keep up the good work you are doing here.
Nutrition for Healthy Life

I was very pleased to going to info about buying Facebook likes site. I wanted to thank you for this great instagram post!! I definitely enjoying every little bit of it and I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff you post.

Very informative post! Going website Kccatl,There is a lot of information here that can help any business get started with a successful social networking campaignon instagram!

Thanks for your information, it was really very helpfull..  Pabx System Kenya

I just gazed all the way up your website just because May very well been told such a lot of on the subject of a items.    CHEAP BIRMINGHAM HOTELS

Great articles and great layout. Your blog post deserves all of the positive feedback it’s been getting.  http://hlslimpro.co/

It was wondering if I could use this write-up on my other website, I will link it back to your website though.Great Thanks.  Seven Coves

I am hoping the same best effort from you in the future as well. In fact your creative writing skills has inspired me.  http://www.probioticsjournal.com/testmax-nutrition/

Absolutely fantastic posting! Lots of useful information and inspiration, both of which we all need!Relay appreciate your work.  vacation

If you log on at this very moment, I’m sure you’d find quite a few dubai safari deals and as such, I too took one just to see how exotic the adventure would really be down there. As it turns out, that was the best experience ever.

I just couldn’t leave your website before telling you that I truly enjoyed the top quality info you present to your visitors? Will be back again frequently to check up on new posts.  plumber

Recent Posts
By Nic.Korte
Saturday, June 3, 2017

By Nic.Korte
Sunday, May 14, 2017

By Nic.Korte
Sunday, April 23, 2017

By Nic.Korte
Friday, April 7, 2017

Tech Education a Must for Tech-Starved Mesa County
By David Goe
Friday, March 31, 2017


734 S. Seventh St.
Grand Junction, CO 81501
970-242-5050; M-F 8:00 - 5:00
Subscribe to print edition
eTear Sheets/ePayments

© 2017 Grand Junction Media, Inc.
By using this site you agree to the Visitor Agreement and the Privacy Policy