The date that Japan’s Emperor Akihito will be stepping down from the throne on is quickly approaching, and while ordinary citizens are busy coming up with names for the next era of Japanese history, the emperor and his wife, Empress Michiko, are probably really looking forward to living their rest of their lives in peace with some good R ’n’ R.
In fact, one of the questions they frequently get asked nowadays is about what they plan to do after retirement. Recently, Empress Michiko answered the question at her last birthday celebration as the empress, and she said, “There’s been a book series I’ve sought to read for a long time, that I have left untouched for years. I am looking forward to taking the time to read each and every one.”
The book series she is referring to is a collection of over 30 comedic short stories and 11 novels affectionately referred to as the “Jeeves series”, about the industrious and clever butler Jeeves, who is always getting his carefree master Bertie out of trouble. They’re written by the famous 20th century British author, P.G. Wodehouse, and are beloved across the UK as classic stories, though they were likely much less known in Japan, until now.
When asked why she hasn’t read all of the Jeeves stories yet, Empress Michiko replied, “When I read them, I get completely hooked and can’t do anything else, so up until now I’ve kept away from them. But after retirement I can easily keep them on hand. I’ve got two or three volumes standing by.”
Thanks to Empress Michiko’s unintentional recommendation, thousands of Japanese people rushed to bookstores to buy or order a copy of one of the books or collections for themselves. According to local publisher Kokusho, their telephones would not stop ringing the first business day after the Empress spoke about the series. The company said that in just one day they had received thousands of orders for Jeeves books.
Japanese Twitter was also abound with posts about the Jeeves series, with many saying they went out and bought a copy of one of the books after hearing Empress Michiko speak of them. Japanese bookstores also posted their displays of Jeeves books, inviting netizens to come out and pick one up.
▼ A post by Japanese bookstore Isehara Shoten: “We have Her Majesty’s beloved 'Casebook of Jeeves' series in stock.”
Really, it’s quite impressive how celebrities can influence the demand of a specific product. It’s just like when rock star Yoshiki caused a nationwide stampede for cheese crackers after he said he liked them. It’s a good thing the Empress has a couple of volumes set aside, otherwise she might not be able to get her hands on a copy when the time come!
Source: FNN Prime
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