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Emperor visits father's tomb to report upcoming abdication

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As preparations for the imperial succession move forward, the cabinet of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe decided the same day to appoint the crown prince's top aide, Nobutake Odano, 71, as the new grand chamberlain as of May 1.

71 year old aide? More like keeper!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

The previous emperors and empress are buried whole and not cremated like us common people, unless you happen to be a foreigner with a family plot in a foreigners grave place like in Kobe, Yokohama then you too can be buried whole.

His prayers are to his father. I found the whole procedure of his abdication both strange but interesting that he had to ask permission from his ancestors. Weird stuff even for the Japanese.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Honoring the dead here in Japan is a serious tradition! It's not just the Emperor, many of us "regular" folks here typically pay our respects to our dead ancestors at least once a year. Depending upon where you live, even more. Not to mention the beliefs that surround Obon,

The ceremonies down here associated with funerals, and the anniversaries, and yearly obon observances, help to keep the spirit of the departed family members close.

A hell of a lot better than in many western cultures, when after the body is buried, it's back to business as usual, and far too many people have to suffer alone!

I have been heavily involved in both, my father and mother's passing in the states, and my in-laws passing here, and I will tell you, here, one is rarely alone for at least the first 49 days! (At least here in Okinawa!)

4 ( +5 / -1 )

I talk to dead people as well. It's quite common when someone close to you has died. You know them so well, you can pretty much imagine what they would say back. It's comforting.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Solem and respectful! A very dignigied moment there!

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Huge great tomb, is it a family mausoleum or just for the old emperor. I thought Japan was short of space?

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

I talk to dead people as well. It's quite common when someone close to you has died. You know them so well, you can pretty much imagine what they would say back. It's comforting.

My mother, in the states, was cremated after her death, my family sent me a bit of her ashes, that I keep on the family altar here in our house. I often light a candle, and incense here, and talk with her too!

My mom is never far from my heart!

5 ( +5 / -0 )

The Imperial Household Agency (Kunaicho) have the current emperor taking part in around 9 ceremonies relating to his abdication, and the new one doing around 10 ceremonies over the next month, of which the public know next to nothing and never see, mostly held in the Imperial Palace, but also at Ise Grand Shrine, the Musashi Imperial Graveyard, Nara and Kyoto.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

For me it's another in the long list of fascinating things about Japan, that the abdicating Emperor has to report his abdication to his ancestors as though they were still taking an interest, and needed to be informed - and a few days ago, to the gods at Ise, for the same reason. Some might see this as pointless ritual, but obviously for many Japanese it's important that these ancient rituals are carried on, even if we never see them. It's a link to something far older than most of us can imagine, and I hope it continues to be so.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I do respect deeply, how most Japanese care and respect their dead. Last week my sister-in-law had a heart attack died from heart attack. We had the funeral and now have the 49 day period and sometime in the summer will take her bones to the family grave next to Fujii.

My mother and step father died suddenly in Florida a while back and my longest best friend in New York, someone who I've known for more than 40 years, died in her sleep one year ago. I light candles and chat with them. Last week my friend in New York would have had her birthday, so I send her an email telling her how much I loved her. I got an instant reply saying she loved me too.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Beautiful scenes. Shinetsu no gi ceremony displays the Japanese custom of communicating with deceased ancestors. There is absolutely zero doubt that we can talk to deceased ancestors and friends. The Spirit of the Dead always lives on, which is a fact. It is up to descendants to communicate with them.

Thank you, Emperor Akihito, for displaying this with your father Emperor Hirohito at Musashino Imperial Graveyard.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

The article says Musashino Imperial Graveyard, it is the Musashi Imperial Graveyard. (Musashi 武蔵 not musashino 武蔵野)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The article says Musashino Imperial Graveyard, it is the Musashi Imperial Graveyard. (Musashi 武蔵 not musashino 武蔵野)

The translators are mixing Japanese and English here, Mushashi-no Imperial Graveyard. It is located in the "old" Musashi Provincial area.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Even in Japanese where everything about the emperor is very formal and strict, it is hardly or almost never referred to as the 武蔵陵墓地 or *武蔵*陵墓地 but rather just 武蔵陵墓地 Musashi Ryoubouchi / Musashi Imperial Graveyard.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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