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Emperor Emeritus Akihito turns 88

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Happy Birthday !!

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Life is a precious gift. Health is wealth. Happy Birthday to Emperor Emeritus Akihito. Wishing Emperor Emeritus Akihito and Empress Emerita Michiko - joyful year ending festivities and a bright and healthy 2022.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

The man handled the position he was born into with dignity. He always showed empathy toward the society and showed up when he needed to.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Happy Birthday Sir, looking forward to be that age.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

BertieWooster:

Why is he called Emperor? I'm not trying to put him down. I respect him. But I cannot understand why he is the "sovereign leader of an empire" when there is no empire and he even had to beg permission to abdicate.

HISTORICAL REASON

The Empire referred to the 7th century Japan, not pre-WW2 Japan.

You can find some historical information of Japan in Chinese chronicles. One such record tells us about a situation of Japan (or Wa) in 3rd century, when Japan was divided into more than 100 nations, fighting each other.

Japan was eventually united by Yamato Clan sometimes before 5th century. The king of Yamato Clan then was called OHKIMI or 大王 (Great King), a head of federation of kingdoms within Japan. In the 7th century, the current use of title SUMERAMIKOTO or 天皇 (Emperor) started being used when Yamato Clan tried to centralize Japan through a series of reforms (大化の改新).

The Emperor (天皇) of Japan refers to that time when Japan was made up of many kingdoms. And the usage remained till today because the current Emperor (天皇) is a direct descendant of the "Great Kings" of Yamato Clan, who unified Japan some 1,500 years ago, despite the fact that Japanese Emperor has not been a political/military leader since Shogun (Samurai or warrior king) took such power in 12th century.

AUTHORITY VS POWER

Here is a very unique situation to Japanese Monarchy: they are an authority without power! Japanese Monarchy lost political/military power but not authority.

Even a greatest Samurai king could not obtain the title of Shogun without being given by the Emperor of the time. Some of Samurai worriers had to force the Emperor to get such title because the title of Shogun (the political leader of Japan) could not be considered legitimate in the minds of Japanese people without a formal approval by the Emperor. And this remains true today.

The current political leaders (Prime Minster and other officials) are chosen through election. However, one cannot officially become a Prime Minister of Japan without being authorized by the Emperor, who does not even have any power to refuse the election result. It's all formality or symbolism; authority without power.

Japanese Constitution states:

*"The Emperor shall be the symbol of the State and of the unity of the People, deriving his position from the will of the people with whom resides sovereign power." (Article 1)*

*"The Imperial Throne shall be dynastic and succeeded to in accordance with the Imperial House Law passed by the Diet." (Article 2)*

*"The Emperor shall appoint the Prime Minister as designated by the Diet. The Emperor shall appoint the Chief Judge of the Supreme Court as designated by the Cabinet." (Article 6)*

It's a Japanese style of SEPARATION OF POWERS. They shall not violate each other. Making laws belongs to political leaders; hence the Emperor "had to beg permission to abdicate". But then the laws become legitimate only through official approval by the Emperor. It is very important for the Japanese monarchy not to step in to politics; they cannot tell political leaders what to do. But then political leaders must respect symbolic authority of monarchy to keep legitimacy of their own political positions.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Happy Birthday Emperor Emeritus Akihito. 88 is a fortunate number. May you have many, many more!

Why is he called Emperor? I'm not trying to put him down.

He is not. He is called Emperor Emeritus Akihito.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

I'm surprised that at only 88 he is the oldest Emperor. Especially considering the long life span of Japanese people. Queen Elizabeth is 95 and not planning to retire anytime soon. A real sense of duty .

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I'm surprised that at only 88 he is the oldest Emperor. Especially considering thepeople. Queen Elizabeth is 95 and not planning to retire anytime soon. A real sense of duty  long life span of Japanese

They have such demanding duties it takes years off their lives compared to ordinary mortals. Sarcasm off. I think it is to let a younger generation have their turn on the throne. If he did like Queen Elizabeth he would kind of back up the succession pipeline for the younger heirs. I don't think he has a dodgy equivalent of Prince Charles he is trying to keep off the throne like maybe Queen Elizabeth is!

Btw, am I the only person here who thinks the photo makes the Emperor Emeritus head look like it is poorly photoshopped onto the body? The royal photographer maybe needs replacement.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Happy Birthday Emperor !!!..

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Wishing them both a comfortable retirement. (The poor couple, still parade out.)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Agreed @DesertTortoise 6am. This photo has a certain Madame Tussaud’s feel to it.

*- @DesertTortoise 6am: “Btw, am I the only person here who thinks the photo makes the Emperor Emeritus head look like it is poorly photoshopped onto the body? The royal photographer maybe needs replacement.” -*

“Emperor Emeritus Akihito and Empress Emerita Michiko pose for a photograph at their residence in Tokyo. Akihito celebrated his 88th birthday on Thursday. Photo: Imperial Household Agency of Japan via AP” -

0 ( +0 / -0 )

He looks good. And kudos for him to get the household agency to let him retire, contrary to what bureaucrats wanted.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Desert Tortoise

Btw, am I the only person here who thinks the photo makes the Emperor Emeritus head look like it is poorly photoshopped onto the body?

Wow, now that you point that out..... yes, totally. How do you make genuine photo look so totally photoshoppy?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Happy Birthday! He certainly looks healthier and appears more active than his son, who is rarely seen nowadays.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

He's looking great for 88. Wish he would live his life to the fullest, though, as he looks healthy. Unless maybe he's going for 108?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Do you think they ever just sit around in boxer shorts watching tv and picking their noses??

Must be hard having to dress up all the time.

Anyway happy Bday...

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Btw, am I the only person here who thinks the photo makes the Emperor Emeritus head look like it is poorly photoshopped onto the body?

No, he always looks like that.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

There is a time and place Bertie. Neither is today. I understand you are a Republican

Best Wishes.. I hope has few more years in him now he is at peace with himself.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Why is he called Emperor? I'm not trying to put him down. I respect him. But I cannot understand why he is the "sovereign leader of an empire" when there is no empire and he even had to beg permission to abdicate.

-8 ( +2 / -10 )

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