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Tens of thousands get rare peek at Imperial Palace

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To the Japanese people, the emperor and royal family are very important.

Then why is it that the average Japanese person doesn't even know their names, if they are that important? Akihito, Michiko, Naruhito, Masako etc. In fact Masako is probably the only one whose first name they know. Having said that, it was nice the palace opened

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Hello! I'm Japanese. I watched that in news. That place has many people. So crowded. But it is good to watch red and yello leaves. I want to go there at once.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Emperor Showa authored Botany nookx that are published in Japan, These authors; royalty is main income for Imperila house as Govt collect. Not too much tax mony. I H hasn't requested to get their confisticsted asset back from Japan.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

To all the people in the comments complaining about the Imperial household agency being funded by your tax dollarydoos, you have to be objective and see that the Japanese imperial family is wasting a heck of a lot less money than the British royals. Those lads in Britain costs the taxpayers a heck of a lot more!

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Ideology aside, it's a shame that they picked this time of year to open up. Anyone who cares has probably visited already for the Emperor's birthday or New Year's, when things probably look more or less the same as they do now. It would be nice if they would do this in the springtime when, I imagine, it would look pretty spectacular.

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I too had the same opinion but have come around and actually think they serve a unique purpose.

Yes, in a way. Although ask the average Japanese on the street what their individual names are, and you'll get a bit of head scratching. Everyone knows Princess Masako, but few have any idea of the name of her husband. On another level, the revisionist statements made by politicians about history can be traced back to the decision by MacArthur not to prosecute the Emperor Hirohito for war crimes. Having said all that, it was nice that the palace opened more than twice a year - for once

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

@kyushubill

You assumed wrong there chap, I am a Japanese citizen.

Well thats unfortunate for you, pretty much means your taxes will go on being "wasted" then. Good luck trying to change that without leaving.

Good day to you to.

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F4HA604Dec. 04, 2014 - 02:01PM JST @kyushubill Assuming you're American, couldn't the same be said of the whitehouse or the pentagon?

You assumed wrong there chap, I am a Japanese citizen. As for higher taxes for security and etc ... simple end the royalty. Have a nice day.

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@CrickyDEC. 04, 2014 - 05:05PM JST Unlike the English Royal Family who actively participate in society and engage in work be it rescue or military the Japanese Royal Family do very little except shake hands / bow with people who are already in shock from a disaster. A shuffling crowd meandering through a section of garden (mostly elderly) is a start towards humanising a family trapped in a system of dehumanising them.

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unlike uk, Japanese royal can't involve anything political. Remind you, Japan lost war and constitutions prohibit royal to be involved in politics. Just they do what govt order - diplomatic tours, etc. Another difference is there will be no Queens, When Crown Prinec had their daughter born 13 years ago, they were criticized that they did not bore baby boy. However, royal couple request Imperial Household Agency to arrange to visit Japanese people. They went Fukushima, etc.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Have I been understanding it wrong all these years??

Yes, you have.

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NathalieB: ... I thought the term "Hoi Polloi" actually referred to the privileged, NOT the masses? Have I been understanding it wrong all these years??!

The hoi polloi are the masses ... wikipedia says "derogatory" but I suppose that depends on who's saying it.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hoi_polloi

... an expression from Greek that means the many or, in the strictest sense, the majority. In English, it means the working class, commoners, the masses or common people in a derogatory sense. ... became known to English scholars probably from Pericles' Funeral Oration ... Pericles uses it in a positive way when praising the Athenian democracy, contrasting it with hoi oligoi, "the few" ...

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@biohn: Sorry you pay more than 100 million yen a year tax. You must be paying more than Iwasaki family.

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I love the thinly disguised disgust the writer has for all this! I don't blame the royal family itself but I do blame the IHA - the royal family are merely their puppets and they are protecting their own interests, not anyone else's.

Just one thing though - correct me if Im wrong but I thought the term "Hoi Polloi" actually referred to the privileged, NOT the masses? Have I been understanding it wrong all these years??!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

All I know is that as a taxpayer I'm pretty sick and tired of supporting my taxes being wasted on royalty that doesn't benefit who I am as a Japanese and many out there would agree. Perhaps in the old days but today it's a very different world that the older generation needs to let go of the reins and step down as well as let the royalty belong in a museum. I'm pretty sure there are many out there who are sick and tired of living in cramped up squalors and capsules and that additional tax in their pockets would come in handy.

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As if any of you would want to be royalty (at least not as the #1 or #2 in succession) who are constantly watched, scrutinized and pretty much work everyday till they drop dead. Sure, they might be wealthy, but they have no control over it. I bet the amount of paperwork to purchase a new car is insane.

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Spot anyone under the retirement age in the crowd?

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I think people went there like tourism. There are many places in Japan that has more than 50,000 a year tourists.

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'Deserving of a puny palace'

No palace I've ever seen is 'puny' and nobody is 'deserving' of one.

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Oh no Joe, you ought to write a hollywood flick. It has stopped and resumed raining thrice today so far.

I'm not sure how much the average person cares, but the current emperor must surely belong to one of the more positive contributions of royalty. There are few scandals like those plaguing the English, Swedish and partially Danish and Norwegian royal houses, nor any vulgarity as displayed by most middle eastern royal houses. The reason people apparently get genuinely happy upon being visited by the emperor is likely because they expect them to have better things to do (though one could argue they don't), it doesn't have to mean they are die-hard royalists. Since this royal family has actually held the throne for what is claimed to be up towards 2000 years, I'd say they are more deserving of a puny palace or two than several European royal houses which were barely consolidated five hundred years ago.

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Unlike the English Royal Family who actively participate in society and engage in work be it rescue or military the Japanese Royal Family do very little except shake hands / bow with people who are already in shock from a disaster. A shuffling crowd meandering through a section of garden (mostly elderly) is a start towards humanising a family trapped in a system of dehumanising them.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

The Emperor and his family have been "humanized" by constant news stories, some interviews and photographic coverage. Two Tokyo TV stations have regular shows about the Imperial family's activities, and though many are stereotyped scenes of official tours and receptions, the shows reportedly get good ratings. I recall Emperor Showa's funeral which held on a cold and rainy day back in 1989. As evening fell, he was interred in a mausoleum close to those of his father and mother. The rain had stopped - almost as if Japan had dried its tears.

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@kyushubill

Assuming you're American, couldn't the same be said of the whitehouse or the pentagon?

Moreover, if you're willing to grant that the royal family's safety is something worth paying for, what you propose would consume exponentionally larger amounts of tax money.

There are still numberous leftist political groups, like the guys from the recent Kyoto University ordeal (who pipe bombed your embassy in the past) who would like to end the current consitutionally monarchic system by whatever means possible.

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They should be able to visit every single day - their taxes support the royal's useless lifestyle and pay for the entire palace and its upkeep.

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I'm from the UK and have never understood how a remote, isolated family has anything to do with my sense of 'being British'.

Maybe because you don't understand or appreciate the symbolism behind the Emperor system here and while they have no official standing in the actual governing of the country they are a very important symbol to the people of Japan.

No Japanese person I know of thinks that they are "gods", but they feel happier having them around than not.

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'I like the royal family. Great people.'

How do you know this?

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I like the royal family. Great people.

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'It's not purposeful to judge what you don't understand. To the Japanese people, the emperor and royal family are very important. It's an anchor for their culture, their sense of being Japanese, which is their strength. I hope they don't lose it, as the US (and much of Europe, particularly England) has with its crazy multiculturalism.'

'To the Japanese people'? Which Japanese people? The vast majority of Japanese people I know are indifferent to the royals. The older generation probably have more respect for this institution but among younger people I'd argue most couldn't care less. I very much doubt that vast majority of Japanese people's sense of 'being Japanese' has anything to do with the royal family. I'm from the UK and have never understood how a remote, isolated family has anything to do with my sense of 'being British'.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

During Japan’s property bubble of the 1980s, it was said that the palace grounds were worth more as a piece of real estate than the entire state of California.

Which is added to mean what? That once again Japan is "greater" than somewhere else on this planet and comparing it , as typical to so many other things here, is unique?

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

Hello! I watched that in news.That place has many people. So crowded. But it is good to watch red and yello leaves. I want to go there at once.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

It's not purposeful to judge what you don't understand. To the Japanese people, the emperor and royal family are very important. It's an anchor for their culture, their sense of being Japanese, which is their strength. I hope they don't lose it, as the US (and much of Europe, particularly England) has with its crazy multiculturalism.

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

Guess most of you here are Americans? Or maybe French.

Its not that I don't understand your guys' logic, but I guess these royal folks have me bought on their "symbolic intrinsic value". And like Mr. Perfect says many of their subjects appreciate them although its hard to give a logical explanation of why.

Functionally speaking, I view royalty as kind of a "lucky" favourite hat that Hobbes' leviathan wears, especially when he/she is out in the cold.

Rock on royalty.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Allow the taxpayers a quick and partial view of someone's incredibly luxurious premises which taxpayers pay for. Thank you so much. Are we worthy or deserving of such a treat?

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jerseyboy Dec. 04, 2014 - 07:04AM JST

The Imperial Family holds no real significance in Japanese society today, yet the public allows them to still be treated like "gods"

I too had the same opinion but have come around and actually think they serve a unique purpose. Last night NHK showed the Imperial couple in Hiroshima touring the area devastated by the landslides and meeting with the people who were affected. They often take such trips and have already made a few rounds to the Sendai area to meet victims of the tsunami. I believe the people who meet them are truly touched and grateful and I sense sincerity on the part of the royal couple as well.

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not Rare, if almost 50,000 people visited,,, just saying!

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Glad to see that the Chrysanthemum Curtain that shields the Japanese Imperial Family will lift an inch or two.

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"more than 50,000 visitors had turned out to enjoy a stroll along a 750-meter, tree-lined road"

Way too many people crammed in one place.

"During Japan’s property bubble of the 1980s, it was said that the palace grounds were worth more as a piece of real estate than the entire state of California."

I'll bet the palace grounds are still worth at least as much as the entire state of Texas now, lol.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

By early afternoon, more than 50,000 visitors had turned out to enjoy a stroll along a 750-meter, tree-lined road that is usually off-limits to the hoi polloi.

The Imperial Household Agency, the government department responsible for every aspect of the royal family’s affairs, decided to open a small section of the grounds for five days as part of celebrations marking Emperor Akihito’s 80th year.

The Imperial Palace is a vast patch of greenery in gray, crowded Tokyo, one of the biggest cities on earth, where millions of people live in cramped apartments.

IMO -- obscene. The Imperial Family holds no real significance in Japanese society today, yet the public allows them to still be treated like "gods", and for a bunch of bureaucrats -- who's biggest concern is keeping their lofty titles and salaries -- to keep it that way. And while thousands of folks have to squeeze in to the limited number of parks in Tokyo on weekends, a handful of "royals" have the largest green-space in the city all to themselves.

-11 ( +9 / -20 )

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