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Datum objave: 30.04.2019
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In Japan, Naruhito's era will be called 'Reiwa' (令和), which can be roughly translated to 'pursuing harmony.'

Crown Prince Naruhito will become Emperor on May 1, though his official enthronement ceremony won't be until October 22

In Japan, each new reign comes with a new name. Naruhito's era will be called 'Reiwa' (令和), which can be roughly translated to 'pursuing harmony.'

Akihito's son, Crown Prince Naruhito, will succeed his father on the throne on Wednesday, May 1.

Naruhito will become Emperor on May 1, though his official enthronement ceremony won't be until October 22.

Leaders from 195 countries will be invited to join the four-day celebration, which will include a ceremony and a banquet, Japan's NHK broadcaster said

TOKYO IMPERIAL PALACE


The Emperor’s Residence and Gardens

https://www.kanpai-japan.com/tokyo/imperial-palace

It is quite a rare treat for visitors of Japan to be able to visit Tokyo’s Imperial Palace as it can only be explored thoroughly under certain conditions.

Tour of the grounds available throughout the year  

For the man on the street, the standard tour around the Imperial Palace includes the two adjoining parks:

The East Gardens (東業炎 Higashi-gyoen) which cover a surface area of 21 hectares and can be accessed from the Kitanomaru Park;

The Outer Grounds (皇居外苑 Kokyo-gaien) a bit lower down, whose entrance gate is located just outside the Marunouchi district, only a few dozen meters from Tokyo station.

The Imperial Palace grounds are located in the heart of the city and therefore surrounded by skyscrapers. They are protected by moats and more or less well-preserved walls. This is indeed all that remains of the famous Edo Castle, which was the residence of the shoguns (lords) in the Tokugawa period.  

At the beginning of the Edo era, Emperor Meiji ordered that the capital be transferred from Kyoto to Tokyo where the Imperial Family set up their quarters from then on. The estate subsequently suffered the vicissitudes of History: it was destroyed by fire a few years later in 1873, rebuilt in 1888, razed to the ground during WW2 and finally rebuilt in 1968.

Guided tour of the inner grounds

Visitors are not allowed independent access beyond the Palace gateway, marked by the Nijubashi bridge, but it is possible to book a guided tour, exclusively organized by the staff of the Imperial Family’s agency.

To do so, visit the official website and fill in the online form: you will be asked to select one of two daily time slots (10 a.m. or 1.30 p.m.). You may book your tour from 30 to 4 days before schedule.

The visit is about 1h15 minutes long and is entirely conducted in Japanese (audio-guides in English are nevertheless available) and sticks to the outdoor parts of the estate: you will not be allowed to enter any of the buildings.

Watch the Imperial Family’s salute

Visiting the inner grounds may moreover hold a major surprise, a treat scheduled only twice a year:

On December 23rd, the day of Emperor Akihito’s birthday which is also Labor day;

On January 2nd, the day when the Emperor offers his New Year’s greetings.

On both occasions, you had better muster all your patience as people (mainly Japanese) come in great numbers. They form a compact waiting line that stretches out endlessly and inches slowly forward throughout the day until they catch a glimpse of the Imperial Family offering greetings from the vantage point of a balcony protected by bullet-proof glass.

This is actually the closest you will ever get to the private residence of the Emperor and his family.  


Tokyo Imperial Palace photo gallery

https://www.kanpai-japan.com/tokyo/imperial-palace


Tokyo Imperial Palace

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

Key Questions and Answers About Japan Emperor's Abdication

Why is Akihito abdicating, and how is it different from usual successions?

By Mari Yamaguchi  Published Apr 28, 2019 at 6:18 PM

https://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/national-international/Japan-Emperor-Abdication-509193891.html

In this Aug. 7, 2016, file photo, provided by the Imperial Household Agency of Japan, Japan's Emperor Akihito reads a message for recording at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo. Akihito expressed concern about fulfilling his duties as he ages in an address to the public in a 10-minute recorded speech broadcast on national television that was remarkable for its rarity and its hinted possibility that he may want to abdicate in a few years. Akihito is ending his three-decade reign Tuesday, April 30, 2019, as he abdicates to his son, Crown Prince Naruhito, becoming the first to do so in 200 years, in a step nobody today has witnessed.

Japan's 85-year-old Emperor Akihito ends his three-decade reign on Tuesday when he abdicates to his son Crown Prince Naruhito. He's the first emperor to abdicate in 200 years.

Some key questions and answers about the abdication and ascension and other examples abroad:Q. Why is Akihito abdicating, and how is it different from usual successions?

A. Akihito, citing concerns about his age and declining health, expressed in August 2016 his wish to abdicate while he is still well and capable. As a constitutionally defined symbol with no political power, Akihito sought understanding in a message to his people, and immediately won overwhelming public support, paving the way for the government's approval.

With Japan's Imperial House Law lacking a provision on abdication by a reigning emperor and virtually allowing only posthumous succession, the government enacted a one-time law to allow Akihito's abdication, the first in 200 years. Palace watchers say Akihito wanted keep the emperor's presence always visible so it won't be veiled and politically used like his father's wartime role, while others say he tried to smooth the transition for his son. Winning his abdication was part of changes Akihito has brought to the palace: He was the first emperor to marry a commoner, Empress Michiko, and has decided to be cremated upon his death, a plan that would break a centuries-old burial custom. Q. Who is next in line, and who's left?

A. Naruhito, who ascends the throne on Wednesday, is the elder of Akihito's two sons. A musician and avid hiker, 59-year-old Naruhito spent two years at Oxford and wrote a paper on the 18th century Thames River transport systems after studying history at Gakushuin University, a school formerly for aristocrats. His wife, Masako, a Harvard-educated former diplomat, is recovering from stress-induced conditions she developed after giving birth to their daughter Aiko amid pressure to produce a boy.

Aiko, 17, is barred from inheriting under Japan's male-only succession law, and the line goes to Naruhito's brother, Fumihito, better known by his childhood title, Akishino. Fumihito's son, Hisahito, 12, would be next. Discussions on changing the law to allow female succession quickly ended with Hisahito's birth, but they are expected to resume, with Akihito's abdication raising concerns about the family's future. Most Japanese support female succession despite opposition by conservatives in the government and its ultra-right-wing supporters, who want the family to be a model for a paternalistic society.

Q. What are the procedures to abdicate?

A. Akihito will announce his abdication in a palace ritual on Tuesday evening, but technically he remains the emperor until midnight, when his era of Heisei, or "achieving peace," ends and Naruhito takes over, his Reiwa era of "beautiful harmony" beginning. On Wednesday morning, Naruhito, in his first ritual as emperor, receives the Imperial regalia, including the sword and the jewel, as proof of his ascension to the throne. Aside from government officials, only adult male royals are allowed to attend, a tradition the government stuck with despite criticisms raised by the public.

Number of US Measles Cases Inches Even Higher

The succession not by death has spread festivity across Japan, though the rituals are off-limits to the public and traffic will be tightly controlled outside the palace. A more elaborate enthronement ceremony for Naruhito will be held in October, when he will proclaim his ascension before officials and guests from inside and outside the country.

Q. What will Akihito do after abdication?

A. Akihito will hold a new title, Emperor Emeritus, but he will be fully retired from official duties and will no longer sign documents, receive foreign dignitaries, attend government events or perform palace rituals. He won't even attend his son's succession rituals and will largely recede from public appearances.

His activities will be strictly private so as not to interfere with the serving emperor. Akihito is expected to enjoy his retirement, going to museums and concerts, or spending time on his goby research at a seaside Imperial villa. After abdication, Akihito and Michiko will move to a temporary royal residence before eventually switching places with Naruhito after refurbishments at each place.

The rabbi who was shot in Saturday's attack at a southern California synagogue is now describing acts of terror, heroism...and what he calls a miracle. "I saw the worst sight you could ever see... a young man holding a rifle and shooting," Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein recalls.(Published Monday, April 29, 2019)

Q. What about abdications in other countries?

A. Japan's last abdication was about 200 years ago during the feudal Edo period, when Emperor Kokaku abdicated to his son Ninko while he ascended to a superior title. Abroad, Pope Benedict XVI, citing old age, abdicated to Pope Francis in 2013 at age 85, becoming the first pontiff to resign in 600 years. Spain's former King Juan Carlos abdicated at age 76 to King Felipe in 2014 amid scandals, and the succession laws to allow it were changed in just two weeks.

In the Netherlands in 2013, Queen Beatrix, citing old age at age 75, abdicated to her son Alexander, who became the country's first male successor in more than a century. In Belgium, the former King Albert II, then 79, abdicated to his son Philippe in 2013 due to health reasons. This year, Malaysia's King Sultan Muhammad V abruptly stepped down after just two years on the throne, the first abdication in the country's history.


Japanese Emperor residence

https://www.google.com/search?hs=2dG&q=Japanese+Emperor+residence&tbm=isch&source=univ&client=opera&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjCgqrMm_bhAhVOmIsKHfSRDqQQsAR6BAgJEAE&biw=1880&bih=939


60 years in photos: Japanese Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko

https://english.kyodonews.net/news/2019/04/865274413410-in-photos-japanese-emperor-akihito-empress-michiko-60-years-of-marriage.html

  Emperor Akihito defines role as state symbol through 30 yrs of reign

Emperor not alone in abdicating, as examples in other countries show

https://english.kyodonews.net/news/2019/04/ae4663c95bff-emperor-not-alone-in-abdicating-as-examples-in-other-countries-show.html

Japan's Emperor Akihito will become on Tuesday the country's first monarch in more than 200 years to relinquish the throne, but around the world such abdications are not uncommon.

Including Commonwealth nations, the world has over 40 countries with some form of monarchy, the structure of which varies widely. Unlike Japan, which only allows male imperial family members to ascend the throne, many recognize female succession and a number of monarchs have stepped down recently due mainly to old age.

In the Vatican City State, which is governed as an absolute monarchy, Pope Benedict XVI shocked the world when he announced his resignation in February 2013 at the age of 85 after nearly eight years in office. Pontiffs are normally expected to serve until death, but Pope Benedict, citing a lack of strength due to his advancing age, became the first pontiff to voluntarily step down in about 600 years.

In the Netherlands, Queen Beatrix announced her abdication in January 2013 at the age of 74 following a reign of 33 years, saying she is convinced that the "responsibilities of our country should be passed on to a new generation."

Japan's Emperor Akihito will become on Tuesday the country's first monarch in more than 200 years to relinquish the throne, but around the world such abdications are not uncommon.

Including Commonwealth nations, the world has over 40 countries with some form of monarchy, the structure of which varies widely. Unlike Japan, which only allows male imperial family members to ascend the throne, many recognize female succession and a number of monarchs have stepped down recently due mainly to old age.

In the Vatican City State, which is governed as an absolute monarchy, Pope Benedict XVI shocked the world when he announced his resignation in February 2013 at the age of 85 after nearly eight years in office. Pontiffs are normally expected to serve until death, but Pope Benedict, citing a lack of strength due to his advancing age, became the first pontiff to voluntarily step down in about 600 years.

In the Netherlands, Queen Beatrix announced her abdication in January 2013 at the age of 74 following a reign of 33 years, saying she is convinced that the "responsibilities of our country should be passed on to a new generation."

Japan's Emperor Akihito will become on Tuesday the country's first monarch in more than 200 years to relinquish the throne, but around the world such abdications are not uncommon.

Including Commonwealth nations, the world has over 40 countries with some form of monarchy, the structure of which varies widely. Unlike Japan, which only allows male imperial family members to ascend the throne, many recognize female succession and a number of monarchs have stepped down recently due mainly to old age.

In the Vatican City State, which is governed as an absolute monarchy, Pope Benedict XVI shocked the world when he announced his resignation in February 2013 at the age of 85 after nearly eight years in office. Pontiffs are normally expected to serve until death, but Pope Benedict, citing a lack of strength due to his advancing age, became the first pontiff to voluntarily step down in about 600 years.

In the Netherlands, Queen Beatrix announced her abdication in January 2013 at the age of 74 following a reign of 33 years, saying she is convinced that the "responsibilities of our country should be passed on to a new generation."



Here's everything you need to know about Crown Prince Naruhito, who will become Emperor of Japan after the country's first abdication in 200 years

https://www.thisisinsider.com/japan-emperor-naruhito-everything-to-know-about-him-2019-4

Japan will get a new emperor on May 1, 2019.

Crown Prince Naruhito, 59, will succeed his father, Akihito, who is abdicating due to health concerns.

Naruhito is a keen historian, water transportation researcher, and environmental activist.He also spent two years studying at Oxford University, and wrote a memoir about it.

He and his wife, Masako, have been beset with illness and pressures to produce a male heir.

Visit INSIDER's homepage for more.

Japan is gearing up to welcome a new emperor after its current one, Akihito, said he wanted to step down — the country's first abdication in some 200 years.

Akihito's son, Crown Prince Naruhito, will succeed his father on the throne on Wednesday, May 1.

The 59-year-old, who was educated in Tokyo and Oxford, is a keen historian, water transportation researcher, and memoirist. He has spoken out on environmental issues for decades.

He and his wife, Masako, have also openly discussed their struggles with mental health and the pressure to produce a male heir — providing the traditionally conservative Japanese society a rare, frank glimpse into their lives.

Scroll down to learn more about Naruhito and his family, and what his reign could look like.

This is Japanese Crown Prince Naruhito, the man who will become the country's next emperor on May 1.


Naruhito will become the country's 126th emperor.

He was born in Tokyo in February 1960 as the eldest son to then-Crown Prince (now Emperor) Akihito and his wife Michiko — making him the natural heir to the world's oldest monarchy. Here are Naruhito's parents on their wedding day.

Then-Japanese Crown Prince Akihito and his wife, Michiko, in the ceremonial robes they wore during their wedding ceremony at the Tokyo Imperial Palace grounds in April 1959. AP

Akihito, who has been emperor since 1989, announced his plan to step down in December 2017. It was Japan's first abdication in 200 years.

Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko wave to well-wishers from the balcony of Tokyo's Imperial Palace in December 2018. Eugene Hoshiko/AP

Akihito, 85, has undergone heart surgery and been diagnosed with prostate cancer in the past.

He hinted of his wish to abdicate in a 2016 speech, saying: "When I consider that my fitness level is gradually declining, I am worried that it may become difficult for me to carry out my duties as the symbol of the State with my whole being as I have done until now."

He added that if an emperor died on the throne, Japanese society could come "to a standstill."

Earlier this month Akihito performed a sacred ritual to confirm his resignation to the Shinto gods and put the succession process into motion.

Akihito visits Ise Grand Shrine on April 18, 2019, to perform an abdication ceremony. Kazushi Kurihara/Kyodo News via AP

Japan's Shinto religion emphasizes rituals and rites as a means to communicate with spiritual beings.

The sacred ritual involved the country's imperial treasures: a sword, a jewel, and a mirror.

Read more: Japan's outgoing emperor performed a sacred ritual with a mirror, sword, and jewel as part of his abdication

Naruhito, the crown prince, grew up in Tokyo and received a bachelor's degree in History at the city's private Gakushuin University aged 22.

A year later he moved, by himself, to the UK to enroll in a postgraduate course at Oxford University's Merton College, where he studied the history of transportation in the River Thames for two years.

This was the first time anyone in the direct line of succession to Japan's throne studied outside the country, The Japan Times reported.

He recorded his time in Oxford assiduously, which culminated in his 1993 memoir "The Thames and I: A Memoir of Two Years at Oxford."

The book details his daily life in Oxford, travels around the UK and Europe, and anecdotes about a crown prince trying to fit into student life. Naruhito called this period the "happiest time" of his life, The Japan Times reported.

Naruhito almost flooded his student dorm while doing laundry for the first time in his life, The Japan Times reported the book as saying.

According to Nippon.com, Naruhito also recalled telling his Oxford friends about the similarities between the Japanese words for "Your Highness" ("denka") and the word for "electric light" ("denki") — resulting in his friends calling him an electric light instead of your highness.

Hugh Cortazzi, the former British ambassador to Japan who translated the book from Japanese to English, told The Japan Times the memoir "reveals the Crown Prince's charm, modesty, sense of humor and conscientious dedication to his studies and will enhance his international image."

He later returned to Tokyo, eventually getting another Master's degree from Gakushuin University. There he met Masako Owada, an Oxford- and Harvard-educated aspiring diplomat, reportedly at a tea party for a Spanish princess in 1986

Naruhito pursued Masako relentlessly, despite her reportedly refusing his marriage proposal twice because she didn't want to jeopardize her diplomatic career. She finally accepted in December 1992, and they married in 1993.

Crown Prince Naruhito and his bride, Masako, leaving the Imperial Palace for a 2.5-mile parade to the Togu Palace, Tokyo, on their wedding day in June 9, 1993. Koji Sasahara/AP

According to People magazine, shortly after she accepted Naruhito's third proposal, the crown prince said: "You might have fears and worries about joining the Imperial household. But I will protect you for my entire life."

Source:People, BBC

Their marriage hit some lows. In 1999 Masako — who had been facing pressure to produce a male heir to the Japanese throne — suffered a miscarriage. The royal couple blamed the media frenzy around her pregnancy.

Crown Princess Masako at the funeral of Prince Mikasa, the uncle of Emperor Akihito, at the Toshimagaoka Cemetery in Tokyo in November 2016. Toru Hanai/Pool/AP

TV companies hired helicopters to follow Masako's car when she traveled to the hospital for checkups, The Telegraph reported.

Naruhito called the relentless coverage "truly deplorable," The Telegraph reported, and Masako said a year later: "To be frank, it is a fact that the overheated coverage in the media from such an early period disturbed me."

Masako started withdrawing from public life shortly after the miscarriage. Months later she announced that she suffered from stress-induced depression, with royal family officials saying that it was to do with the trauma of the miscarriage.

But in 2001, Masako became pregnant again and gave birth to a girl, Aiko, later that year. As Japanese law forbids girls to inherit the throne, there was still pressure on Naruhito and Masako to produce a male heir.

Naruhito and Masako, holding their four-month-old daughter Princess Aiko, at Tokyo's Togu Palace after a traditional ritual of prayers for good health for newborn babies in March 2002.

The Japanese government tried to ease some of the pressure by trying to change the laws on male primogeniture. In January 2006, then-Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi said he would submit a bill to allow females to inherit the Japanese throne later that year.

Aiko, 1, and her mother, Masako, at their residence in Tokyo's Togu Palace in November 2003. Imperial Household Agency via AP

Source:Council on Foreign Relations

However, later that month, Naruhito's younger brother, Fumihito, announced that he and his wife Kiko were pregnant with a son, Hisahito — easing pressure from the Japanese government to change the laws and on Masako to have a son.

Japan's Prince Fumihito, his son Prince Hisahito, and his wife Princess Kiko in Tokyo after attending Hisahito's elementary school graduation on March 15, 2019. Kyodo News via Getty

After Akihito's abdication, Hisahito will become second in line to the throne.

Aiko, at this point, is not eligible to ascend the throne.

Source:Council on Foreign Relations

Princess Aiko, now 17, has followed in her parents' footsteps in pursuing her education overseas. Though she attends school in Tokyo, she went to summer school at England's prestigious Eton College by herself in 2018.

Naruhito, Aiko, and Masako arrive to Tokyo's Imperial Palace by car on January 2, 2019. Kyodo News via Getty

She also plays the cello and competes in basketball games at school, The Associated Press reported, citing Japan's Imperial Household Agency.

Naruhito will become Emperor on May 1, though his official enthronement ceremony won't be until October 22.

Naruhito and Masako at an autumn garden party at the Akasaka Palace imperial garden in Tokyo on November 9, 2018. Eugene Hoshiko/AP

Leaders from 195 countries will be invited to join the four-day celebration, which will include a ceremony and a banquet, Japan's NHK broadcaster said.

The Japanese government gave everyone a one-off holiday of ten days, from April 27 to May 6, to celebrate Naruhito's ascension to Emperor. A lot of citizens are worried about having extra chores, childcare, and stock market turmoil during that time.

As emperor, Naruhito will not have any political powers. He will instead be responsible for ceremonial duties, such as greeting state leaders. Here, his parents meets US President Donald Trump in March 2018.

As it is, Naruhito has already met a handful of foreign dignitaries already. Here he is with his parents meeting former US President and First Lady Ronald and Nancy Reagan in 1989...

... at a banquet with Princess Anne, the daughter of Queen Elizabeth II, in Tokyo in 1991 ..

. ... with then-President and First Lady Bill and Hillary Clinton in Tokyo in 1993 ...

... with Prince Charles and Diana, Princess of Wales, in Kyoto in 1997 ...

... and German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Tokyo this February.

Naruhito has appeared to show some of his political and social views in the past. He has long spoken out about environmental issues, particularly on the global access to clean water — a result undoubtedly influenced by his studies.

Naruhito and Masako have also made yearly visits to the Tohoku region in northeastern Japan, which was struck by a catastrophic earthquake and tsunami in 2011.

Emperors should "always be close to the people in their thoughts, and share their joys and sorrows," Naruhito said in 2017.

Naruhito and Masako at their residence in Togu Palace, Tokyo, in February 2019.

Masako, who will become Empress, said in a surprisingly frank statement that she felt "insecure" about her upcoming role, but that she wants to "devote myself to the happiness of the people." In Japan, each new reign comes with a new name. Naruhito's era will be called 'Reiwa' (令和), which can be roughly translated to 'pursuing harmony.'


Crown Prince Naruhito's memoir of time at Oxford reissued in English ahead of May 1 accession

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2019/03/29/national/crown-prince-naruhitos-memoir-time-oxford-reissued-english-ahead-may-1-accession/#.XMdzdk7VKUl

LONDON - Crown Prince Naruhito’s memoir was republished Thursday in English translation by a U.K. publisher ahead of his ascension to the Chrysanthemum Throne on May 1.

The book, published by Renaissance Books, records the 59-year-old prince’s experiences while studying at the University of Oxford in England between 1983 and 1985. He became the first in line to the throne following the death of his grandfather, Emperor Hirohito, posthumously called Emperor Showa, in 1989.

The book, sold at £12.95 (¥1,880), was first released in Japanese in 1993 and later translated into English by the late Hugh Cortazzi, who served as a British ambassador to Japan.

The translated edition was published in 2006 under the title “The Thames and I: A Memoir of Two Years at Oxford,” becoming the first autobiographical work of a future Japanese emperor to appear in English.

On the release of the English edition, the prince fondly recalled his time at Oxford and expressed his wish to bring Japan and the U.K. closer together through his writings.

The memoir describes the Crown Prince’s daily life during his time at the university, where he studied the historical importance of the River Thames as a transport system.

As well as an account of his academic experiences, the memoir also features colorful observations and anecdotes about student life in the city and the Crown Prince’s trips around the U.K. and Europe.

In one humorous episode, he recalls being refused entry to a bar after his jeans were deemed too casual to meet the dress code.

Another passage describes how he narrowly avoided flooding his student dormitory when he attempted to do the laundry by himself for the first time.

His years in Oxford marked the first time anyone in the direct line of succession to the Chrysanthemum Throne had studied outside Japan.

Despite his royal title and status, the Crown Prince lived alongside his peers in an ordinary dormitory, making the most of the opportunity to socialize with fellow students.

Before his death in August 2018, Cortazzi said the memoir offered a rare insight into the prince’s character. “I believe it reveals the Crown Prince’s charm, modesty, sense of humor and conscientious dedication to his studies and will enhance his international image,” he wrote.


The memoir was reissued in association with the Japan Society in London to mark the historic occasion of the accession. It will be followed by a new book, co-edited by Cortazzi, detailing the history of the relationship between the Japanese and British royal families from the year 1850 onward.



The emperor bows out: Japan's ceremonial ruler completes his abdication - the first in 200 years - with humble gesture and message of gratitude as he brings era to an end

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6975059/Japans-emperor-begins-abdication-ceremony-200-years.html

Japan's Emperor Akihito abdicated Tuesday in a series of ceremonies at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo

85-year-old thanked people for supporting his 30-year reign, but said ill health left him unable to do his duties

His rule will officially end at midnight before ceremony to crown his eldest son, Naruhito, on Wednesday

Abdication marks the end of the Heisei imperial era and the start of Reiwa, which means beautiful harmony




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