The new Emperor means a different Japan.

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Jul 10, 2019
Time is changing. The beginning of a new era requires new steps and new views on old issues. Japan in this sense is no exception. How the life of the land of the rising sun will change with the advent of the new emperor is unknown. But the fact that significant changes have begun in the country is obvious.

In Japan, the oldest monarchical dynasty in the world, it dates back 14 centuries and originates from the first Emperor Jimmu, who was called the great-grandson of the Sun goddess Amaterasu. It was believed that if this dynasty was replaced by another, the gods would torment the Japanese. In those time, the Emperor could not even be looked at by commoners, but it was a matter of honor for everyone to give up their lives for the sake of the Emperor.

The greatest changes in the system of monarchical rule occurred during the Second world war. It was then that Emperor Hirohito for the first time in the centuries-old history of the monarchy addressed the people with the announcement of the capitulation of Japan. In fact, this could be considered the end of the govern of the monarchical dynasty in Japan, if not for the fact that at present the Imperial power in the country is growing.

Until the surrender of Japan in 1945 the Emperor was a sovereign ruler. After the victory of the allies in world war II, he lost its functions, becoming just a symbol of the nation. Legally, the Emperor is deprived of power and this is spelled out in the 4th article of the Constitution, adopted under pressure from the United States. He has no right even to express an opinion on certain issues if they are under the jurisdiction of the Cabinet of Ministers. But whether is this true? In recent years, there have been real changes in the system of monarchical rule of Japan. This can be seen as a small deviation from the traditional ceremonies but it all starts from small.

The first changes concerned Emperor Akihito, the father of the current Emperor. Contrary to public opinion, he did not choose a wife from the aristocracy, but married a commoner. She was the daughter of a rich and respected man - the President of a large milling company. Contrary to traditions, Akihito himself raised his own children. To make the future ruler learn to think not about the family, but about the state, the Crown Prince, as a rule, was excommunicated and brought up by tutors. Akihito and all emperors before him grew up in such conditions. But he was not a supporter of such method, so he did everything possible to promote the idea of active fatherhood. Thus, he even influenced the views of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who set a goal to bring the number of fathers who take maternity leave to 13% by 2020. This is despite the fact that paternal activity is not peculiar to Japan. For centuries, men here were only earners and provided financial stability to the family.
Publicity is another characteristic of Emperor Akihito's reign. Together with his wife, he attended 250 public events a year, made 75 trips around the country and abroad.

Pacifism, closeness to the people and care for the family made Akihito a real national favorite who, thanks to a well-calibrated diplomatic line, could influence the consciousness of citizens and the country's leadership.

Everything about Akihito's reign was different from his predecessors. This also affected his abdicating authority. This was the first Emperor who abdicated power which was a departure not only from the traditional canons but also from the law according to which the Emperor of Japan was obliged to rule until death. In this regard, the Parliament had to pass a separate law allowing Akihito personally to transfer power. Therefore, if another Emperor decides to abdicate the Parliament will have to adopt a new law.

Thus, on May 1, 2019, Akihito's son Naruhito ascended the throne. He became the 126th Emperor of Japan. He is 59 – four years older than his father was when he ascended the throne.

His succession to the throne is also associated with a departure from established traditions. The name of the first era of the reign of the Emperor gave the Japanese literature, not Chinese. The name of the era of the new Emperor "Reiwa" in the translation "Beauty and harmony" was borrowed from the Japanese collection of poems of the VIII century.

His succession to the throne is also associated with a departure from established traditions. The name of the first era of the reign of the Emperor gave the Japanese literature, not Chinese. The name of the era of the new Emperor "Reiwa" in the translation "Beauty and harmony" was borrowed from the Japanese collection of poems of the VIII century.

The current Emperor Naruhito, unlike his father, was raised in a family. Since he became crown Prince only at the age of 28, he had enough time for study and personal Hobbies: Naruhito enjoys tennis, mountaineering, jogging and playing the viola. His predecessors were much less fortunate – since the crown Prince was obliged to take care of the state, he could not study at the University. Naruhito became the first Emperor who study abroad. He graduated from Oxford. All the interest of the current Emperor is connected with water-from water transport to solving the problems of ocean pollution and supply of fresh water. He is currently the honorary Chairman of the UN Secretary General's Advisory Council on water and sanitation.

Just like his father, Naruhito married a girl not of the nobility. He married the daughter of high-ranking diplomat Hisashi Owada. She went to kindergarten in Moscow, graduated from school in the United States, studied at Harvard and Oxford. In the future, she could work in the foreign Ministry.

Contrary to Japanese tradition parents themselves gave name of daughters, although this was prerogative ruling Emperor. Naruhito paid much attention to her education, which is not peculiar not only to emperors but also to the Japanese in general.

Just came to power, the Emperor overcame a lot of bureaucratic conventions. It is clear that he is not a supporter of the observance of monarchical principles, committed to pacifism and does not mind bringing something new to the monarchy. At present the Emperor has little influence politically, but he exerts a great influence over his people. The Japanese are adherents of traditional monarchical principles. To them, an Emperor is more than a ruler. Yes, he does not rule, but the people listen to him. It is his reign in the Japanese consciousness due to the new era, a new era and a new calendar. So, along with the world-famous way of chronology, in the land of the rising sun is used and traditional-gengo, leading the countdown from the reign of the new Emperor. Back in 1975, it was the main calendar for 82% of Japanese.

Naruhito is expected to follow in his father's footsteps and work to revive the image of Japan, which suffered during world war II. However, in the modern world where new geopolitical threats arise every day it is still very difficult to take obvious steps towards independence and prospects of development of the country given the vassal position of the country.