Leaving a legacy of love | Daily News
Traditional nobility no mere myth

Leaving a legacy of love

Crown Prince Naruhito of Japan and Masako Owada waving to the crowds after their marriage  in 1993
Crown Prince Naruhito of Japan and Masako Owada waving to the crowds after their marriage in 1993

“As legend would have it, the Japanese imperial line traces its origin, to the supreme sun goddess Amaterasu Omikami. The Japanese Ruling family, is by far, the oldest in the world. Even some non-Japanese persons, at times, tended to attribute Divinity to emperors.

An example: “When Emperor Hirohitho’s image appeared on the June 6, 1932 cover of ‘TIME’, the magazine included an unusual request: ‘Let the copies of the present issue life face upward on the tables; let no object be placed upon the likeness of the Emperor.’

Miracles happen even in our (mostly) matter-of-fact modern world. Dissension, turbulence, conflict, violence and resentment seem the preliminary, predominant ingredients, in current global life.

But, Japan demonstrated to the whole world, within just 24 hours, that traditional nobility, is not merely a myth. They proved, that it functions, with profound impressiveness, with a touch of legendary aura, even now-in this second decade of the 21st century.

The Imperial event, was in two facts. The first was the formal resignation of Emperor Akihito – the 125th in the line of Imperial rulers, of Japan. This was the first time in 200 years that a Japanese Emperor has resigned.

Being an Emperor in Japan is considered life-long responsibility. Emperor Akihito was allowed to resign, on a special regulation that fits only to this resignation. Emperor Akihito’s formal resignation, took place on April 30, 2019, at 5 pm, Tokyo time – at the Imperial Palace. (This was about 1.30 pm Sri Lankan time).

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe presented a formal appreciation to Emperor Akihito, who was in Imperial Atire. The Emperor responded briefly, expressing his gratitude and promising to pray for peace in Japan and in the whole world. Ending his rule as the 125th Emperor of Japan, he left, followed by the great Empress Michiko Shoda, for his well-earned retirement, at the age of 86.

Emperor Akihito was born on December 23, 1933. His reign was a positive blessing to his people as the land experienced peace and prosperity, during his tenure as Emperor. His own personal life, reflected a serenity that his people quite clearly sensed.

His Imperial Father – Emperor Hirohito, (1901-1989) was the 124th ruler of Japan. When he passed away, his son, Akihito, became the ruler as Emperor 125, on January 9, 1989. But, his formal enthronement came about, on November 12, 1990.

This way, when Emperor Akihito went into retirement on April 30, 2019, he had guided Japan for 30 years.

When young, Prince Akihito, had the advantage of being sent to a private school, to enable the six-year-old to broaden his experience. As Prince Akihito, the 125th ruler of Japan, displayed some very interesting aspects of his life.

An outstanding event in the life of crown Prince Akihito is the absorbing romance he had with a beautiful young lady. Her present name Empress Michiko Shoda – is almost always associated with Emperor Akihito.

History records her as the first commoner in 2600 years, to marry an heir to the Japanese Imperial throne. Their deep affection for each other, originated with Tennis. Many would not want to play against the crown Prince, because they were afraid to beat the crown prince at the game. But Lady Michiko Shoda, who was from an exceptionally affluent and influential family, decided to help the Prince. She would even, wipe the perspiration off the crown prince’s brow.

Lady Michiko, born on October 30, 1934, was just one year younger to the Prince. She was deeply devoted to the Prince, and even carried the Prince’s tennis rackets for him. The crown Prince kept on writing impassioned letters to her, in addition to calling her over the phone, constantly. For a while, lady Michiko would not reciprocate. But, eventually she informed the crown prince that she will marry him.

The intimacy between the Emperor and the Empress, has been legendary. Members of the Imperial family, used to make music together, whenever the opportunity offered itself. Cumulatively, the 125th Emperor, indicated through all the effort the need to improve the well-being of his people.

The clearest evidence of this feeling, became fully articulated by the declaration of a 10-day holiday, to mark the imperial abdication. In a land where people would not want to waste even a second unnecessarily, this is a great tribute indeed. This takes us to the next stage of the Japanese Imperial celebration.

This fact was the elevation of the Crown Prince Naruhito, to the exalted status of the 126th Emperor of Japan. This glorious moment came on May 1, 2019.

The new Emperor 126, and his Empress Masako Owada represent a dimension, that could be a fresh streak in the future evolution of this glorious Japanese Imperialism. The 126th Empered and his empress bring to the Chrysanthemum Throne, an additional in-put. In most of the previous eras, when the new Emperor ascends the throne, his imperial predecessor is gone.

But, in the present instance, the Imperial father of Emperor Nambito, is still around, as his son begins his imperial rule. His imperial father is, of course, the retired Emperor Akihito. This implies that Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako Owada can seek guidance, from the Imperial father of Emperor Naruhito, if needed. Besides, the new Emperor Naruhito and his Empress have had formal tertiary education at prestigious Universities, abroad.

When you consider the prolonged courtship, between crown Prince Naruhito and Masako Owada, one cannot help but feel that it was very much a repetition of the sustained love affair between crown Prince Akihito and Lady Michiko Shoda. Both crown Prince Naruhito and Lady Masako Owada, studied together at Oxford at one point.

The formal ritual held at the Imperial Palace on May 1, 2019, lasted only for about 10 minutes. At the ceremony Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, offered the felicitations of the people. The new Emperor Namhito, pledged to respond to the people.

At the ceremony, the new Emperor was offered Jewels, a sword, a gun and a could wonder. It symbolizes reflecting on the well-being of the people at large.

When, a new Emperor ascends the Chrysanthemum Throne, the whole Nation is agitated by the name given to the new era. After, extensive explorations, the era of the new 126th. Emperor Naruhito, is given the name ‘RAIWA’. This name was selected by special committee Associated with the Prime Minister’s Office. ‘RAIWA’ means ‘Harmony’. This expression has been selected from an Anthology of poetry titled ‘MANYOSHU’ written about 1200 years ago.

Throughout the era of the New Emperor Naruhito, this expression will be used to identify the Age of the 126th Emperor. The people of Japan, have started to make the best possible use of the ten Day Abdication Holiday, by travelling within the country and in foreign lands.

Although Japan is one of the most affluent countries in the world, the people generally believe in ready cash, rather than in credit cards and similar facilities. An observer made this statement, seeing the crowd’s getting cash from Banks, for the Abdication Holidays. Japan has been traditionally an important friend of Sri Lanka’s their high deference for culture, ritual and polite behaviour is exemplary.

 


 

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