Akihito Explained

Akihito
明仁
Succession:Emperor of Japan
Reign:7 January 1989 – present
Coronation:12 November 1990
Cor-Type:Japan
Predecessor:Shōwa
Suc-Type:Heir apparent
Successor:Crown Prince Naruhito
Spouse:Michiko
Issue-Link:
  1. Marriage and children
Issue:Crown Prince Naruhito
Prince Akishino
Sayako Kuroda
House:House of Yamato
Father:Hirohito
Mother:Kōjun
Birth Date:23 December 1933
Birth Place:Tokyo, Japan
Religion:Shinto

is the current of Japan, the 125th emperor of his line according to Japan's traditional order of succession. He acceded to the throne in 1989.

Name

In Japan, the emperor is never referred to by his given name, but rather is referred to as "His Imperial Majesty the Emperor" which may be shortened to . In writing, the emperor is also referred to formally as . The Era of Akihito's reign bears the name "Heisei" (Japanese: 平成), and according to custom he will be renamed "Emperor Heisei" (平成天皇 Heisei tennō; see "posthumous name") by order of the cabinet after his death. At the same time, the name of the next era under his successor will also be established.[1]

Biography

Akihito is the eldest son and the fifth child of Emperor Hirohito (the Shōwa Emperor) and Empress Kōjun. Titled as a child, he was raised and educated by his private tutors and then attended the elementary and secondary departments of the Peers' School (Gakushūin) from 1940 to 1952.[2] Unlike his predecessors in the Imperial Family, he did not receive a commission as an Army officer, at the request of his father, Hirohito.

During the American firebombing raids on Tokyo in March 1945, he and his younger brother, HIH Prince Masahito, were evacuated from the city. During the American occupation of Japan following World War II, Prince Akihito was tutored in English and Western manners by Elizabeth Gray Vining. He briefly studied at the Department of Political Science at Gakushuin University in Tokyo, though he never received a degree. Although he was Heir-Apparent to the Chrysanthemum Throne from the moment of his birth, his formal was held at the Tokyo Imperial Palace on 10 November 1952. In June 1953, Crown Prince Akihito represented Japan at the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in London.[2]

Then-Crown Prince Akihito and Crown Princess Michiko made official visits to thirty-seven countries. As an Imperial prince, Akihito compared the role of Japanese royalty to that of a robot; and he expressed the hope that he would like to help in bringing the Imperial family closer to the people of Japan.[3]

After the death of Emperor Hirohito on 7 January 1989, the crown prince received the succession (senso).[4] Emperor Akihito formally acceded to the throne (sokui)[4] on 12 November 1990.[2] In 1998, during a state visit to the United Kingdom, he was invested with The Most Noble Order of the Garter.

On 23 December 2001, during his annual birthday meeting with reporters, the Emperor, in response to a reporter's question about tensions with Korea, remarked that he felt a kinship with Koreans and went on to explain that in the Shoku Nihongi the mother of Emperor Kammu (736–806) is related to Muryeong of Korea, King of Baekje.[5]

Emperor Akihito underwent surgery for prostate cancer in January 2003.[6] Since succeeding to the throne, Emperor Akihito has made an effort to bring the Imperial Family closer to the Japanese people. The Emperor and Empress of Japan have made official visits to eighteen countries, as well as all forty-seven Prefectures of Japan.[2]

In response to the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami and the Fukushima I nuclear crisis, the Emperor made a historic televised appearance urging his people not to give up hope and to help each other. The Emperor had never been featured in a prerecorded televised message before, and so this event is historic and showed the scale of this disaster.[7] The Emperor and the Empress also made a visit on Wednesday, 30 March 2011 to a temporary shelter housing refugees of the disaster, in order to inspire hope in the people. This kind of event is also extremely rare, though in line with the Emperor's attempts to bring the Imperial Family closer to the people.[8]

Later in 2011 he was admitted to hospital suffering from pneumonia.[9] In February 2012, it was announced that the Emperor would be having a coronary examination.[10] He underwent successful heart bypass surgery on 18 February 2012.[11]

Marriage and children

Royal Name:Emperor Akihito
Dipstyle:His Imperial Majesty
Offstyle:Your Imperial Majesty
Altstyle:Sir

On 10 April 1959, he married Michiko Shōda (born 24 October 1934), the eldest daughter of Hidesaburo Shōda, the president and later honorary chairman of Nisshin Flour Milling Company.[12] The new Crown Princess was the first commoner to marry into the imperial family. The Emperor and the Empress have three children:

Official functions

Despite being strictly constrained by his constitutional position, he also issued several wide-ranging statements of remorse to Asian countries, for their suffering under Japanese occupation, beginning with an expression of remorse to China made in April 1989, three months after the death of his father, Emperor Hirohito.

In June 2005, the Emperor visited the US territory of Saipan, the site of a battle in World War II from 15 June to 9 July 1944 (Battle of Saipan). Accompanied by Empress Michiko, he offered prayers and flowers at several memorials, honoring not only the Japanese who died, but also American soldiers, Korean laborers, and local islanders. It was the first trip by a Japanese monarch to a World War II battlefield abroad. The Saipan journey was received with high praise by the Japanese people, as were the Emperor's visits to war memorials in Tokyo, Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and Okinawa in 1995.

On 6 September 2006, the Emperor celebrated the birth of his first grandson, Prince Hisahito, the third child of the Emperor's younger son. Prince Hisahito is the first male heir born to the Japanese imperial family in 41 years (since his father Prince Akishino) and could avert a possible succession crisis as the Emperor's elder son, the Crown Prince, has only one daughter, Princess Aiko. Under Japan's current male-only succession law, Princess Aiko is not eligible for the throne. The birth of Prince Hisahito could mean that proposed changes to the law to allow Aiko to ascend the Chrysanthemum Throne will not go through after being temporarily shelved following the announcement of Princess Kiko's third pregnancy in February 2006.

Ichthyological research

In extension of his father's interest in marine biology, the Emperor is a published ichthyological researcher, and has specialized studies within the taxonomy of the family Gobiidae.[13] He has written papers for scholarly journals, namely Gene and the Japanese Journal of Ichthyology.[14]

He has also written papers about the history of science during the Edo and Meiji eras, which were published in Science[15] and Nature.[16] In 2005, a newly described goby was named Exyrias akihito in his honour.

Awards

National


International

CountryAwards
Order of the Supreme Sun
Decoration for Services to the Republic of Austria Grand Star
Order of al-Khalifa Collar
Order of Leopold Grand Cordon
Presidential Order
Order of the Southern Cross Grand Collar
Order of Valour Grand Cordon
Order of the Merit of Chile Grand Collar
Order of the Cross of Boyaca Grand Collar
National Order of the Leopard Grand Cordon
Order of the Ivory Coast Grand Cordon
Order of the White Lion 1st Class (Civil Division) with Collar Chain
Order of the Elephant Knight Grand Cross
Order of the Nile Grand Collar
Order of the Cross of Terra Mariana The Collar of the Cross[17]
Order of Solomon Grand Collar
Order of the White Rose Grand Cross with Collar
Légion d'honneur Grand Cross
Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany Grand Cross, Special Class
Order of the Redeemer Grand Cross
Order of Merit of Hungary Grand Cross
Order of the Falcon Grand Cross with Collar
Star of Adipurna 1st Class
Order of Merit of the Republic Grand Cross with Cordon
Order of Hussein ibn' Ali Collar
Order of the Golden Eagle
Order of the Golden Heart
Order of Mubarak the Great Collar
Order of the Three Stars Commander Grand Cross with Chain [18]
Order of the Star of Africa Knight Grand Band
Order of the Pioneers of the Republic Knight Grand Band
Order of Vytautas the Great the Great Grand Cross with Collar[19]
Order of the Gold Lion of the House of Nassau Knight
Order of the Lion Grand Commander
Order of the Crown of the Realm
National Order Grand Cordon
Order of the Aztec Eagle Grand Collar
Order of Muhammad Grand Collar
Order of Ojaswi Rajanya
Order of the Netherlands Lion Knight Grand Cross
Order of the Federal Republic Grand Cordon
Royal Norwegian Order of St. Olav Grand Cross with Collar
Order of Oman Superior Class
Nishan-e-Pakistan 1st Class
Order of Manuel Amador Guerrero Gold Collar
Order of the Sun Grand Cross in Brilliants
Philippine Legion of Honor Chief Commander[20]
Order of the White Eagle
Order of Prince Henry Grand Collar[21]
Collar of Independence
Badr Chain
Order of the Lion Grand Cordon
Order of Good Hope Grand Cross in Gold
Order of the Golden Fleece Knight
Order of Charles III
Royal Order of the Seraphim Knight
The Most Auspicious Order of the Rajamitrabhorn
The Most Illustrious Order of the Royal House of Chakri
Order of the Republic of Gambia Grand Commander
Order of Prince Yaroslav the Wise First Class
Collar of the Federation
Stranger 984th Knight of Order of the Garter
Commonwealth realmsKnight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order
Queen Elizabeth II Coronation Medal
Order of the Yugoslav Star
Order of the Leopard Grand Cordon

Other Awards

Ancestors

Patrilineal descent

Akihito's patriline is the line from which he is descended father to son.

Patrilineal descent is the principle behind membership in royal houses, as it can be traced back through the generations, which means that Akihito is a member of the Imperial House of Japan.

Imperial House of Japan
  1. Emperor Keitai, ca. 450–534
  2. Emperor Kimmei, 509–571
  3. Emperor Bidatsu, 538–585
  4. Prince Oshisaka, ca. 556–???
  5. Emperor Jomei, 593–641
  6. Emperor Tenji, 626–671
  7. Prince Shiki, ???–716
  8. Emperor Kōnin, 709–786
  9. Emperor Kammu, 737–806
  10. Emperor Saga, 786–842
  11. Emperor Ninmyō, 810–850
  12. Emperor Kōkō, 830–867
  13. Emperor Uda, 867–931
  14. Emperor Daigo, 885–930
  15. Emperor Murakami, 926–967
  16. Emperor En'yū, 959–991
  17. Emperor Ichijō, 980–1011
  18. Emperor Go-Suzaku, 1009–1045
  19. Emperor Go-Sanjō, 1034–1073
  20. Emperor Shirakawa, 1053–1129
  21. Emperor Horikawa, 1079–1107
  22. Emperor Toba, 1103–1156
  23. Emperor Go-Shirakawa, 1127–1192
  24. Emperor Takakura, 1161–1181
  25. Emperor Go-Toba, 1180–1239
  26. Emperor Tsuchimikado, 1196–1231
  27. Emperor Go-Saga, 1220–1272
  28. Emperor Go-Fukakusa, 1243–1304
  29. Emperor Fushimi, 1265–1317
  30. Emperor Go-Fushimi, 1288–1336
  31. Emperor Kōgon, 1313–1364
  32. Emperor Sukō, 1334–1398
  33. Prince Yoshihito Fushimi, 1351–1416
  34. Prince Sadafusa Fushimi, 1372–1456
  35. Emperor Go-Hanazono, 1419–1471
  36. Emperor Go-Tsuchimikado, 1442–1500
  37. Emperor Go-Kashiwabara, 1464–1526
  38. Emperor Go-Nara, 1495–1557
  39. Emperor Ōgimachi, 1517–1593
  40. Prince Masahito, 1552–1586
  41. Emperor Go-Yōzei, 1572–1617
  42. Emperor Go-Mizunoo, 1596–1680
  43. Emperor Reigen, 1654–1732
  44. Emperor Higashiyama, 1675–1710
  45. Prince Naohito Kanin, 1704–1753
  46. Prince Sukehito Kanin, 1733–1794
  47. Emperor Kōkaku, 1771–1840
  48. Emperor Ninkō, 1800–1846
  49. Emperor Kōmei, 1831–1867
  50. Emperor Meiji, 1852–1912
  51. Emperor Taishō, 1879–1926
  52. Emperor Hirohito, 1901–1989
  53. Emperor Akihito, b. 1933

See also

External links

Notes and References

  1. News: National Day of Japan to be celebrated. 2007-12-07. Embassy of Japan in Pakistan. 2007-12-28.
  2. Web site: Their Majesties the Emperor and Empress. 2007-12-28. 2002. Imperial Household Agency. http://web.archive.org/web/20071201092521/http://www.kunaicho.go.jp/e03/ed03-01.html . 2007-12-01.
  3. http://select.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F10C14F83D591A7493C6A8178AD95F458785F9&scp=1&sq=akihito%20%20and%20Windsor&st=cse "Those Apprentice Kings and Queens Who May -- One Day -- Ascend a Throne,"
  4. Varley, H. Paul. (1980). Jinnō Shōtōki, p. 44.
  5. Web site: Press Conference on the Occasion of His Majesty's Birthday | 2001-12-18. Imperial Household Agency. 2008-07-07. http://web.archive.org/web/20080525113304/http://www.kunaicho.go.jp/epress/epress-01-12.html . 2008-05-25.
  6. News: Akihito has successful cancer operation. 2003-01-18. British Broadcasting Corporation. BBC News. 2007-12-28.
  7. http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/03/16/us-japan-quake-emperor-idUSTRE72F23520110316
  8. http://english.ntdtv.com/ntdtv_en/news_asia/2011-03-31/japanese-emperor-visits-evacuation-center.html
  9. News: Japan's Emperor Akihito leaves Tokyo hospital. 24 January 2012. BBC News. 24 November 2011.
  10. News: http://mdn.mainichi.jp/mdnnews/news/20120201p2g00m0dm109000c.html. Mainichi Daily News. 1 February 2012.
  11. http://www.cnn.com/2012/02/18/world/asia/japan-emperor-surgery/index.html?hpt=hp_t3
  12. Fukada, Takahiro, "Emperor — poise under public spotlight", Japan Times, November 24, 2009, p. 3.
  13. http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article1857043.ece Hamilton, Alan. "Palace small talk problem solved: royal guest is a goby fish fanatic,"
  14. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/entrez?Db=PubMed&Cmd=Search&Term=%22Akihito%20%22%5BAuthor%5D&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_RVAbstract PubMed Search Results
  15. Akihito. Early cultivators of science in Japan. Science. 258. 5082. 578–80. 1992. Oct. 1411568. 10.1126/science.1411568.
  16. His Majesty The Emperor of Japan. Linnaeus and taxonomy in Japan. Nature. 448. 7150. 139–140. 2007. Jul. 17632886. 10.1038/448139a.
  17. Web site: Akihito. Bearers of decorations. president.ee. 18 January 2011.
  18. Presidency, table of recipients of the Order of the Three Stars since 2004.
  19. Decree 1K-974
  20. http://www.ops.gov.ph/japan2002/news2.htm OPS.gov.ph
  21. Web site: Cidadãos Estrangeiros Agraciados com Ordens Portuguesas. presidencia.pt. pt. 6 January 2011.