Tag Archives: Emperor

Japanese prince turns 3

6 Sep

悠仁親王 (Prince Hisahito), the youngest prince in the Japanese royal family, turned three today.

He is third in line to become the Emperor of Japan.
Next in line behind the current emperor is the Emperor’s oldest son (Prince Hisahito’s uncle) Prince Naruhito, and second in line is the Emperor’s youngest son (Prince Hisahito’s father) Prince Akishino.

If the current Emperor’s oldest son (Prince Naruhito) had a son, he would be in line to the throne before 悠仁親王 (Prince Hisahito)…but he has a daughter (Princess Aiko) and no other children.

And 悠仁親王 (Prince Hisahito) has two older sisters, but no brothers.

So before 悠仁親王 (Prince Hisahito) was born, the Japanese government was in a quandary about who would succeed the throne.
They considered changing the law to allow Japan to be headed by a female empress, so that Princess Aiko could eventually take the throne…but her cousin 悠仁親王 (Prince Hisahito) was born, so that issue became moot.

悠仁親王 (Prince Hisahito) was born on 2006 Sept 6.

悠仁親王 (Prince Hisahito) was born on 2006 Sept 6.

悠仁親王 (Prince Hisahito) now at age 3.

悠仁親王 (Prince Hisahito) now at age 3.

終戦記念日

15 Aug

Today is 終戦記念日 (V-J Day).
The 64th anniversary of the day that Japan surrendered to the Allied Forces and ended World War Two. (I wrote about this last year too. Click here to read that post.)

1945 August 16 newspaper headline

1945 August 16 newspaper headline

Did you know that the Emperor of Japan addressed the people of Japan over the radio to tell them that Japan was surrendering?
It was the first time any Emperor of Japan addressed the public personally.

Here’s an English translation of part of his speech to the people of Japan:

The enemy has begun to employ a new and most cruel bomb, the power of which, to do damage, is indeed incalculable, taking toll of many innocent lives.
If we continue to fight, it would not only result in the ultimate collapse and obliteration of the Japanese nation, but also it would lead to the total extinction of human civilization…

昭和天皇 (Showa Emperor of Japan), August 1945

昭和天皇 ("Showa Era" Emperor of Japan)

昭和天皇 ("Showa Era" Emperor of Japan)

Commemorative coins

12 Aug

As I mentioned in an earlier post (Click here to read it), this year (2009) is the twentieth anniversary of the date that the current Japanese emperor took the throne.
The Emperor and Empress’ 50th wedding anniversary was also this year.

So to mark the occasion, two commemorative coins will go on sale from the Bank Of Japan this November.

These coins are a special gold ¥10,000 coin and a special silver ¥500 coin.

The price to purchase the coins will be ¥80,000 (about US$800) for the ¥10,000 coin or ¥82,000 (about US$820) for both coins.

I have a few mint commemorative Japanese coins for various occasions…but ¥80,000 is too steep a price for a coin in my opinion. If they sell the ¥500 coin alone, maybe I’ll buy one…but not the ¥10,000 coin.

Top: front and back of gold commemorative &10,000 coin.  Bottom: front and back of silver commemorative ¥500 coin.

Top: front and back of gold commemorative ¥10,000 coin.Bottom: front and back of silver commemorative ¥500 coin.

On this day…

9 Apr

Do you know the famous Japanese dog 「忠犬ハチ公」 (Faithful Hachiko)?

Probably every Japanese person knows the story of Hachiko.

Hachiko was an 秋田犬 (Akita-inu dog) who moved from 秋田県 (Akita Prefecture, Japan) to Tokyo with his owner because he (his owner) got a teaching job at 東京大学 (University Of Tokyo).

Hachiko would see his owner off every morning at 渋谷駅 (Shibuya Train Station (in Tokyo)) and then go back to the station in the evening to greet his owner when he returned.

One day, though, his owner didn’t return because he died while at work. But Hachiko continued to return to 渋谷駅 (Shibuya Train Station) every evening at the same time to wait for his master.

It’s a true story of loyalty and friendship.

There’s a famous statue of Hachiko at 渋谷駅 (Shibuya Train Station) in Tokyo. (There’s also another lesser-known statue of Hachiko in his hometown in 秋田県 (Akita Prefecture, Japan)).

The statue of Hachiko in front of 渋谷駅 (Shibuya Train Station) was erected on April 8, 1934.

So, every year on April 8th there is a memorial ceremony for Hachiko at the statue at 渋谷駅 (Shibuya Train Station).

Hachiko statue in Shibuya on the April 8, 2009 memorial ceremony.

Hachiko statue in Shibuya on the April 8, 2009 memorial ceremony.

There’s a Japanese movie about Hachiko…and now Richard Gere is promoting a Hollywood remake of this movie that he stars in.
(Click here to read my post about this movie and a bit more about the dog.)

The movie, titled “Hachiko: A Dog’s Story“, will debut in Japan on August 8, 2009.

On May 12, 2009, a new statue of Hachiko will be erected at お台場 (Odaiba, Tokyo). This date was chosen because it will be 88 days before the new Hachiko movie’s release date.*
(Eight in Japanese is 「」 (“hachi“)…which sounds like Hachiko.)

+++++

April 10, 2009 (tomorrow) will be the 50th wedding anniversary of Japan’s Emperor and Empress.
And last January 7 (2009) was the 20th anniversary of the day he became the Emperor (his father (the former Emperor) died on January 7, 1989).

So this year*, November 12 will be a legal holiday in Japan. It will be to celebrate both the Emperor’s twenty years on the throne and fifty years of marriage.

November 12 was chosen rather than January 7 or April 10 because it was decided it would be better to celebrate both on a separate date…and the Emperor’s 戴冠式 (coronation ceremony) was on November 12, 1990.

(*November 12 will be a holiday this year (2009) only).

明けましておめでとうございます

1 Jan

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明けましておめでとうございます (Happy New Year)!

It’s now the year 平成二十一年 (Heisei 21 (2009))…丑年 (Year Of The Cow / Ox).

(Click here to read my FAQ about お正月 (Japanese New Years)).

Today, as we usually do at お正月 (New Years), we went to my inlaws’ for dinner. And, as usual, my wife’s grandmother (who’s 94 years old now!), her aunt and uncle, and her brothers and sister (and their spouses and kids) all came too. A total of twenty people! So there was lots of family and lots of great food.

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刺身 (Sashimi), 海老フライ (fried shrimp), 御節料理 (traditional Japanese New Years foods), 日本酒 (Japanese sake rice wine), beer, and wine.

I ate alot of great food…and drank alot of alcohol. ;)

Besides getting together with family and eating a traditional New Years meal…at お正月 (New Years), many Japanese people go to a shrine for New Years blessings (and traditional New Years lucky ornaments (such as Daruma), go to the Imperial Palace to hear the Emperor’s New Year message (the public is allowed inside the Palace grounds only twice a year: お正月 (New Years) and 天皇誕生日 (the Emperor’s birthday)), or go shopping (many stores have New Years sales…and 福袋 (Lucky Bag)).

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(Click here to read my other recent post about お正月 (Japanese New Years), in that post I explain some of the Japanese New Year particulars…including 福袋 (Lucky Bag)).

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