I’m not going to go in depth at this time… merely present the entire list of Japanese rulers over the past 150 years – all four of them.
What is interesting, is that Japan still utilizes each Emperor’s reign as a means of defining its calendar - though of course it recognizes the whole 2017-thing.
The Emperor is said to rule the Chrysanthemum Throne (皇位, kōi). The symbol at the very top is the Imperial Seal of Japan, known as the Chrysanthemum Seal (菊紋, kikumon), the Chrysanthemum Flower Seal (菊花紋, 菊花紋章, kikukamon, kikukamonshō) and the Imperial chrysanthemum emblem (菊の御紋, kikunogomon). The seal is the crest (mon) of the Imperial family.
Emperor Meiji – real name Mutsuhito, the first Emperor of the Empire of Japan (aka modern Japan).
Emperor Taishō - real name Yoshihito.
Emperor Shōwa – real name Hirohito. As the Crown Prince under his father Emperor Yoshihito, Hirohito the Sesshō (Prince Regent) when he came of age in 1921 through 1926 when he rose the throne. He was also the last Emperor of the Empire of Japan, losing his godhood status for succeeding emperors when Japan was defeated in 1945 and WWII. Despite the Japanese knowing him as Emperor Hirohito, the western world called him Emperor Hirohito.
1990 – present
Emperor Kinjō – real name Akihito. He is known in Japan as Kinjō Tennō (the Reigning Emperor), as well as Tennō Heika (His Majesty the Emperor), though the western world simply refers to him as Emperor Akihito. Despite having the Emperor Kinjo moniker, his reign is known as the Heisei-jidai (Heisei era)… and when he steps down (if he can… they rule until death), his posthumous name will be Emperor Heisei. He is currently the 125th Emperor of Japan – which is why I’m not writing out the complete list at this time.
There is of course, a big to-do about the current Emperor Akihito, who wants to retire soon because he says he has diminishing mental faculties, and thus is no fit to rule. But, while Japan argues whether or not to grant him special dispensation to retire before death, he continues to rule.
What’s the big deal… I’m sure many a country has been ruled by a mad regent – an I’m not saying he’s mad…
Seriously though… he doesn’t want to rule anymore… what’s the big deal?
His son, Crown Prince Naruhito waits quietly in the wings to become the 126th Emperor.
Banzai, Banzai, Banzai,