Post by MadameConcorde on Dec 24, 2018 13:17:08 GMT -5
Emperor Akihito turns 85
Japan's Emperor Akihito turned 85 on Sunday.
Before his birthday, he spoke to reporters. As he is scheduled to abdicate next year, this was his last news conference as the Emperor.
The Emperor talked about the years he has spent serving as the symbol of the State. He also touched on his upcoming abdication. The Emperor said that, since ascending to the throne, he has spent his days searching for what should be the role of the Emperor who is designated to be the symbol of the State by the Constitution of Japan. He said he intends to carry out his duties in that capacity and he shall continue to contemplate this question as he performs his day-to-day duties until the day of his abdication.
Post by MadameConcorde on Apr 11, 2019 3:39:06 GMT -5
What will imperial couple do in retirement?
When Emperor Akihito abdicates on April 30, he and Empress Michiko will fade into retirement after decades in the spotlight.
The imperial couple's days have long been busy. They typically hosted hundreds of ceremonies and audiences annually, made at least three domestic trips per year, and have visited over 50 countries.
Nearly all that will end when his son, Crown Prince Naruhito, becomes emperor on May 1 after Akihito steps down, the first abdication by a Japanese monarch in two centuries. ... The retired couple, to be known as emperor emeritus and empress emerita, will return to Togu Palace, where they lived before Akihito became emperor, after a stay in a now-vacant imperial residence while their new home is renovated.
They will have fewer aides, but the government will still pay their living expenses.
Michiko has many interests, including music and literature, so she will likely have little trouble filling her days, several acquaintances say. Akihito may have a rougher time, having been focused entirely on his job, they added. ... "I think he'll be relieved" to step back from public life, one acquaintance said.
The aging couple will leave an enduring image of consoling the marginalised in society - from leprosy patients to the elderly, people with handicaps and disaster victims.
And even with that ranking, you can be sure of no extremes with contemporary Japanese. I loved Japan. I turned 19 there and went back the following year. I almost took one of those English teaching posts but I was afraid it might spoil some good memories of being in an ultra-safe, ultra-lovely country. The people were talented, respectful to a fault, and so much fun. I could walk alone from my house across a cemetery in downtown Tokyo and rather than be spooked, you left there in awe. I have never seen the Spring blossoms but the Fall that feels like a long Indian Summer is unforgettable. I wish I had gone to Kobe and also on the island walking pilgrimage but one day. Otsukaresama desu!