• SHARE

“We were all equal, in the end.”

This wonderful Pink Floyd lyric expresses a basic truth about death — except in Japan, where if you were good, the government may reward you with a posthumous rank expressing your notional proximity to the Emperor based on a system dating back to the seventh century. If you are still alive you might get a medal instead, though that will also probably involve some sort of grading.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.

SUBSCRIBE NOW

PHOTO GALLERY (CLICK TO ENLARGE)