In 2016, Emperor Akihito announced he intended to step down from the throne because of his age and declining health.
Now, with just two weeks until Akihito’s son Naruhito becomes the country’s 126th emperor and with the name of the new Reiwa Era announced, Deep Dive asks: What does it mean to be Emperor of Japan, and what can we expect from the next person to sit atop the Chrysanthemum Throne?
Sakura Murakami joins Oscar Boyd to discuss.
We had a lot of fun finding early Showa Era songs that run in the breaks in this episode. In order they were:
- “Southern Bride” by Meiko Takamine
- “Koiwa Umibe De” by Mitsuko Watanabe
- “Sendo Kawaiya” by Kikutaro Takahashi
- Reiwa: Japan reveals name of new era ahead of Emperor’s abdication
- Top secret: A look at how Japan’s new era name, Reiwa, was picked and kept under wraps
- What’s in a name? Reiwa reflects today’s politics, Japan’s cultural history and a social philosophy
- Japan’s Emperor and Empress celebrate 60 years of marriage ahead of abdication
- Crown Prince Naruhito likely to stay close to the people upon becoming Japan’s first emperor born after the war