Chrysanthemum Throne Current Affairs - 2019
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Naruhito became Japan’s new Emperor after historic abdication of his father Akihito. Emperor Naruhito’s ascending of Chrysanthemum Throne marked beginning of “Reiwa” era in Japan which takes effect from May 1, 2019.
Naruhito (59-year old) became Japan’s new Emperor after historic abdication (first in more than 200 years) of his father Akihito.
He is nation’s 126th emperor in world’s oldest hereditary monarchy (from 5th century).
Akihito (now 85 years old), took throne in 1989. He devoted his career correcting for a war fought in his father’s name. He even brought the aloof monarchy closer to people. He is first emperor in Japan’s modern history whose era did not have a war.
Japan has witnessed a large amount of changes from 1989 (when it last ushered in new era). Its major recent concern is battling sluggish growth, chronically low inflation coupled with ageing population. With population in continuous decline, Japan will soon become world’s first “ultra-aged” society, with 28% of people over 65 years of age.
- Stepping down of Emperor Akihito brings his “Heisei” era to an end and beginning of new “Reiwa” era with Naruhito’s accession.
- The term “Reiwa” means “Beautiful Harmony”. It is derived from “Manyoshu”, an anthology of Japanese poems dating back 1,200 years that symbolises Japan’s profound public culture and long tradition.
- It is the first time that the era name (also known as “gengo”) has been taken from a Japanese document, and not from Chinese classics, which is a break from more than 1,300 years old practice.
- In a highly digitalized and globalized society while most Japanese prefer Western calendar over Japanese system, the era name is still widely used in government and business documents. Most elders often use it to identify their generations.
Japan has revealed the name of the era which will define the new emperor’s reign when he ascends the Chrysanthemum Throne next month following a historic abdication. The era has been named as ‘Reiwa’.
- “Reiwa” consists of two characters: “Rei”, which can have meanings related to “order” but also “auspicious” and “Wa”, usually translated as “peace” or “harmony”.
- Japan is still using imperial calendars for private and public documents as well as computer records.
- Hence the new era has a huge impact on daily life and people tend to recall major events in public and private life by when they fell in a certain era
- 2019 was known as Heisei 31, or the 31st year of current Emperor Akihito’s rule.
- The name for the new imperial era, Reiwa was taken for the first time from an ancient Japanese book instead of from Chinese classics.
The era of “Reiwa” begins on May 1, a day after 85-year-old Emperor Akihito abdicates and hands over the Chrysanthemum throne to his eldest son. Crown Prince Naruhito.