|The then Crown Prince Akihito with his commoner bride, Michiko |
Shoda on their wedding day in 1959. Seated on his right is the late
Emperor Hirohito and at her left is the late Empress Nagako
(photo @ Wikipedia).
Japan is a land of traditions and contradictions. It is where technology meets historical convention in perfect harmony; it is where shortcomings of nature (rugged terrains, mountains and forests cover 66% of its total territory) propelled the inhabitants to cultivate rice in terraced paddies, and volcanic spoils to be adapted into baths to produce health benefits. It is where the shrinking population and shortage of middle-class workers channelled investments into the robotic technology.
|The mythological monster -- Yamata-no-Orochi|
Its imperial house, aka "Yamato Dynasty", is a royal clan who has been holding the sceptre of the throne for over twenty-six centuries, in an unbroken succession. These sovereigns (including Akihito and Naruhito) are allegedly, the offspring of Deities Izanami and Izanagi, who, according to the legend, created the islands (four main islands: Honshu, Shikoku, Kyushu and Hokkaido) and gave birth to the Kami (Gods), from whom its people are supposed to stem.
The Japanese first emperor is known as Jimmu, who upon defeating belligerent tribes and conquering the east islands, founded the country of Japan in year 660 BCE and self-proclaimed its emperor.
Along the years, his descendants survived treachery and rivalries by making alliances with powerful aristocratic families, but with the emergence of the samurai warrior class, the Yamato Sovereigns lost the grip to power and the Shogun assume the sway of the country in the early twelfth century. The emperors' role became merely symbolic and it would remain so for the next seven centuries.
Please visit my site to read more about the mythological beginning and historical narratives of Japan.
My book "The Goddesses of Japan" is the first novel of the series The Goddesses of the World. It is entirely narrated by unsung heroines, and spans the Creation of the country to its modernisation at the 19th century. It is sold at Amazon in ebook and paperback formats.