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  #1  
Old 10-24-2009, 09:29 AM
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Statements on the Emperor

Japan's FM has made some declarations about the Emperor that maight be qualified as polemic by the most conservative and certainly will have a part in the news for the next days.

As tells Asia Now: Japan emperor should be able share his thoughts, says FM
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  #2  
Old 10-24-2009, 09:56 AM
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That is an interesting development. Reading prepared statements might be viewed as artificial and insincere by some Japanese. However, I do not think that Emperor Akihito's statements will differ much from those preprepared by the IHA even he speaks his mind.
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Old 10-24-2009, 01:17 PM
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I think the Emperor should be above politics. Queen Elizabeth reads pre-prepared speeches as well for the very reason.
If they want the Emperor’s true opinion, they can seek it privately, perhaps arrange weekly or monthly meetings to discuss important issues with him.
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  #4  
Old 07-02-2018, 02:57 PM
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Doctors are monitoring the condition of HIM Emperor Akihito after he was reported to be experiencing symptoms related to insufficient blood flow to the brain.

https://abcn.ws/2MDOKWM
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  #5  
Old 07-02-2018, 03:00 PM
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Poor thing hope he is doing ok.

Sent from my XT1635-01 using The Royals Community mobile app
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  #6  
Old 07-02-2018, 03:27 PM
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All his engagements have been cancelled.
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  #7  
Old 03-07-2019, 03:00 AM
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Japan's Emperor Akihito is seen as being open to new ideas and keenly aware of his duties - AP via The Washington Post
Quote:
[...]

Kazuo Oda, a retired trading house executive and longtime tennis buddy of Akihitos, describes his friend as extremely earnest.

I think he has learned how to put himself into other peoples shoes, and thats where his activities as emperor, such as his trips to pray for the war dead and visits to disaster victims, are coming from, Oda said in a recent interview with The Associated Press.

He would never do anything irresponsible, and at the same time he is so considerate to other people.

[...]

At his advanced age, Akihito no longer plays tennis as often as he once did. He last played with Oda two years ago. To keep fit, he Akihito reads a book while sitting straight, with his legs tucked beneath him in traditional seiza style, for an hour daily, Oda says.

[...]

Oda first met the emperor when, as a junior high school student some 70 years ago, he tagged along with his elder brother to play tennis with Akihito on the palace grounds. Oda had never played, and mostly just watched the others. When a palace driver came to pick them up afterward, Akihito insisted that Oda sit on his lap so all five of the boys could fit in the car.

That day I wrote in my diary that an unforgettable thing had happened. I went to have tea sitting on the crown princes lap, Oda said. He was like Lets go! and very down-to-earth.

[...]

The emperor likes to socialize with people, though not in a glamorous way ... He wants to really get to know people and learn from them. He doesnt act like a typical monarch at all, Oda said. To me, he is more like a big brother.

At the time Akihito was a bit chubby and tanned from swimming and other outdoor activities and his classmates affectionately called him Chabu, short for the cute, pig-shaped ceramic containers used to burn mosquito coils, Oda said.

As a child, Akihito was aware that living aloof from the rest of the world in his palace he had to study others to achieve his aims. Playing tennis allowed him to meet a variety of people from well-to-do families, including, most importantly, the young flour milling heiress who became his wife, Michiko Shoda.

It may sound funny, but I believe tennis had the biggest influence in making the Emperor who he is, said Oda. He said it helped him gain confidence.

[...]

Aug. 19, 1957, was the day of the famous love match between Michiko, who teamed up with a Canadian teenager, Bobby Doyle, to beat the Akihito and his partner, Kenji Ishizuka, on a court in the central Japanese resort town of Karuizawa.

Akihito took the loss with good humor, praising Michikos playing.

I remember that very clearly, Oda said.

[...]
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  #8  
Old 03-26-2019, 01:00 AM
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How Akihito played detective to prove theory about goby fish: The Asahi Shimbun
Quote:
Emperor Akihito likes nothing better than to play detective when it comes to furthering his knowledge of the goby fish family, his passion since he was a youngster.

[...]

As crown prince in 1966, Akihito penned an academic paper titled, On the scientific name of a gobiid fish named urohaze.

This was where Akihito displayed traits of Sherlock Holmes in arguing that a particular scientific name should be used to refer to a species of goby that is known as urohaze in Japanese. His detective work centered on the fact that scholars in the 19th century gave different scientific names to the goby species.

[...]

He combed through old books and other manuscripts to make his case, finally stumbling on an illustrated work that referred to urohaze and proved his point.

However, it was bundled together with two other volumes with a possibly different publication year. Not only that, pages were out of order and disorganized.

On closer examination, he found that letters on one page in the bundle had been transferred onto the adjacent page because the book had been bound before the ink dried after printing.

That allowed Akihito to figure out the initial order of the pages and conclude the entry on urohaze was part of an illustrated volume issued in 1845.

His paper, complete with a photo taken at the National Research Institute of Police Science, argues that the scientific name of the urohaze should be Glossogobius olivaceus, which incorporates the name under which the fish species appears in the illustrated book.

[...]

Shigeharu Senoo, a professor of fishery science at Kindai University, is well-acquainted with the emperors passion for fish studies.

[...]

Senoo was assigned to explain the characteristics of tilapia fish, which were being farmed in Zambia, to Akihito. But Senoo became so nervous, he could not recall the scientific name for the fish, whereupon Akihito, who was supposed to be only listening, rattled off the name and other features of the tilapia.

[...]

You have to go to a banquet, an aide informed the crown prince in hopes of hurrying him along. Akihito was having none of it, however, telling the aide, Dont worry. He then continued his conversation with Senoo.

He listened to me so attentively, despite his tight schedule that was organized down to the last minute," the marine biologist added.

A former chamberlain who assisted Akihito in his scientific studies over more than four decades said the emperor used to potter away in a small lab tucked inside the Crown Princes Residence, where he lived before ascending the throne.

The agency official said steel shelves in the room were packed with specimens and documents, adding that Akihito could often be found peering into his microscope during his free time, at night and on other occasions.

[...]
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  #9  
Old 03-26-2019, 11:47 AM
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Hmm, methinks there is something fishy going on there...
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  #10  
Old 03-26-2019, 01:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Muhler View Post
Hmm, methinks there is something fishy going on there...
Very funny!
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  #11  
Old 04-20-2019, 03:36 AM
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British scientists send warm wishes to emperor ahead of abdication - Kyodo News+
Quote:
Academics who have interacted with Japan's Emperor Akihito during his visits to Britain have paid tribute to the monarch and offered warm wishes ahead of his abdication at the end of this month.

[...]

His foreign tours have often included visits to science and nature-related organizations, among them a tour of Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew in southwest London during a state visit to Britain in 1998. Botanist Ghillean Prance, 81, then president of the gardens, led the tour and recalled warmly his royal visitor's enthusiasm.

[...]

"I saw a different side to him on that visit. He had a very good and professional scientific discussion with two specialists -- I thought that showed his scientific nature," said Prance, who also headed the society at that time.

[...]

Echoing Prance's remarks, botanist David Cutler, 79, who headed the society at the time of the emperor's 2007 visit, said his "genuine interest and respect" were clear to see during the well-received speech.

Cutler was invited to a private audience with the monarch, along with parasitologist Vaughan Southgate, 74, another former Linnean Society president, during the emperor's state visit to Britain in 2012.

Both remarked upon the emperor's ability to create a comfortable, informal atmosphere and said the three discussed over tea a wide range of scientific topics.

[...]

"I think he is someone you can relate to. If you share something in common, which in our case is science, then it can be a very human relationship. You almost forget you are talking to a monarch," Prance said.

[...]

"I think his interest in natural history is very broad. Natural historians don't just stop. As long as they are capable, they carry on researching," Cutler said.

Prance said the emperor's decision to step down showed confidence in the crown prince and envisaged continued good relations following the abdication.

[...]
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  #12  
Old 04-20-2019, 06:56 PM
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Thank you for the articles! He seems to have a true fascination and love for science - arriving late to dinner or staying up at night because of being enthralled with the details of goby fish is something I cannot completely empathize with , but it probably constitutes a welcome change from his daily routine.

Quote:
Both remarked upon the emperor's ability to create a comfortable, informal atmosphere and said the three discussed over tea a wide range of scientific topics.

[...]

"I think he is someone you can relate to. If you share something in common, which in our case is science, then it can be a very human relationship. You almost forget you are talking to a monarch," Prance said.
I've noticed that in both Britain and Japan there is an extensive amount of traditional protocol and reverence surrounding the person of the monarch, so I'm inclined to believe that his special ability to broach a more personal interaction of equals would be perceived similarly warmly by Japanese people. I wonder, though, how often he has the chance to apply those skills in his home country.
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  #13  
Old 05-03-2019, 05:49 PM
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A 5-part series about the Imperial family. Parts 1&2 focused on Emperor Akihito

Survival of the Throne: The Asahi Shimbun
Quote:
1. His Father Was Called a God. She Called Him ‘Jimmy.’
[...] It was the autumn of 1946, a year after the end of the Second World War, and he was a 12-year-old boy, the crown prince of a defeated land, sitting in an unheated classroom on the outskirts of Tokyo. [...]

“In this class, your name is Jimmy,” declared the teacher, Elizabeth Gray Vining, a 44-year-old librarian and children’s book author from Philadelphia.

“No,” Akihito swiftly replied. “I am Prince.”

[...]

“Yes, you are Prince Akihito,” she said. “That is your real name. But in this class, you have an English name. In this class, your name is Jimmy.”

Vining waited. The other students glanced at one another nervously. Finally, the crown prince smiled, and the class beamed.

[...]

The Japanese planned to hire an Englishman to tutor the prince but MacArthur’s aides maneuvered to put in an American.

[...]

Then and now, there were people unhappy with her appointment. “Of all the things that America did to postwar Japan, one of the rudest was to provide the crown prince with the woman tutor Vining,” a conservative Japanese critic grumbled decades later.

[...]

But it wasn’t easy drilling the notion of equality into the royal pupil. Once, another tutor asked Akihito if he would rather be an ordinary boy. “I don’t know,” he replied. “I’ve never been an ordinary boy.” Another time, Vining asked the class what they wanted to be when they grew up. Akihito wrote, “I shall be emperor.”

Even Monopoly was a lesson. On a quiet afternoon in 1949, the tutor invited Akihito and some of his classmates to her home to play the quintessential capitalist board game with a few sons of Allied officials.

Tony Austin, 84, one of Akihito’s playmates that day, recalled that the foreigners had quickly beaten the young Japanese. “It wasn’t fair to play Monopoly with them, really,” he said. “They weren’t really familiar with it.”

The boys worried they had been rude, but Akihito was unruffled. As his new friends noted, the prince was learning to be a good loser.

2. The Long Shadows of a Failed War

[...]

[Isao Chinen] was 25 [...] lit a Molotov cocktail, raised his arm high in the air and flung it at his target--Crown Prince Akihito.

“Down with the emperor!” he shouted. “Go home, Crown Prince!”

[...]

“I wanted the emperor to apologize,” Chinen, now 68, recalled recently. Like many, he blamed Hirohito for extending the war by refusing to surrender sooner. Going after the crown prince, he said, was just a way to get to the emperor.

[...]

Chinen, who was arrested and spent 30 months in prison, said he had never intended to hurt Akihito. “I wanted to shock and astonish him,” he said.

Given the security breach, there must have been talk of canceling the rest of the visit. But Akihito and Michiko pressed on.

[...]

That night, Akihito issued an unexpected statement from his hotel, referring to Okinawa as the only battlefield in Japan “where residents were dragged into a great number of miserable sacrifices in the last war.”

[...]

Okinawa was just the beginning. After becoming emperor when his father died in 1989, he took that same message of contrition across Asia.

[...]

Though many said it was not enough, his pacifist message helped rehabilitate Japan’s reputation abroad. At home, opinion was divided.

With the end of the U.S. occupation, a fault line had emerged in Japan over how to think about the war. Some on the right sought to minimize the Imperial Army’s actions, and derided Akihito’s “apology tour,” arguing that Japan had apologized enough.

[...]
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