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  #841  
Old 12-08-2012, 03:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChiaraC View Post
In all probability, your wish will be granted anyway, no matter what anybody here thinks.

This being said, I have to disagree. You would not call it the best starting conditions imaginable either if your father beheaded your mother and disowned you. Still, Elizabeth I became one of the great monarchs in British history (or even in the world´s history).
Yes but is it fair to deny Prince Hisahito. As of right now it is his birthright as the oldest male child in that family...

To be frank if your going to deny Hisahito in favor of Akiko, the denial should have been done when Kiko was pregnant. The older Hisahito gets the more a ware he is of the situation and the more unfair it is to give him a strong idea he will be Emperor and then take it away.

In Akiko's case- she's been told all of her life that right now she will not inherit. The older she gets is it fair to thrust her into a role that sh'es not prepared for?

If a change is going to be made-it must be made now. To make it 10/15 years from now would be cruel.

At this point one could argue the fair thing would be to add females in future generations. I.e Kate/Williams children will be decided on equal basis. But the current succession in relation to Anne's stays. That's a far more fair situation. Because your not stripping away from anyone a current right.

In terms of reviving the old families. To be quite frank, there's no need to revive the defunct branches in terms of duties. But why the heck can't the revive the defunct branches in terms of succession. I mean its the case in GB where you have if so and so dies they are next in line. There's no reason they can't look at the trees so who was the next oldest descendant and go from there. Its fair and ensures the monarchy.
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  #842  
Old 12-08-2012, 08:36 AM
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Yes, there should be more possible heirs, and that could so easily be fixed, if those minor branches got their succession rights back.
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  #843  
Old 12-08-2012, 12:59 PM
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At this point, I would like to quote the statement of a Japanese member of this board:
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Originally Posted by mariaantoniapia View Post
Some people, usually the very ultra right wing, such as Tsuneyasu Takeda who is a male descendant of the former Takeda-no-miya want the male members of old miyake to be made Imperial Hignesses so that they, too, can be entitled to the line of succession instead of Aiko.

Many ordinary Japanese people find this option very uncomfortable because, though they may be related to the imperial family through the male lines, they have been born into non-imperial families and they are plain Mr Takeda and Mr Kitashirakawa or whatever. Aiko and Mrs Kuroda are far closer to the Tenno by blood than these people such as Tsuneyasu Takeda.
There has been said a lot in this debate about certain things being "unprecedented": a female-line emperor, a husband who gets imperial status via his wife etc. That is admittedly true, for what it is worth. (A commoner getting to be empress consort has been unprecedented, too, until quite recently, and hardly anybody seems to mind it any more.)

However, nobody ever cares to mention that, if former royals should get their status back, i. e. if commoners should become imperial princes, this would also be absolutely unprecedented in the history of the Japanese monarchy. People used to the standards of the European monarchies (that features rulers like William the Conqueror or Jean-Baptiste Bernadotte) may be unaware of this and may feel that it would be sort of a normal and unspectacular thing to give higher rank to certain individuals, if need be. But in Japan´s history, not even a noble ever got to hold the rank of imperial prince (and what is more: not even a noble with imperial ancestors - of which there were quite a few - got to hold the rank of imperial prince). The way "downwards" was possible, but never "upwards". Once you were "out", you were out for good, so to speak.
That means that this whole matter is not about if tradition should be broken but just in which way.
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  #844  
Old 12-08-2012, 01:09 PM
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Originally Posted by bekalc View Post
If a change is going to be made-it must be made now. To make it 10/15 years from now would be cruel.
In that, I quite agree. Unfortunately, it seems that no Japanese politician wants to stick out his neck on the issue, and that they are all playing for time...

Future shape of the Imperial Family
Quote:
The government in early October, on the basis of hearings from experts, proposed that married female members of the Imperial Family create branch families within the Imperial Family and continue to retain the status of members of the Imperial Family. [...]

Although the government avoided touching on Article 1 of the Imperial Household Law, which states that the Imperial throne will be succeeded by a male offspring descended along the male line, its proposal cannot be separated from the issue of how to ensure stable Imperial succession.
With regard to Imperial status, traditionalists are opposed to the creation of branch families headed by women members of the Imperial Family because they are concerned that such a system might lead to a person from the female line ascending the Imperial throne. Progressives, meanwhile, accept allowing females to become emperor and for their first-born children to ascend the Imperial throne. [...]

Should Prince Hisahito become emperor, a situation could develop in which his wife was the only person who could perform constitutional and other imperial functions as his proxy if the current Imperial Family system is preserved as is. If married female members of the Imperial Family became heads of branch families within the Imperial Family, and were no longer identified as commoners, they could perform the functions carried out by Imperial Family members. [...]

The Diet should revise the Imperial Household Law in a manner that will ensure that the Imperial Family can continue to carry out its official functions in a stable manner.
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(Following recent incidents, I would like to refer anybody who may think the emperor´s statement obvious or redundant to this thread, post #682.)
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  #845  
Old 12-08-2012, 01:35 PM
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Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi tried to fix the problem, but his attempts were stalled by the IHA and other politicians. People said that he was arrogant and wanted to leave his office on a bold note, which was inappropriate. I watched it on NHK.
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  #846  
Old 12-08-2012, 03:04 PM
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An article published in January of this year said something similar about Noda.

Quote:
Royal challenge awaits Noda

Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda appears strongly committed to revising the Imperial Household Law to let female members of the Imperial family remain in the royal family even if they marry commoners. [...] In October, Shingo Haketa, chief of the Imperial Household Agency, told Noda that if the number of Imperial family members decreases because of women leaving the family after marriage under the law, the activities of the Imperial family as a whole will face difficulty.[...]

Noda has reportedly confided to a professor of a national university, who was asked to become a member of an advisory panel on the Imperial household female member issue, that there are three things he would like to accomplish during his tenure: a consumption tax hike, Japan's participation in the TPP agreement and revision of the Imperial Household Law. [...]

Although Prime Minister Noda appears eager to tackle many important issues, including one related to the Imperial family with its many ramifications, is he capable of handling all of them? Or is this eagerness a sign of overconfidence?
I´d say the expression „overconfidence“ in this context comes very close to „arrogance“. It is true that Noda has not succeeded in bringing about any changes of the Imperial House Law (and there is a high probability that his party will lose the upcoming elections, so that will be that).

But it seems to me that those people who basically say: „Who does this man (Koizumi or Noda or whoever) think he is to tackle such a hairy issue?” are not really being helpful. They may feel very smug now that they have been right, but, in fact, they should rather feel sad (unless they should happen to hope for the abolition of the monarchy). We may disagree in what should be done but I think that most people are aware that something has to be done.

Obviously, if the chief of the Imperial Household Agency goes so far as to personally ask the prime minister to please do something, it should be sufficiently clear that the case is urgent.
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(Following recent incidents, I would like to refer anybody who may think the emperor´s statement obvious or redundant to this thread, post #682.)
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  #847  
Old 12-23-2012, 05:30 PM
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Imperial status shift stumbles
Quote:
The idea of allowing female members of the Imperial family to retain their status after marriage is on track to be dropped. [...]

Liberal Democratic Party President Shinzo Abe, almost certain to become prime minister next week following his party's win in Sunday's election, is opposed to the idea of allowing female members to continue holding Imperial family status after marriage. The government sought public opinions between Oct. 9 and Dec. 10. The comments were overwhelmingly against the idea, officials said, though they added that many were similarly phrased, suggesting an organized campaign.
Japan Times, Dec. 20, 2012

Abe to put off talk on female Imperial Family branches in show of conservative colors
Quote:
Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) leader Shinzo Abe has decided that the Cabinet he is poised to form following his party's election victory will not discuss the possibility of establishing branches of the Imperial Family headed by females -- returning a proposal by the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) back to the drawing board.

Abe appears prepared to hold back his conservative colors until next summer's House of Councillors election out of consideration for New Komeito, with which the LDP is set to form a coalition government. However, he is putting his personal views forward regarding the Imperial Family, in which he strongly favors maintaining a male line of succession to the Chrysanthemum Throne. [...]

The reason Abe has decided not to consider such branches is to reach out to conservatives, alleviating their disgruntlement over the way he has sealed up his own conservative colors. Yet the establishment of female Imperial Family branches is an issue that first surfaced under an LDP administration. [...]

Even if the incoming Abe administration retracts the DPJ's plans, it cannot sidestep fears of stagnation in the performance of Imperial Family members' official duties. The new administration under Abe is expected to consider restoring to the Imperial Family male descendants of 11 former Imperial Family branches that departed from the Imperial Family under Allied occupation authorities following World War II. But there remain many outstanding issues with this proposal, including the question of who would be reinstated and the order of succession. From a mid- to long-term perspective there is no great change to the uncertainty surrounding male-line imperial succession.
December 20, 2012(Mainichi Japan)

PM Abe most likely to nix idea of a female imperial family
Quote:
Just when you thought some outdated parts of Japanese law and culture will finally catch up with modern times, the idea has probably been nixed before it even went out the gate. The incoming Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has been opposed to the idea of the proposed amendments and so it most likely will not come to fruition. [...]
Japan Daily Press, December 19, 2012
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(Following recent incidents, I would like to refer anybody who may think the emperor´s statement obvious or redundant to this thread, post #682.)
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  #848  
Old 12-23-2012, 06:38 PM
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Have Japanese political leaders not figured out that they are condemning the Imperial Family to possible extinction by putting all their hopes on Hisahito? There is no guarantee that he will live to succeed his father or uncle, no guarantee that he will be able to father a child, and even if he does no guarantee that his child would be a son. Seems very short sighted.
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  #849  
Old 12-23-2012, 07:05 PM
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Too bad Kiko and her husband couldn't have another try for a second boy. Then again why aren't other family members trying to have some sons.
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  #850  
Old 12-23-2012, 07:09 PM
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They have at least 20 years to make decision.
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  #851  
Old 12-23-2012, 07:13 PM
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Originally Posted by XeniaCasaraghi View Post
Too bad Kiko and her husband couldn't have another try for a second boy. Then again why aren't other family members trying to have some sons.
Kiko is youngest married woman in royal family, and she is 46 years old.
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  #852  
Old 12-23-2012, 07:19 PM
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Originally Posted by XeniaCasaraghi View Post
Too bad Kiko and her husband couldn't have another try for a second boy. Then again why aren't other family members trying to have some sons.
Well, that's the whole problem: who exactly are the other family members who could try to have some sons, or any children for that matter? It's not as though there are many current members of the Imperial Family capable of siring a child and/or passing inheritance rights to him.

All current members of the Imperial Family:
- The Emperor and Empress
- Crown Prince Naruhito and Crown Princess Masako
- Princess Aiko
- Prince and Princess Akishino
- Princess Mako
- Princess Kako
- Prince Hisahito
- Prince and Princess Hitachi
- Prince and Princess Mikasa
- Princess Tomohito of Mikasa
- Princess Akiko
- Princess Yoko
- Prince Katsura
- Princess Takamado
- Princess Tsuguko
- Princess Noriko
- Princess Ayako

Only the following could sire children who would have succession rights:
- Emperor Akihito: 79 years old (Empress Michiko is 78)
- Crown Prince Naruhito: 52 years old (Crown Princess Masako is 49)
- Prince Akishino: 47 years old (Princess Kiko is 46)
- Prince Hisahito: 6 years old (unmarried)
- Prince Hitachi: 77 years old (Princess Hitachi is 72)
- Prince Mikasa: 97 years old (Princess Mikasa is 89)
- Prince Katsura: 64 years old (unmarried)


Only the Crown Princely couple, the Akishino couple and the (unmarried) elderly Prince Katsura could theoretically have a child in this generation capable of inheriting succession rights. Realistically, the future, the very survival of the Japanese Imperial Family rests on the shoulders of one person - the 6-year-old Prince Hisahito. And there is no guarantee he will marry, have children or that any of those children will be a boy.
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  #853  
Old 12-23-2012, 08:53 PM
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You should never put your eggs in one basket. They need to find a way to make more royal family members. Is the situation like this because of the situation where if a princess married she is no longer a princess? In a family where the succession only goes through men, those in charge of the JRF have really screwed up. It's not all Masako's fault either, they should have had some kind of Plan B and Plan C.
I think it is a little ridiculous that the females who marry commoners lose their status. Isn't there no longer a nobility in Japan? So who else are these women supposed to marry? How happy would Japan be if a Princess came back with a Prince Carl Philip on her arm?
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  #854  
Old 12-24-2012, 05:40 AM
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Originally Posted by XeniaCasaraghi View Post
You should never put your eggs in one basket. They need to find a way to make more royal family members.
I totally agree with this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by XeniaCasaraghi
Is the situation like this because of the situation where if a princess married she is no longer a princess?
That's part of the problem. But it's also a problem, that the female members of the royal family have no succession rights at all. And even though I'm not the fiercest feminist around, I find that ridiculous, especially since it's putting all hope for the continuation of the imperial family on one person: Prince Hisahito. And like others have said, what if something would happen to him? Or what if he doesn't have a son? I'm all for keeping old traditions, especially where royalty is concerned. I'm not even opposed to male primogeniture. But in this case, something has to be done.
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  #855  
Old 12-24-2012, 09:37 AM
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Originally Posted by XeniaCasaraghi View Post
You should never put your eggs in one basket.
That's a simple truth Japanese ultra-traditionalists fail to understand. The immense pressure poor Hisahito will face in the future will be worse than the one Masako faced from day 1 of her marriage. No wonder the Crown Princess seems much happier these days; she's probably relieved Aiko will not have to go through that.

Their argument that the Japanese Monarchy has passed from one male to another in an unbroken line for thousands of years is simply untrue, as is the argument that Empresses Regnant were only temporarily monarchs (until male heirs would come of age) and that no female has ever inherited the Throne from her mother (that has happened before).

Quote:
I think it is a little ridiculous that the females who marry commoners lose their status. Isn't there no longer a nobility in Japan? So who else are these women supposed to marry? How happy would Japan be if a Princess came back with a Prince Carl Philip on her arm?
There is no longer a nobility in Japan. Most of the changes that now plague the Imperial Family (including the fact females leave the Imperial Family upon marriage to commoners) were in fact forced upon the Japanese by the United States back at the end of World War II.

Marrying Prince Carl Philip or any other foreign royal wouldn't help; under the terms of the 1947 Imperial Household Law, naishinno (Imperial Princesses) lose their titles and place in the Imperial Family upon marriage, unless they marry a member of the Japanese Imperial Family.
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  #856  
Old 12-24-2012, 07:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Artemisia View Post
Their argument that the Japanese Monarchy has passed from one male to another in an unbroken line for thousands of years is simply untrue, as is the argument that Empresses Regnant were only temporarily monarchs (until male heirs would come of age) and that no female has ever inherited the Throne from her mother (that has happened before).
Could you please explain that a little bit more in detail? While it may very well be likely, that the imperial male line isn't as unbroken as traditionalists claim, do you have any proor for it? And which empresses inherited the throne from their mothers?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Artemisia
There is no longer a nobility in Japan. Most of the changes that now plague the Imperial Family (including the fact females leave the Imperial Family upon marriage to commoners) were in fact forced upon the Japanese by the United States back at the end of World War II.
But why then did the US force the Japanese to make these changes?
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  #857  
Old 12-24-2012, 08:14 PM
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Could you please explain that a little bit more in detail? While it may very well be likely, that the imperial male line isn't as unbroken as traditionalists claim, do you have any proor for it? And which empresses inherited the throne from their mothers?
Have a look at this post which should give you an idea what I was referring to. Three of the eight Empresses were succeeded by their children (including Empress Gemmei who was succeeded by her daughter, Empress Gensho), two - by their grandsons. Aside from that, the early history of Japanese Monarchy is very heavily mythologised.

Quote:
But why then did the US force the Japanese to make these changes?
I have no idea, to be honest. The Japanese history of the period is not one I'm particularly well acquainted with, so I can hardly give an adequate answer to the question. Nevertheless, it would be my guess that one of the reasons was to limit the number of members of the Imperial Family and, as a consequence, expenses connected with them.
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  #858  
Old 12-25-2012, 04:07 AM
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I think the American plan was to completely eliminate any possibility of the Imperial Family every again having the independence required to be a political force. The independent Imperial Household Ministry became a dependant agency under the control of the Prime Minister. The Emperor's immense personal wealth was transferred to the state, leaving him virtually broke and completely reliant on government funds. Then, as a symbolic act of emasculation, the peerage was abolished and the size of the family dramatically reduced; a traditional power base was suddenly gone. The problem with this is that it lays the Imperial institution open to manipulation by external forces.
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  #859  
Old 12-25-2012, 04:08 AM
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Don't know much about Japan and US relations post WWII but I suspect they wanted to scale down the power of the Imperial Family; though I don't know how much say they had in being involved in WWII. I also don't know if the US has any say in if the rules were changed, I would think not.
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  #860  
Old 12-27-2012, 10:12 AM
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But why then did the US force the Japanese to make these changes?
The US occupation forces, namely General MacArthur, wanted to preserve the monarchy because they thought that it would keep the shattered country relatively stable and, in particular, would serve as a safeguard against communism. If you are interested in these questions, you may like to take a look at the „Classified GHQ Intelligence Reports on the History of the Chrysanthemum Throne“. You have to be aware that this report was (obviously) not compiled out of scientific interest and, at some points, desperately lacks understanding of a non-Western culture (for example when an imperial concubine is called “a common woman”). Nevertheless, it offers in many respects, rare and appropriate facts and insights regarding the monarchy and, in particular, on how its history had been manipulated to serve nationalist purposes. This is even more relevant, as in some respects, the same is happening still today, and for similar reasons.

Quote:
Perhaps more falsehood has been written about the Japanese dynasty than any dynasty that ever occupied a throne. The Japanese repeated these false claims so long and so vehemently that they not only convinced themselves of their truth but they also deceived a gullible world. […] The two great "historical" books, the "Kojiki" and the "Nihongi," give a purported story of the dynasty. They were not written until 712 A.D. and 722 A.D., yet they attempt to give a minute record of conversations and details of events from 660 B.C. onward. All records which contradicted these myths were destroyed. During the time of these events the Japanese were unable to read or write. The exact birthday, age, and reign of each Emperor is given. The first 17 Emperors ages add up to a total of 1,853 years, which is 109 years for each emperor. When the Japanese learned to read and write in the Seventh Century, there was a noticeable drop in the ages of emperors. After that they averaged only 61 years. While Japan was illiterate, the Koreans and Chinese were keeping records. These records prove the Japanese "history" as mere fabrication, manufactured out of whole cloth to make it easier for certain ambitious people to rule the country. […]

The Japanese have been kept in almost total ignorance of the facts about their Imperial Family. Ito, in interpreting the Constitution, laid down the dictum that the Emperor was not to be discussed. Then a high-powered publicity campaign was launched to make the Japanese people and the world believe in the myth of an "unbroken dynasty." Repeated over and over until the people heard or read little else were such phrases as: "the splendid traditions that no other nation in the world has ever enjoyed," "the unbroken line of decent from the immortal," and "gods have been our monarchs and our monarchs, gods." This propaganda succeeded beyond the dreams of the empire builders. Foreign Governments and peoples as well as Japanese accepted the myth of the "unbroken dynasty." Today few Americans and no Japanese appear to have any knowledge of the history of the "Emperor myth" and how it was made to prevail. […]

The Shogun IYEYASU issued the following order to the Emperor: "The ruling Emperor shall no longer leave his palace, except when he takes himself to visit the Emperor who has abdicated." (d) As a result of this policy, for many centuries the masses of the Japanese people did not know that the Japanese Emperor existed. A Chinese priest of an inquiring mind made a journey through 16th Century Japan asking people about the Emperor. Few of the peasants he interrogated knew of such a being or believed when they were told. […]

The powerful men in Japan always have used abdication as a clever scheme to keep the dynasty weak and pliable. The Emperor SEIWA was removed at the age of 26, SHUJAKU at 23, REIZEI at 20, ENYU at 26, KWAZAN at 19, SHUTOKU at 24, NIJO at 26, ROKUJO at four, and TAKAKURA at 21, according to Willard Price. "Naturally in this swift succession, the lives of Emperors overlapped and in 1300 there were actually six Emperors extant; one on the Throne and five meditating." […]

"In 1868, after a period of 675 years, the sovereign authority was restored to the Throne" is the way the Japanese describe the events of 1868. As a matter of fact, from 888 until the founding of the Empire in 1868, the so-called Emperors were secluded and had no authority except from 1333 to 1336, during a period between shoguns, when the Emperor exercised sovereign authority. […] Two steps were taken by the builders [of the Meiji Restoration in 1868] to bolster the weak dynasty which was in danger of extinction. The boy-Emperor was quickly married to a daughter of a court noble. The most influential court nobles were trotted out and accorded imperial status although their claims to imperial dignity were remote and unconvincing. […]

An adopted son of the previous Emperor was raised to imperial dignity and called "His Imperial Highness Prince KANIN." Then this boys father FUSHIMI Kuniiye, a man who had 16 other sons, was brought forth and given the title of "His Imperial Highness Prince FUSHIMI." One official account published in 1929 said, "This is the oldest of the princely families, having been founded in the 14th Century by a son of GOHANAZONO Tenno, the 102nd Emperor." (d) But in 11944 the official account said, "the House of FUSHIMI was founded by a great-grandchild of the Emperor GOFUSHIMI, the 93d Emperor." (c)

It is possible that the son of the 102nd Emperor could have been the great-grandchild of the 93d Emperor; but they lived 500 years ago and probably had several thousand descendants in 1868. Then why pick out one of them for imperial status? The empire needed an Emperor and this man had 17 sons. If the 16-year-old Emperor MEIJI died without heirs, then here was a family that might replace him even if it were not related to the Emperor.
On page 3 you find the answer why the occupation forces chose to keep the number of royals relatively small (and why they completely abolished the nobility):

Quote:
Eleven Imperial Families who were related to the Emperor only remotely through an ancestor who is claimed to have lived some 23 generations ago, have lost their imperial status, their rank, their titles, and their royal privileges and have become common citizens. […] Most of these 51 members of the Imperial Family already had lost most of their property by means of the capitol property tax which, in some cases, amounted to 90 percent of their holdings. Lacking business experience and contact with practical affairs of the world, their future is at least uncertain. Like all Japanese, they must now earn their place in Japan and in the world on their merits and their ability to succeed in the realm of peace. For many generations these families have enjoyed privileges and have been accorded honors and dignities to which they had no legal nor moral rights. There are, no doubt, thousands of persons in Japan and other countries who have descended from royal families in the last 500 years but they earn their livelihood and make no ridiculous claims to imperial dignity.
You see, it was sort of a matter of course for the occupation forces that, as a rule, everybody has to work for his living. They were willing to make sort of an exception for the emperor and his immediate family (although they, too, were stripped of most of their wealth), obviously because they were fulfilling a certain function for the state. But following an ethical baseline of puritanism that they apparently thought to be universally valid, independent of time, place and cultural tradition, the US authorities prided themselves on restoring sort of an universal justice to Japan by stripping “lazy” royals of their privileges and by finally forcing them to work for their living.

They do have a strong point, though, in that the collateral branches are but very remotely related to today´s imperial family. In fact, they are descended from the fourteenth-century Emperor Sukō. It is also true that most of these imperial branch houses are a product of the Meiji era end of the 19th century. The last three were founded as late as 1906 by descendants of the above mentioned Prince Fushimi Kuniye.

It does not seem, though, that the US authorities were ever aware that, by their measures, they might be putting the succession to the throne in danger. In 1948, Emperor Hirohito had two sons and Prince Mikasa also two (a third, the later Prince Takamado, was born to him in 1954). That they all together would produce but two male-line males in the next generation (the present crown prince and Prince Akishino) would not have come completely unexpected to a historian who was familiar with royal genealogical tables, remembering, for example George III of Britain who - although he fathered 13 children - had by 1817 (when his youngest surviving child, Princess Sophia, was already 40 years) but one single legitimate grandchild and potential successor, Princess Charlotte - whose premature death accordingly caused a succession crisis.

Unfortunately, the US authorities who were responsible for implementing the changes in the Imperial House Law were no experts on royal history, and probably thought in all honesty that 5 imperial princes were amply sufficient to carry on the monarchy for several generations at least.
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"In order to make the area inhabitable again, we face the difficult problem of removing radiation." - Emperor Akihito

(Following recent incidents, I would like to refer anybody who may think the emperor´s statement obvious or redundant to this thread, post #682.)
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