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  #921  
Old 11-02-2014, 08:13 PM
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This does seem to be a common-sense solution to North American eyes, but does it go along with Japanese culture? Someone from Asia posted on one of these threads awhile ago that a daughter isn't considered part of her birth family once she marries, whether royal, imperial, or commoner. I find this sad and perplexing as well.
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  #922  
Old 11-03-2014, 02:22 AM
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That pretty much used to be true within Western culture as well, and that is the reason why women even today often change their surname when they get married. But it seems like the Japanese are far more conservative these days.
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  #923  
Old 01-01-2016, 02:08 PM
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Government to set up expert panel to deal with decrease in female Imperial family members | The Japan Times

Quote:
The government will set up a panel of experts to deal with an expected further decrease in the number of female members of the Imperial family, informed sources have told Jiji Press.

The government plans to establish the panel after the House of Councilors election next summer in the hope of preventing the problem from developing into a political issue, according to the sources.

The Imperial House Law stipulates that a female member of the family loses her status as Imperial family member if she marries a person outside the family.

The family has seven unmarried female members. All of them are adults except Princess Aiko, 14, the daughter of Crown Prince Naruhito and a granddaughter of Emperor Akihito.
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  #924  
Old 01-01-2016, 03:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mermaid1962 View Post
This does seem to be a common-sense solution to North American eyes, but does it go along with Japanese culture? Someone from Asia posted on one of these threads awhile ago that a daughter isn't considered part of her birth family once she marries, whether royal, imperial, or commoner. I find this sad and perplexing as well.
From my limited understanding, the convention in Japanese culture is that a woman joins her husband's family (and, accordingly, ceases to be a member of her birth family) once she gets married.
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  #925  
Old 01-02-2016, 03:31 AM
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Under the old Imperial Household Law of 1889, a female member of the Imperial Family who married a subject ceased to be a member of the Imperial Family, but, with the Emperor's approval, she could retain her title. It would take only a minor amendment to the Imperial Household Law 1947 to reintroduce that option. The current Emperor's sister, Mrs Atsuko Ikeda, is Supreme Priestess at the Grand Shrine of Ise (a position traditionally filled by unmarried princesses), and his daughter, Mrs Sayako Kuroda, is a Chief Priestess at the same shrine. If former members of the Imperial Family are still considered eligible to act as priestesses at the most important Shinto shrine in Japan, it seems reasonable that they should keep their titles.
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  #926  
Old 01-08-2016, 12:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Chubb Fuddler View Post
The current Emperor's sister, Mrs Atsuko Ikeda, is Supreme Priestess at the Grand Shrine of Ise (a position traditionally filled by unmarried princesses), and his daughter, Mrs Sayako Kuroda, is a Chief Priestess at the same shrine. If former members of the Imperial Family are still considered eligible to act as priestesses at the most important Shinto shrine in Japan, it seems reasonable that they should keep their titles.
Yeah... We have to see how it turns out.
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  #927  
Old 02-29-2016, 06:47 PM
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The Advisory Council on the Imperial House Law Report (24th November, 2005)


This is a provisional English translation of the final report issued in November 2005 by the advisory group convened by then Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi to study possible reforms to the Imperial House Law. The report covers the historical context for imperial succession and imperial family membership issues, the rationales for the former (1889) and current (1947) Imperial House Laws, and the advisory council's reasons for recommending gender-neutral rules for succession and family membership.

I would recommend it to anyone interested in the recent history of the Japanese imperial family.
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  #928  
Old 03-19-2016, 04:14 AM
eya eya is online now
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Imperial lather | The Economist

Japan's male-only emperor system: Imperial lather
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  #929  
Old 03-20-2016, 12:02 AM
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The UN committee in question should not worry about the succession matters in Japan. The committee in question has more pressing issues to attend to.
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  #930  
Old 06-04-2016, 11:27 PM
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In the past several women reigned in Japan. I don't know why they changed the law to prohibit women to reign.
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  #931  
Old 06-10-2016, 12:38 PM
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But it seems like those women only ruled as the place-holders of a male relative (a son, a nephew), who had not yet ascended to the throne. According to Japanese belief, the father-son line in the imperial family has also been intact for several centuries, perhaps even 2000 years.
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  #932  
Old 06-10-2016, 01:03 PM
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That does seem plausible.
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  #933  
Old 06-10-2016, 01:38 PM
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Yes because they ensured it. With the exception of one empress, Gemmei, their children never succeeded them. A male line descendent would be chosen to follow. Empress Gemmei ruled when her son the emperor died, and her daughter followed her. But when her grandson came of age, he took the throne. But they weren't considered regents, but reignants.

It would be like allowing Elizabeth II to rule, but Charles not being heir. Instead the Duke of Gloucester or his son would likely follow, as the senior most male line. If that happened, both the duke and his son only have one son. If Alexander was on the throne, and Xan died, Cossima could be Queen, but then again the throne would revert back to a male line, which at that point would be looking to the Kents.
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  #934  
Old 07-02-2016, 08:11 AM
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The theory of female emperors being intermediaries or placeholders for the male line is heavily contested. Please read this post about research that backs the opposite view.

Succession Issues


Quote:
Based on a close examination of kinship and marriage patterns, recent scholarship has shown the weakness in this argument by contending that royal qualifications derived just as much from the mother as from the father, and there was no established rule of patrilineal succession before the end of the eighth century. […] The “intermediary” argument is far too simplistic; it ignores the fact that male candidates were available in most cases when female emperors took office.
The thesis of Tonomura's student Yoshie Akiko, who also argues against the placeholder theory, provides information about the Japanese monarchy from the late 6th to the late 8th centuries, when most of the female emperors reigned and when nearly half of the emperors were female:

http://appsv.main.teikyo-u.ac.jp/tosho/shigaku29-14.pdf

Quote:
The first systematic form of law in Japan was established between the end of the seventh and the beginning of the eighth centuries […] In one of the articles which stated that the emperor’s siblings and children would be given the titles of prince or princess, there is a clause stating that “the same applies for female emperors.”

In the absence of a clear ranking rule for royal succession [at the beginning of the sixth century], those who satisfied a certain number of conditions for bloodline become O-kimi 大王 ( Great King ) recommended by other powerful elite lineages. […] Most female emperors were princesses in terms of their bloodline and queen consorts 后 before acceding to the throne. During this formative period for hereditary succession to the throne, there was above all a need to enhance the nobility of bloodline, and thus princesses who came from a powerful elite lineage on their mother’s side were prioritized for selection as queen consorts. Some of these women married emperors with whom they were half-siblings on their father’s lineage.

Earlier than [the end of the eighth century], when women from powerful elites or royal lineages became consorts, the residence they inherited and lived in became a “consort’s palace キサキの宮” […] Their children, the princes and princesses, grew up in their mother’s palace and solidified their bond in their mother’s group. […] In this political environment seen in the practices of matrimony and [matrilineal] property inheritance, when princesses whose mothers came from powerful elite lineages became queen consorts they were considered formidable candidates to succeed to the throne by virtue of their bloodline, political and economic power, their connections from managing and ruling experiences as a queen consort in the consort palace.
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Originally Posted by Blog Real View Post
In the past several women reigned in Japan. I don't know why they changed the law to prohibit women to reign.

The Advisory Council on the Imperial House Law Report (2005) summarized the arguments that were made when female succession was officially prohibited in 1889:

Quote:
When the Meiji Imperial House Law and again the current Imperial House Law were enacted, various grounds were cited for institutionalizing the principle of male succession through male lineage, these being rooted in the circumstances of the day.
Specifically, at the time of the enactment of the Meiji Imperial House Law, such arguments were made as the following:
• A female Emperor’s dignity would be diminished by the presence of a consort, for Japanese popular sentiment and social norms gave precedence to the male.
• The Japanese system of inheritance favored males. If the eldest child was a daughter but she had a younger brother, the estate went to the latter.
• In the minds of the Japanese people, female Emperors had throughout history always served a provisional, interregnal role, and Imperial succession was still perceived as passing through the male line. Moreover, these female Emperors had been without consorts during their reigns; but a system that compelled a female Emperor to remain unwed today would be at odds with both reason and popular sentiment.
• A child born of a female Emperor would inherit her husband’s surname; the Imperial line would thus be diverted into a different course in violation of tradition.
• The consort of a female Emperor might interfere through her in affairs of State.
• A woman’s assumption of the highest position of political authority would be inconsistent with the absence of female suffrage in Japan.
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  #935  
Old 07-13-2016, 07:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Furienna View Post
But it seems like those women only ruled as the place-holders of a male relative (a son, a nephew), who had not yet ascended to the throne. According to Japanese belief, the father-son line in the imperial family has also been intact for several centuries, perhaps even 2000 years.
I don't buy into feminism to start with, but if that is true that its been intact for 2thoysand years, I understand why they would want to maintain that.
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  #936  
Old 07-15-2016, 12:57 PM
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Restoring royal status to descendants a delicate issue in Imperial Family reform debate - The Mainichi

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Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is opposed to anyone from the maternal side of the Imperial Family ascending to the throne. Instead, Abe favors restoring royal status to the male descendants of 11 men who were expelled from the Imperial Family by the United States-led General Headquarters occupation administration in 1947. There are no provisions in the Imperial House Law for returning former royal family members to the Imperial fold.

In the February 2012 issue of Bungei Shunju magazine, Abe proposed "restoring former members of the Imperial Family with the enactment of a special measures law from the standpoint of recovering from the occupation regime."

The government appears to have been searching for solutions to the shrinking Imperial Family along these lines since Abe regained the premiership in December 2012. Discussion on reforms is continuing in a Cabinet Secretariat office for the consideration of Imperial House Law revisions, and according to sources close to the government, the restoration of royal status is "one among many options being examined." Hopes are high among conservative lawmakers that work can start on this option should the Abe administration stay in power for a long period after the recent House of Councillors election victory.

However, conservative scholars well versed in matters relating to the Imperial House Law have voiced concern that the question of restoring royal status will be forgotten as discussion focuses on the abdication issue.

Nevertheless, just creating an abdication mechanism would be a major change, and it is impossible to say how the public would react if debate on this expanded into and became entangled with how to guarantee the royal succession.
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  #937  
Old 07-18-2016, 07:22 PM
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Quote:
It is necessary to revise regulations related to the crown prince in light of the Imperial family’s current situation.
Article 8 of the Imperial House Law stipulates that “the son of the Emperor who is the Imperial Heir is called ‘Kotaishi’” and assumes only a direct succession of the throne from father to son.
If Crown Prince Naruhito accedes to the throne, Prince Akishino will become first in the line of succession.
However, as younger brother of the new emperor, Prince Akishino would not be the crown prince.
It may therefore be necessary to establish a new status — “kotaitei” — for the younger brother of an emperor that would be a substitute for the role of crown prince.
Amending Imperial House Law no easy task - The Japan News
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  #938  
Old 07-21-2016, 08:05 AM
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Under the Imperial House Law 1947, Prince Akishino will never be heir apparent. The chances are extremely low, but it is still possible that the Crown Prince might father a son. If the Crown Princess died, or the couple divorced, a second marriage might produce the longed for male heir. It seems a bit odd to have a special title for the heir presumptive, a title the holder could lose if the unexpected happened. Besides, the title of Prince in Japanese, Shinnō 親王, is already pretty exclusive, and will be even more so when Prince Hitachi and Prince Mikasa die.

Interestingly, the titles translated into English as Prince and Princess are, in Japanese, a bit grander. The Emperor's children and grandchildren (in the male line) are:

Shinnō 親王 - Prince
Naishinnō 内親王 - Princess

A better translation might be Imperial Prince and Imperial Princess, the Chinese character 親 qīn indicates something like intimate or closely related.

The third generation in the male line are:

Ō 王 - Prince
Joō 女王 - Princess

Interestingly the Chinese character 王 wáng means king, so in Japanese, Princess Ayako, 絢子女王 Ayako Joō, the most junior princess of the Imperial Family, is Queen Ayako (or literally Female King Ayako).

Anyway, getting back on topic. It seems to me that probably the most important reason for maintaining male succession is the very one that cannot be used. The line of emperors unbroken for ages eternal, and the Imperial Throne coeval with heaven and earth, are fundamental to Shintoism. The Emperor is the direct male line descendant of Emperor Jimmu, great-great-great-grandson of Amaterasu Omikami, the Sun Goddess. If that line of divine descent is hard to prove, there is another one much closer to modern times; in fact it dates back less than a century. The Emperor is also the great-grandson of Emperor Meiji and Empress Shoken. Their divine souls were enshrined as deities at the Meiji Shrine in Tokyo in 1920. But Japan is now a secular state, and according to Article 20 of the Constitution:
Freedom of religion is guaranteed to all. No religious organization shall receive any privileges from the State, nor exercise any political authority.
No person shall be compelled to take part in any religious act, celebration, rite or practice.
The State and its organs shall refrain from religious education or any other religious activity.
It would be unconstitutional to make decisions on legislation based on Shinto, so it remains the elephant in the room.
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  #939  
Old 08-27-2016, 01:49 AM
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LDP heavyweight Nikai calls ban on female emperors 'strange' and 'out of date' | The Japan Times
Quote:
Ruling Liberal Democratic Party heavyweight Toshihiro Nikai, the party’s secretary-general, voiced support for allowing a woman to ascend to the Chrysanthemum Throne, calling the ban on female emperors “strange” and “out of date.”

Under the Imperial House Law, women are currently not allowed to take up the mantle of emperor.

“In the age of female empowerment, it’s strange that the Emperor is an exception, and it’s out of date,” Nikai said Thursday during a recording of an Asahi Satellite Broadcasting Ltd. television program.

Speaking to reporters after the program, Nikai dismissed concerns that Japan was not ready for such a move.

“Women hold top posts in some countries. No problem has occurred there,” he said. “Japan can take that kind of step.”
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  #940  
Old 08-27-2016, 02:18 AM
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Perhaps a new generation of Japanese politicians and leaders will examine these things in a new light now, in the 21st century. Still, the Crown Prince is still reasonably young and in good health, isn't he? This question might not become urgent for another quarter of a century or so, though of course accidents do happen.
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