Title

The legacy of the Emperor Akihito at the twilight of his reign

Document Type

Presentation

Publication Date

4-5-2018

Abstract

The Heisei Emperor (Akihito) has announced his retirement date in just over a year from now, April 30, 2019, the first abdication of a modern emperor, which in turn has triggered a series of debates and renewed discussions about the emperor's role in contemporary Japan. This presentation begins with an introduction to the "emperor system" in Japan during the modern era (from the Meiji Restoration of 1868), and delves into contemporary debates surrounding the nature of the Japanese emperor. Examining the legacy of the Emperor Akihito begs comparison with his father, Emperor Hirohito, whose legacy too is being examined in Japan at the end of his son's reign. Part of my comparison will look at each emperor's place in history in relation to nuclear disaster.

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