The Japanese government today officially announced that Reiwa will be the name of the reign of the next Emperor of Japan, Crown Prince Naruhito. Crown Prince Naruhito becomes the next Emperor of Japan on May 1, 2019 when his father, Emperor Akihito, abdicates the Chrysanthemum Throne. Emperor Akihito has indicated that he wishes to step down for health reasons.
The Chrysanthemum Throne is reportedly the oldest unbroken monarchy in the history of the world.
PEACE IN JAPAN
Reiwa means “harmony” and peace. On the streets today, upon hearing the news, many ordinary Japanese hoped that the new era of Japan will bring forth a period of serenity, prosperity and general happiness.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga made the announcement today, April 1. Mr. Suga said that Reiwa was adopted from an anthology of classical Japanese poetry from the 8th century. The anthology, called “Manyoshu,” is a national book that reportedly symbolises Japanese tradition and culture.
NAMES FOR JAPANESE EMPERORS
In the past, Japanese emperors have reigned under names taken in some form from classical Chinese literature because of the usage and symbolism of kanji by both China and Japan. This is the first time that a Japanese emperor will take a name derived from purely Japanese literature.
ABOUT THE NEXT EMPEROR OF JAPAN
When Crown Prince Naruhito becomes Emperor of Japan on May 1, his wife Crown Princess Masako, the former diplomat Masako Owada, will become the Empress of Japan. They have one daughter, Princess Aiko, who is currently a student at the Gakushuin School.
Crown Prince Naruhito also has a younger brother named Prince Akishino. He married a fellow student at Gakushuin University, the former Kiko Kawashima.
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