Isaac Meyer

Historian, teacher, podcaster

Episode 314 – Responsibility, Accountability, and the Imperial Throne

Since Japan just got itself a new emperor, this is a good time to go back and look at an incident from the enthronement of the last emperor — and at a time where one local politician’s comment at a council meeting ignited a national firestorm which ended with him being shot.

Sources

Fields, Norma. In the Realm of a Dying Emperor

A Japan Times article on Naruhito’s coronation and the relative lack of protest compared to the last one

New York Times coverage of Motoshima’s shooting from 1990.

Images

Motoshima Hitoshi during his political prime.

The Crysanthemum Throne (Takamikura) normally is in Kyoto but is brought to Tokyo for coronations.

Emperor Akihito (center left, in white) during his daijosai (enthronement). This event was greeted with massive protests in Tokyo.

Motoshima Hitoshi continued to speak publicly about his views on the emperor system and Hirohito until his death in 2014.

 

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Episode 313 – The Doctor is In

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Episode 315 – The World Cast Aside

1 Comment

  1. Jason

    When I visited Kyoto I took a tour of the old imperial palace. They showed me the Chrysanthemum Throne but the guide had a very different story about why they had to helicopter the throne to Tokyo. According to the guide the Heisei Emperor was to be enthroned in Tokyo as a break from tradition. But the guide said that the throne was “too big” to be shipped by truck. So, instead they had to helicopter it out. She made no mention of protesters or a fear of terrorists attempting to disrupt the ceremony.

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