The emperor of Japan today

photo of the emperor of Japan with his wife

The figure of the emperor of Japan has existed since the year 660 B.C. and it has continued uninterrupted to the present day. It is said that the first emperor, Jimmu he was a descendant of the goddess Amaterasu. It is generally accepted that all emperors since then have been descendants of the same imperial family.

Although there were moments in history when the emperor’s power was diminished or nil, he always remained a symbolic figure. Different leaders throughout history, from the Fujiwara and Hojo family to the shogun Minamoto, Ashikaga and Tokugawa respected him and had an interest in legitimizing themselves against the emperor. With the Meiji restoration, almost unlimited powers were given to the figure of the emperor, but in reality most of the power was placed in the oligarchy of the genre (old statesmen), generals and admirals.

With the Constitution of 1947 the political functions of the emperor were taken away from him and he remained as a symbolic figure. Currently the emperor participates in ceremonies and diplomatic assemblies. Since 1989 the current emperor of Japan is Akihito, which is number 125. He is married to the Empress Michiko, who does not belong to the nobility and his first-born son is the prince Naruhito. Currently the imperial family resides in the Imperia Palacel in Tokyo.

The emperor of Japan greeting the public

  • The imperial family maintains the oldest hereditary monarchy in the world.
  • The coat of arms of the imperial family is a chrysanthemum (kiku).
  • Throughout the history of the imperial family there have been 8 empresses.
  • Formerly it was believed that the emperor was a divine figure and that he could converse with the divinities. It is currently considered a symbol of the state.
  • The life of the imperial family is of great interest to society. An increase in productivity was even expected if Prince Naruhito’s marriage to Princess Masako had a first male child.
  • However they had a daughter. Based on this, and considering gender equality and that there have already been eight empresses, there are people in parliament who are seeking a reform in the 1947 Constitution to allow the ascent of a woman to the throne.
  • The current Emperor Akihito is an expert in marine biology and has several scientific publications. He specialized in the study of the goby fish.