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The dinner of “son of the sun” with Amaterasu

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Day 14 November Emperor Naruhito completed the ritual of his accession to the Chrysanthemum Throne of Japan, replacing your father, Akihito. He spent the night alone in a wooden house tasting dishes from each region of the country; symbolically he was having dinner with his ancestor, Amaterasu, the “daughter goddess of the Sun”.

According to tradition, Naruhito is the 126th descendant of the mythological founder of the Empire of the Rising Sun, Emperor Jimmu, who would have lived in the 6th century BC. Jimmu is considered the direct descendant of the goddess. However, the dynasty's historical record dates back to Emperor Ojin, that would have reigned in the early 5th century. The Japanese monarchy is the oldest – in continuity – of the planet. Under Japanese law women have been prohibited from reigning since the late 19th century.

This process of transferring imperial power began with the abdication of his father, in day 30 last april. Akihito was the second, only, in the history of Japan, to make such a decision (the only precedent was Emperor Kokaku, in 1817). The next day – 1The. of May – Naruhito was declared Emperor. This act was followed by his enthronement, together with your consort, the Empress Masako, in day 22 last october, taking thousands of Japanese people to the streets of Tokyo to celebrate the auspicious moment. The ceremony was attended by several heads of state and international royalty. The President of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro, also attended.

What does it mean, currently, be the Emperor of Japan?

First of all, he is the supreme leader of the Shinto religion, name given to the country's traditional spirituality. The word "Shinto" – “path of the gods” – incorporates spiritual practices derived from diverse Japanese prehistoric traditions; but it emerged as a formally centralized religion only from the 6th century. Their practices would be codified in historical records from the 7th century.

Until the end of World War II, the Emperor was considered to be of a divine nature. However, their participation in the country's political life has alternated over the centuries. Com a tomada do poder pelo Shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo, in 1147, which established Kamakura's game, the Emperor became a merely ritual and symbolic figure. The Xogun, protocolically appointed by him, became, "de facto", the true leader of the country. This even 1868 when Emperor Meiji rescued power, dissolving the shogunate. The so-called “Meiji Restoration” triggered the country's modernization process that would transform it into the great Asian power in the first half of the 20th century.

However, Emperor Hirohito's deep involvement (1901/1989) in the theater of World War II led the Allied winners to impose the so-called “Declaration of Humanity” - “Humanity Declaration” - which abolished the official support of the State to Shintoism and removed the divine nature of the occupant of the throne of the Rising Sun. It was established (as a matter of fact, imposed by the winning Allies) the so-called “Pacifist Constitution”, which in its article 9 established that the “Japanese people forever renounce war”. From then on, the role of the Emperor became protocol again. It was the alternative punishment to a more drastic penalty against Hirohito, that could have been declared “war criminal” by the Tokyo Court and, as such, punishable by capital punishment.

But, how protocol is, actually, the role of the Emperor?

The Japanese political universe is very complex. Despite a single party – o Liberal Democratic Party (DPL) – dominate the scene entirely since 1955, there is a multiplicity of other political denominations. However, the “omnipotent” party is, as a matter of fact, a myriad of subpartisan leaders who dispute the hegemony among themselves, in collusion with the bureaucratic elite and pressure groups, among which the influential business. And we cannot forget the active presence of the extreme right, nationalist and xenophobic, and Yakuza’s conspicuous presence, which is considered a semi-legitimate organization and actively acts to support the population in times of national tragedies, like no Kobe earthquake and no tsunami of 2101, when their groups opened offices for refugees and sent dozens of trucks with supplies to affected areas.

In the midst of this stable / unstable universe, the mainstay of the state is the figure - still “sacred” to the majority of the population, especially the elderly – of the Emperor, as a bulwark of nationality and the values ​​of what “being Japanese” means in a country that is constantly changing, aging, and “threatened” by the emergence of its regional neighbors – China and South Korea. And yet it remains the third largest economy on the planet.
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Dinner with Amaterasu is certainly the necessary symbolism to encourage the country of the Rising Sun to live with the Asian Century…

Thank you
YoroshikuonegaishimasuAbout this siteVEJA.ABRIL.COM.BRNaruhito ‘will spend the night with a goddess’ in ritual after being named emperorWith an estimated cost of more than R $ 100 me, ceremony represents Naruhito's encounter with the sun goddess, from whom the emperor is descended by tradition

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Doctor of Public International Law in Paris. He entered the diplomatic career in 1976, served in Brussels embassies, Buenos Aires, New Delhi, Washington, Beijing, Tokyo, Islamabade (where he was Ambassador of Brazil, in 2004). He also completed transitional missions in Vietnam and Taiwan. Lived 15 years in Asia, where he guided his career, considering that the continent would be the most important of the century 21 - forecast that, now, sees closer and closer to reality.