Shortly after Emperor Hirohito died on 7 January 1989, Crown Prince Akihito ascended the throne and performed the ritual of accepting the sacred mirror, sword, and necklace that have symbolized imperial rule for over 1500 years. The imperial transition, however, did not end there. Emperor Akihito performed a series of elaborate rituals over the next year that culminated in his formal ascension at Kyoto’s imperial shrine on the anniversary of his father’s death. There Akihito performed the ritual of Daijosai whereby he was ritually transformed into a woman, impregnated by the gods, and finally reborn as a god. Only then did he truly become an emperor.
KeywordsPolitical Culture Japanese Culture Gene Rally Japanese Politics Diet Member
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