The Abdication: The Reign of Akihito and Michiko

Disclaimer – I don’t EVEN pretend to be up on all things Japan, so you will find a lot of links to articles that do a far, far better job of explaining things than I ever could. Make sure to check them out.

April 30th marks the end of an era in Japan as Crown Prince Naruhito takes over as Emperor on the occasion of his father’s abdication. In honor of such an historical event, let’s take a look back at Akihito and Michiko’s 30 years on the Chrysanthemum Throne.

Upon the death of his father Emperor Hirohito on January 7th, 1989, Crown Prince Akihito immediately acceded to the throne, with the official enthronement ceremony taking place on November 12th, 1990.

Embed from Getty Images

Official portraits released a few days before the Enthronement, depicting the Imperial couple in both traditional Japanese, and western wear.

The Emperor and Empress made it their goal to try and bring the Imperial family closer to the Japanese people , and did the best that they could within the rigid constraints of the ImperialHousehold Agency.

Embed from Getty Images

They have met many heads of state over their 30 years as Emperor and Empress, as well as during their 30+ years as Crown Prince and Princess.

Embed from Getty Images

I wish them a happy retirement, full of lazy mornings, long afternoon walks, a tennis game here and there if health still permits and, for Michiko in particular, all of the crime novels she can manage. And of course many, many more days in the sun.