The Japanese Cabinet approved legislation to allow Japan’s emperor to abdicate the throne, just this once. Emperor Akihito wishes to step down and give his son, Crown Prince Naruhito, “time to rule”. This is big news since Emperor Akihito’s abdication will be the first in 200 years.
Of course, there is the opinion for and against this action. Supporters welcome the idea of letting emperors retire (they did pre-1889 law). Opponents fear permanent change in the Imperial Household Law would lead to changes eventually allowing women to also be rightful heirs to the throne, although Japan had female emperors in the past as well.
One thing is certain–change. Somewhere I heard the phrase “Change is inevitable; growth is optional”. This certainly seems to be a time for Japan once again to embrace the challenge of change in its laws governing emperors. It will be interesting to watch!
The National Cherry Blossom Festival is in full swing now and Japan-related events continue to blossom across Washington DC.
March 15 to April 16, 2017
Read about the history of the festival and the many events!
Visitors can get a head start and enjoy early-blooming cherry blossoms in Kawazu, Japan, that start blooming in February, about a month before most of the cherry blossoms in the rest of Japan. The climate in Kawazu on the Izu Peninsula is generally warmer than other parts of Japan even though it is still winter. Then, you can extend your cherry blossom adventure by moving north.
For example, in Hikone on the eastern shore of Lake Biwa in Central Japan, Continue reading
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all who celebrate the holidays!
Peace, goodwill toward all people.
Watching the golden sunset from the airport window provided an appropriate good-bye to my 10-day Japanese adventure. The setting sun cast a golden glow over Ise Bay and sparkled on the wings of the jet sitting at the gate. Continue reading
It’s hard to believe the highest mountain peak in Japan (12,389 ft.) could be totally obscured by fog and clouds from nearby Lake Ashi when, on a clear day, the majestic mountain is visible from distant Tokyo some 60 miles away.
It was very cold and windy the day I visited Lake Ashi, Continue reading
私は日本に行きます。Nihon ni ikimasu. I am going to Japan.
Since childhood I have wanted to go to Japan. I don’t know why. Perhaps the lure of things that interested me such as the intrigue of a strangely written language, the beautiful photo depictions of gardens and flowers, the gorgeous kimonos or simply the exotic and very different culture. Keep in mind, I grew up before the Internet, before easy access to information; the world seemed even larger then. Before Internet connection, different cultures were more mysterious and faraway places more exotic. Add a child’s imagination, and the exciting dream gets painted with even more vibrant colors. Continue reading
In Japan I was pleased to see a familiar tree, a loquat tree just like the one in my yard in the U.S. While gazing at the familiar tree during my visit to Japan, my mind wandered off to a story I once wrote about my grandson and his first encounter with the lovely, white blossoms on my tree at home. I’ll share the story below. Continue reading
I stopped at a little outdoor cafe to buy a snack. As I was looking around for a place to sit, I noticed short, low, very wide tables placed around the outdoor area. At first I wondered if the tables were set in preparation for an upcoming trade display of sorts Continue reading
Happy Holidays to everybody who celebrates the season all around the world!
Peace and Goodwill towards all people.