Emperor wishing retirement, was one of the major headlines last week in Japan.
The initial report was from the public broadcasting company NHK. It claimed that the Emperor has been expressing his intention to abdicate for several years now due to the heavy burden of his public duties.
Then came a series of mixed reports, some in support and others in complete denial. Official sources including the Imperial Household Agency have provided no meaningful information as of yet. We are left to wonder what is really happening.
My feeling toward the first news was “why not?”. The Emperor is very old now, aged 82. Many people of his age enjoy their retired life. After all his years of public service, he deserves a quiet life. Maybe enjoy some gardening at the East Gardens of the Imperial Palace.
Even today, many features of the East Gardens of the Imperial Palace are of his design. My group observed the orchard of traditional Japanese fruits at the Honmaru area, then went on to see the long-finned carp in the Ninomaru gardens. These are just two of the Emperor’s ideas reflected in the design of the garden. It is quite interesting to imagine what the Emperor will come up with next when he in fact is admitted to step down.
I would like to thank all the guests for joining us on the tour. Next time we may have more interesting news to share with you on the Emperor’s retirement issue.
(Article by Yohei)