Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
The Chrysanthemum Throne is the oldest monarchy in the world. In Nihonshoki it is said that the Empire of Japan was founded in 660 BC by the Emperor Jimmu. And it is said his descendants continue to reign today; the current Emperor Akihito is the 125th direct descendant of Jimmu. With historical assurance the record is back to Emperor Ojin who supposedly reigned in the early 5th century. Despite the fact that there had previously been eight female Emperors (in Japan only the wife of an Emperor is called an Empress), under Japanese Imperial law (promulgated by the Imperial Household Agency and the Privy Council ) women cannot reign since the middle of the 19th century.
The Japanese monarchy is highly traditional and modern at the same time. The Emperor (Japanese: tennō (天皇), "heavenly sovereign") acts as a high priest in the Shinto faith, although his divine power was renounced after World War II.
Under the provisions of the current Japanese constitution, the Emperor is a symbol of the state and the unity of the people; he has no real political power but is regarded as a ceremonial Head of State and constitutional monarch. Despite this, there are still some people who would like to see the Emperor's power increased.
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