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2019.06.03 Emperor and Empress’ Favorite Books Introduced in Japan
Emperor Akihito of Japan is set to abdicate on April 30th, which will make him the first Japanese emperor to do so in over two centuries. Ahead of this historical event, some Japanese magazines, as part of the commemoration of the Heisei Era, published a list of Emperor Akihito’s and Empress Michiko’s favorite books.

Web media “News Post Seven” introduced Emperor Akihito’s memorable books on imperialism. When Emperor was a teenager, he was educated by Shinzo Koizumi, former-dean of Keio University, one of Japan’s top private universities. Koizumi taught the then-young prince using books such as “On the imperial household” by Fukuzawa Yukichi (Teishitsuron, 1882) and “Destiny” by Koda Rohan (Unmei, 1919). “On the imperial household” is an essay collection, which was written before the enactment of the Meiji Constitution, discusses the meaning and function of the Imperial family. “Destiny” is a novel with Jianwen Emperor of in China’s Ming Dynasty as the protagonist. The two books are said to have had a great influence on Emperor Akihito at the beginning of the new era, with the replica watches uk Emperor as the symbol of the State. and of the unity of the people.

The magazine also reports that the book which the Emperor gave to Empress Michiko before their wedding was “Queen Victoria” by British author Lytton Strachey (1921) which was awarded the James Tait Black Memorial Prize. Japanese translation is available. Takaya Kodama, an author and a researcher on imperialism, comments that this book on Queen Victoria, who had won enormous support from the middle class of Britain, may have become the ideal form of the young Emperor and Empress.

On the other hand, many of Emperor Michiko's favorite titles are of non-Japanese authors. Last year the public learned about her collection of “Jeeves” series by P.G. Wodehouse. Another one on the list is “The Little Prince” by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, which became a long-time bestseller in Japan after being reported that Empress has read it. The entire list in Japanese is published in the March edition of Bungei-Shunju. The public might be interested in picking up this selection of books during a long vacation at the end of April through the beginning of May celebrating the new replica watches Emperor’s enthronement.