快捷搜索: 纽约时报  抗疫  经济学人  武汉  疫情  香港 


Japan Will Enthrone a New Emperor. His Wife Won’t Be Allowed to Watch.

TOKYO — As part of the historic handover of Japan’s imperial throne on Wednesday, the incoming emperor, Naruhito, will receive a sword, a jewel and official seals in a sacred ceremony that dates back thousands of years.


Naruhito, 59, is to take the Chrysanthemum Throne a day after his father, Emperor Akihito, 85, abdicates on Tuesday, becoming the first Japanese emperor to do so in more than 200 years.


The ascension ceremony in a state room at the imperial palace will make history in another way: For the first time in the modern era, a woman will be present. Satsuki Katayama, the sole woman in the cabinet of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, will be on hand to witness this first step in Naruhito’s enthronement.

在皇居的国事厅举行的登基仪式将以另一种方式创造历史:现代历史上,首次有一位女性出席。首相安倍晋三(Shinzo Abe)内阁唯一的女性片山皋月(Satsuki Katayama)将在现场见证德仁天皇继位的第一步。

But the new empress, Masako, Naruhito’s wife of 26 years, will not be allowed to attend — another illustration of the diminished status of women in the imperial family.


Under the Imperial Household Law, which governs the line of succession as well as most matters of protocol related to Japan’s monarchy, women in the royal family are not permitted to be in the room when the new emperor receives the sacred regalia signifying his rightful succession to the world’s oldest monarchy.

根据规定继承顺序以及日本相关君主制大部分礼仪的《皇室典范》(Imperial Household Law),新天皇接过代表他合法继承世界上最古老王位的神圣宝器时,女性皇室成员不得在场。

But the prohibitions go much further. Women are not allowed to reign on the throne. In fact, women born into the royal family must officially leave it once they marry, and none of their children can be in line to the throne.


Those rules have left the imperial family with precious few heirs. After Naruhito takes the throne, the line of succession will include his uncle, Prince Hitachi, 83, Naruhito’s younger brother, Prince Akishino, 53, and Akishino’s son, Prince Hisahito, 12. The only child of Naruhito and Masako, Princess Aiko, 17, will not be eligible to sit on the throne.

这些规定使得日本皇室继承人选十分稀缺。德仁天皇登基后,王位继承人选将包括他的叔叔、83岁的常陆宫正仁亲王(Prince Hitachi),德仁的弟弟、53岁的秋筱宫文仁亲王(Prince Akishino)及其子、12岁的悠仁亲王(Prince Hisahito)。德仁和雅子的独生女、17岁的爱子内亲王(Princess Aiko)将不具有继承王位的资格。

When Japan’s Parliament passed a one-time law in 2017 allowing Akihito to abdicate, it attached an addendum that encouraged the government to study possible reforms that would allow women in the royal family to remain within the imperial household after marrying and grant them the right to head legitimate lines of succession.


Bowing to conservative pressure, the addendum did not mention allowing women to sit on the throne.


Mr. Abe’s government, which, to mixed success, has pushed a platform of women’s empowerment in Japan’s society and economy, promised to open discussions about women in the imperial family soon after Naruhito ascends the throne this week.


“I don’t think this would be their preference,” said Kenneth J. Ruoff, a historian and specialist in Imperial Japan at Portland State University. “But they don’t have any choice. They are facing extinction of the imperial line.”

“我认为这不会是他们更想看到的,”波特兰州立大学史学家、日本帝国问题专家肯尼斯·J·洛夫(Kenneth J. Ruoff)说。“但他们别无选择。他们面临着皇室继承人的匮乏。”

Conservatives often underscore the importance of tradition to justify the pure male line of succession.


“If a female or the child of a female royal succeeds to the throne, it would be a major change,” said Hidetsugu Yagi, a professor of law and philosophy at Reitaku University in Kashiwa, Japan. “The imperial family would lose its legitimacy.”

“如果女性或皇室女性的子女继承王位,那将是个重大转变,”日本丽泽大学(Reitaku University in Kashiwa)法学和哲学教授八木秀次(Hidetsugu Yagi)说。“皇族将失去它的正统性。”

But historians point out that imperial traditions have changed over time.


“The idea that succession is limited to males is a modern invention,” said Kathryn Tanaka, an associate professor of cultural and historical studies at Otemae University in Nishinomiya, Japan. She added, “This is not about ‘tradition,’ but rather reflects specific political and patriarchal world views.”

“继承权仅限于男性是现代才有的观点,”日本大手前大学(Otemae University in Nishinomiya)文化与历史研究副教授田中凯瑟琳(Kathryn Tanaka)说。她还说,“这无关‘传统’,而是特定政治、宗法世界观的反映。”

The Japanese stipulation that the throne must pass through the male line dates back only to the Meiji era in the 19th century. Japanese myth traces the emperor’s lineage back 2,700 years, and in the 125 generations of recorded monarchs, eight women were allowed to rule as empresses when no adult men were eligible at the time.


Public opinion also strongly favors allowing women to sit on the throne. In a poll conducted by The Asahi Shimbun, Japan’s second largest daily newspaper, more than three-quarters of those surveyed said they would support a female emperor.


Japan’s royal family is out of step with monarchies elsewhere in the world. In Britain, Queen Elizabeth II has sat on the throne for more than six decades, and royal successors in the Netherlands, Belgium, Sweden, Norway and Spain are all young women.

日本皇室与世界其他地方的君主制国家步调不一。在英国,伊丽莎白二世(Queen Elizabeth II)女王已在位60多年,荷兰、比利时、瑞典、挪威和西班牙的王室继承人都是年轻女性。

Analysts point out that even excluding the new empress from a key part of her husband’s enthronement ceremony is incongruent with Japan’s efforts to promote gender equality.


“They are forgetting how this is going to play internationally,” said Nancy Snow, a professor of public diplomacy at Kyoto University of Foreign Studies. “Just the image of the cabinet with one woman sticking out and then, hey, where’s his wife, the future empress — that would be my question.”

“他们忘记了这会产生什么样的国际影响,”京都外国语大学(Kyoto University of Foreign Studies)公共外交学教授南希·斯诺(Nancy Snow)说。“内阁里只有一个女人,看到这样的画面,我不禁会想,嘿,他的妻子,未来的皇后在哪儿?”

Given that Akihito’s abdication itself represents a break with tradition, observers say the transition to a new era is a good opportunity to refresh other customs of the imperial family.


“I would like for my granddaughter to be inheriting a world where people say, ‘No, that might be the tradition, but like we’ve been able to change the view on abdication, we now have changed the view on female members of the imperial family not being present at this ceremony,’” said Melanie Brock, who has lived in Japan for 27 years and runs a consulting firm for foreign companies looking to do business in Japan.

“我希望我的孙女能够继承这样一个世界,人们会说,‘不,这可能是传统,但是既然我们能够改变对退位的观念,我们现在也能改变女性皇室成员不出席仪式的观念,”梅兰妮·布鲁克(Melanie Brock)说,她在日本生活了27年,目前经营一家咨询公司,为希望在日本做生意的外国公司提供服务。

The incoming empress herself, Masako, was once a symbol of potential change in the monarchy. Before she married Naruhito, she was a fast-rising diplomat in Japan’s Foreign Ministry, and some hoped that she could help modernize the role of women in the imperial family.


But when she became a princess, she gave up her career and suffered under intense pressure to produce a male heir. She has largely stayed out of the public eye in recent years.


“Her presence communicates with the Japanese public her sacrifice and reluctance and ambivalence at even being there,” said Kumiko Nemoto, professor of sociology at Kyoto University School of Foreign Studies.

“她的存在向日本公众传达了她的牺牲精神,以及置身那里的不情愿和矛盾心理,”京都大学外国语大学社会学教授根本宫美子(Kumiko Nemoto)说。

Ms. Nemoto said that Masako, in giving up professional life when she married, “made a sacrifice that a lot of women in her generation made.”


Given how long it took for Parliament to pass a law allowing Akihito to abdicate — he is stepping down close to three years after he indicated he wanted to retire — any change is likely to come slowly.


Still, given efforts made by Japanese women to embrace both career and family, “I think there is a feeling among ordinary Japanese people that we have to change the system as the expectations of society change,” said Masako Egawa, a professor of business administration at Hitotsubashi University in Tokyo.

尽管如此,由于日本女性为兼顾事业和家庭所做的努力,“我认为,普通日本民众有一种感觉,随着社会期望的改变,我们必须改变体制,”东京一桥大学(Hitotsubashi University)工商管理学教授江川雅子(Masako Egawa)说。

But political analysts warned against investing the imperial family with too much power to influence social change.


“It is nonsense from my perspective that the new empress cannot attend the important ceremony of succession,” said Lully Miura, who runs a think tank called the Yamaneko Research Institute.

“在我看来,新皇后不能出席重要的继任仪式简直荒唐透顶,”智库山猫综合研究所(Yamaneko Research Institute)所长三浦瑠丽(Lully Miura)表示。

“Having said that, I also must express my concern over the politicization of the imperial family, which might undermine autonomous democratic institutions. Both sides of the Japanese political spectrum try to use the imperial family to promote their own political agenda.”




  • 36小时环游新加坡
  • 中国颁布新规,限制未成年人玩游戏
  • 辞掉工作、花了57天,他们找回了走失的狗
  • 改善健康也许很简单:每天少吃300卡
  • 伦敦也为空气污染发愁
  • 最新评论

    留言与评论(共有 条评论)