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  • Writer's pictureAkiko Murakami

Emperor enthronement day Oct.22, 2019 turned out to be a special national holiday.

October. 22nd has became a memorable day for me. I was in Kyoto, being an assistant guide at Tofukuji Temple with 13 American guests on "National Geographic Expeditions". When we entered the Hojyo, around 9:30, suddenly, the Heart Sutra chanting started. It was a special prayer for the moment of new emperor's enthronement.

Here is more detailed information about the special event reported by professor John Dougill in his "Greenshinto" blog:

“I hereby proclaim my enthronement to those at home and abroad,”

Naruhito said.

“I hereby swear that I will act according to the constitution and fulfill my responsibility as the symbol of the state and of the unity of the people of Japan, while always praying for the happiness of the people and the peace of the world as I stand with the people.”

I was impressed that he put stress on "peace" and "stand with the people" in his very limited speech that was pre-written on a scroll.

22nd was a rainy day. In fact, Tokyo was almost hit by another typhoon. (Chiba prefecture next to Tokyo was still suffering from the damages by bad river floods from a previous typhoon, that caused many Rugby World Cup games to be postponed. )

However, miraculously, when this formal ceremony had started to officiate in the Imperial Palace in Tokyo, the sky had started to clear out. And to many peoples' greatest surprise, a rainbow appeared.

Also, in the afternoon of October 22nd, snowy top of Mt. Fuji was officially observed by the the Meteorological Agency. That was 26 days later than last year and 22 days later than the normal year.

It is really up to you how you take these natural phenomena.

For me, I take them as very auspicious signs for new emperor Naruhito and empress Masako, who are truly wishing for the World Peace from their bottom of their hearts.

I am sure they will directly exchange more heartfelt feelings, opinions and messages with many international people in English without helps of the interpreters in the future.

I really feel they are well prepared for their new roles as representing Japan.

You can find a very nice video on Youtube: Ceremony of the Enthronement of His Majesty the Emperor

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