History at Japan’s Chrysanthemum throne
SHOOTING STRAIGHT - Bobit S. Avila (The Philippine Star) - May 2, 2019 - 12:00am

Just like when I used to race my motorcycle during a motocross race, when the last corner is on sight, if you have no one in front of you…it means you are ahead in the race, but if there are two guys ahead of you, that means you are going to be 3rd place and it is high time to act fast and overtake those guys before the race is over.

For the mid-term elections we can see the final corner of this race is at hand and the most important thing to do now…is not campaign for our favorite candidate but to ensure that our votes are counted, otherwise, the Comelec or Smartmatic might pull a fast one like what they did in the last Presidential elections of 2016.

Here is a short list on how to ensure that your votes are counted.

1. Prepare a list of your votes to speed up voting.
2. Compare your list with the PCOS receipt BEFORE you deposit it in the ballot receipt box.
3. If there is any discrepancy between the names in your prepared list, and the names in the PCOS Receipt, REPORT it to the POLL watcher, and have your complaint documented. In the Board of Election Inspectors book print your name and sign  the complaint.

I’m writing this piece to prepare our readers if indeed the Comelec would pull a fast one on us. I’ve always batted for the return of the paper and pencil voting simply because it doesn’t cost so much money unlike what is happening today where this nation allows a foreign company named Smartmatic to control who should be our political leaders. Democracy means that elections should be sacred to our democratic way… alas, our politicians failed the Filipino people and so we need to fight back those who cheat our people on who should be our rightful political leaders.

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The world has witnessed history in the making when Crown Prince Naruhito ascended to Japan’s Chrysanthemum Throne and became the New Emperor of Japan at midnight last Wednesday, marking the beginning of the new Reiwa era. The new emperor succeeded his father, Akihito, who became the first emperor to abdicate since 1817.

Akihito now holds the title of joko and has retired from public duties along with his wife, now named Jokogo Michiko. Emperor Naruhito then attended a handover ceremony in the morning to receive a jewel and a sword, two of Japan’s “Three Sacred Treasures” passed through the Imperial family for generations. This historic moment began when then Emperor Akihito announced his plan to step down due to health concerns last December 2017, thus this is the first abdication in Japan’s throne in 200 years. This historic abdication ceremony only lasted for ten minutes.

Imperial Palace chamberlains carried the State and Privy Seals into the room along with two of the three “sacred treasures” a sword and a jewel. The sword (“Kusanagi no Tsurugi”) is actually a replica of one believed to be kept at the Nagoya Atsuta shrine. According to legend, it was given by a war god to Japan’s first Emperor Jinmu and in centuries past, the sword itself was worshipped as a god. Both the wrapped sword and the unidentified jewel (“Yasakani no Magatama,” representing benevolence), is kept in a coiffre, are held aloft during the ceremony. No one, not even the Emperor himself, is allowed to see these Royal treasures uncovered.

The three treasures are the essential royal regalia and proof of the emperor’s legitimate claim to the Chrysanthemum Throne. Historically, their value and significance is such that in the very last weeks of World War II, wartime Emperor Hirohito was so greatly concerned with their security that court documents suggest he considered moving the sword and mirror closer to himself so he could defend them with his own life.

This historic occasion in the Chrysanthemum Throne began at 5 p.m. last Tuesday afternoon (local time), where 300 invitees, the royal household, Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Supreme Court justices and members of parliament formally assembled for the abdication ceremony in the Imperial Palace’s “Pine Room.” During the ten-minute abdication ceremony, Prime Minister Abe made a formal announcement and Emperor Akihito gave his final address as Emperor, though he retains his title until midnight when transition from the Heisei (“peace-making”) era to the newly named Reiwa era (“beautiful harmony”) begins.

At 11 a.m. on Wednesday, the new Emperor made his first official remarks from the Imperial palace in the Sokui-go-Choken-no-gi ceremony. Traditionally, these are brief comments, indicating goals the Emperor hopes to pursue during his reign. New Empress Masako will attend these remarks as well as members of the government and their wives and spouses. How indeed things have changed for the people of Japan and the world!

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Email: vsbobita@gmail.com.

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