Readers in Council,
The Japan Times,
5-4, Shibaura 4-chome,
Minato-ku, Tokyo 108-0023
Regarding the story "Panel set to ponder female on the throne" (January 25) and the debate that is getting under way in this country about royal succession, and the stability and survival of the royal family, I am curious about the reasons of those opposed to female ascension to the Chrysanthemum Throne.
The article refers to rightists opposing female succession because the tradition here is for male succession. So what? Don't they have anything more to say than to carp on about "tradition" like the Fiddler on the Roof?
Jinja Honcho (Association of Shinto Shrines) makes a more coherent opposing case by citing the Emperor as the nation's chief shaman. That's a kind of witch. Through supernatural power a shaman affects the play of fortune by communing with the spirits of good and evil. The traditional image of a witch is of one (man or woman, but usually the latter) who exercises supernatural power by communion with (evil) spirits, although modern Wiccans have a much more sophisticated explanation of themselves.
Basically, I don't understand opponents of an Empress. If they don't reconsider their position then they will be left behind by the flow of history while they fiddle.
Published on Sunday, February 6, 2005 as “Why the opposition to an empress?”
The thing that annoys me most about the whole female-succession debate is the dumb transparency of it and the inane attempts by conservatives to dress up their opposition in more considerate language. They fail at it because they are over-stretching even their own language into incomprehensible contortions. Of course, when the debate is over they will conveniently forget their contortionist efforts in the first place and quickly move on to the next issue that demands doublespeak.