Tuesday, September 05, 2006


SPEAKING OF GRANDCHILDREN...


According to some headlines here, the entire nation of Japan is holding its breath (though as far as I could tell, everyone on the train this morning was breathing normally; some were even snoring) while awaiting the birth of the imperial grandchild, which is due tomorrow.

This alleged collective hypoxia is due to the apparent belief that the child's sex will resolve a genuine dilemma at the possibility of having a female on the Chrysanthemum throne, which to terminal traditionalists would be only marginally better than putting me on the throne. In any case, I would refuse such an offer, being American. Kaya would be an excellent choice, though.

Paradoxically, this whole froth is ignoring the fact that the imperial lineage was started by a female, the sun goddess Amaterasu-O-Mikami, who fled to a cave out of sheer embarrassment at the antics (or fear of reprisal from, depending on which mythical newspaper you read) of a male, her brother Susa-no-O-no-Mikoto, the god of storms, whose nasty doings are legend.

As a result of Susa-no's shenanigans, it took who knows how long to get Amaterasu out of the cave and bring illumination back into the world, but she did re-emerge - here is the result in the modern day - and now, in thanks, the current powers-that-be want desperately to give the throne to another male and keep it there, whereas most of the vastly greater number of 'commoners' would love to have a female on the throne.

So if it's a girl, Japan's got problems. If it's a boy, the problems are postponed. I'm hoping it's a girl; we could use more illumination. Those males have an iffy history.

And then there's the problem of choosing a name...

4 comments:

saz said...

The news here certainly didn't give all the facts (as usual). I didn't realize the concern behind the interest in this royal birth. Hope it's a girl just cuz change is good once in a million years.

Maya's Granny said...

I hope it's a girl, as well. Our experience with granddaughters shows that they have infinite promise.

J said...

I wonder if the royal family already knows the sex of the child, and they aren't telling...that would point to girl, I would think. But trying to second guess royals and politicians is a foolish pasttime.

naples red said...

I certainly hoped for a girl. But, good grief! That naming problem is so tedious...it's a boy, they should just call him Sue.