Japanese Society and Culture


Tennô and Religion, Constitution, Civil Religion in Japan

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For some time now, I have been thinking about the role of the Tennô versus the Constitution. The religious activities of the Tennô, be it the places of ceremonies, the succession ceremonies, or the yearly ceremonies, are according to most of the constitutional scholars, against the constitution. The present day chaos was made by the GHQ, who at the same time as arranging for the separation of religion and state they also held fast to the Emperor, in order to minimize the number of occupation soldiers and to institute the indirect occupation of Japan. The Emperor fell in between these goals.

The way out is a reinterpretation of the constitution, seen from the Tennô. It is possible to do so, as seen from the famous Art. 9, and above all, the Tennô has been at the center of Japan since 660 BC – or at least for 15 centuries – he has a place in the Constitution, and his religious basis has never been challenged.