‘Asia’s Monarchies: Japan’ is now available on True Royalty TV

Category: Television


One of the many interesting documentaries on the True Royalty TV streaming channel that does not focus on the British Monarchy is the show about the Japanese Imperial Family. This is the oldest hereditary monarchy in the world. Having begun in the 600s with Emperor Jimmu, the line of succession has been passed to the male members of the family and even today it does not look like that will change.

The Emperor Hirohito, who was in power during World War II and to this day still blamed and shamed for Japan’s involvement in that war, was the last true ruling emperor, having overseen the invasion of China and the bombing of Pearl Harbor, not to mention the peace treaty at the end of the war and the occupation of Japan. Hirohito was allowed to remain as Emperor as long as the country changed to a constitutional monarchy, like that of Great Britain. This took away much of his power, yet he did not lose his title – or his head.

Upon his death, his eldest son, Akihito, who was actually his fifth child, succeeded Hirohito. Remember, only male members of the family can hold the title of Emperor. When Akihito abdicated, his successor was Naruhito. A crisis came over the country when Naruhito and his wife had only one child, a daughter named Aiko, Princess Toshi. With Japan being a male-dominated country and a male-dominated hierarchy (primogeniture), this became a problem for not only the country but also caused stress for Naruhito’s wife. Things calmed down when his brother produced a male heir. When will Japan join the modern age and allow women their rightful place in society and the monarchy?

Watching this film is interesting because there is a divide within the country. There are those who still pay tribute to the war dead at a special shrine, but there are those who blame Hirohito for all the strife the country endured during and after the war, and because of this turmoil the royal family has stopped their visits to the shrine. As they must feel, it is time to move on.

This educational and interesting documentary is available to stream on True Royalty TV, along with other documentaries about other royals around the world.

About the Author

Francine Brokaw has been covering all aspects of the entertainment industry for over 25 years. She also writes about products and travel. She has been published in national and international newspapers and magazines as well as Internet websites. She has written her own book, Beyond the Red Carpet The World of Entertainment Journalists, is the entertainment correspondent for Good Day Orange County, and has her own TV show, Beyond the Red Carpet, on Village Television in Orange County. She is a longstanding member of the Television Critics Association, was a longstanding member of the Los Angeles Press Club, and is accredited by the MPAA. Follow her on Twitter.