The Greatest Issue for Imperial Japan
The incumbent Emperor of Japan is the 125th emperor in the Imperial House family line.
This is the only family line for the imperial monarch of Japan.
In other word, only one family has presided over the land of Japan and its history since the beginning of the nation Japan.
So, according to the Japanese myth, 660 years before the birth of Christ Jesus, the first emperor Jinmu was established as he was a descendant of Japanese gods. Since then to date, only one imperial house occupied the imperial status.
However, from a scientific viewpoint, it is believed that the first emperor whose existence looks so real is Emperor Ojin who lived from the 3rd to the 4th centuries AD. So, it seems that the imperial family of Japan has a 1700 year-long authentic family history.
The most important thing in this genealogy is that any emperor is a son of the father who is linked to a preceding emperor only through a paternal line. In other word, any emperor is linked to the first Emperor Jinmu through the paternal line.
It is probably related to the shinto religion, though no theory on it is clear. Customarily the imperial house has observed this rule. So, they could prevent other families to get mingled with the imperial family to take over the imperial position.
There were some female emperors in the past. Nonetheless, they had all fathers who had been an emperor. Those Madam Emperors were all on the male line of the imperial succession.
But, according to the current Japanese Constitution, established after WWII, the emperor has no political power and right. Everything about the Imperial House is decided by the Japanese Government. And the Government still upholds an old provision, made before WWII under the Constitution of the Empire of Japan, that the emperor shall be a son of the father who was the preceding emperor or a brother (or a son of a brother or a male-line grandson) of a preceding emperor.
Yet, the incumbent Crown Prince has no sons but only one daughter. The only younger brother of the Crown Prince has two daughters but one son. And, there are no other male members in the Imperial Family who might become emperor in future. There are no living grandsons (except the incumbent Crown Prince and his brother), no great-grandsons (except the said one), no eligible male-line nephews, or no eligible male-line grand-nephews of the late Showa Emperor, the father of the present emperor.
There are no noble class in Japan, and there is only a limited number of branches of the Imperial Household (including brothers of the Showa Emperor and their offspring) in Japan after WWII. Accordingly, if the son of the younger brother of the Crown Prince should not beget boys in future, the imperial family tree could be terminated, unless the Government changes the related provision in the law concerning the Imperial House.
One solution is to bring back old members of branches of the Imperial Family who were forced to step down from the imperial position after WWII. Some members of those branch families preserve male members who are linked to a preceding emperor though a paternal line.
Though it seems to need to trace their pedigrees over 400 years to connect to the last emperor from their own family line, they had been members of the large imperial family. They had never lived outside this supreme class of Japan except almost these 70 years after WWII. So, the gap of 400 years for such branch families to the past emperor from their house might not be a problem at all, since it is also an issue of the shinto religion or the imperial shinto.
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Mar 10:19 Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and mother.
Mar 10:20 And he answered and said unto him, Master, all these have I observed from my youth.
Mar 10:21 Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me.
Mar 10:22 And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved: for he had great possessions.
Mar 10:23 And Jesus looked round about, and saith unto his disciples, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God!