Strong tie between the Emperor and the people/天皇陛下と国民の絆

This article can be read in about 5 minutes.

Outer appearance of the Imperial Palace in Kyoto/京都御所外観

When we compared the style of foreign castles and palaces with the former Imperial Palace located in Kyoto, there was the clear difference, that is,  the height of the castle walls.
It was probably common for foreign kings and emperors to have lived in castles or palaces surrounded by high, thick walls.
Although the emperor in Japan also lived in a palace surrounded by a wall, it was so low that people could easily climb over.   

Why is that possible?
It dates back to the early 5th century when the 16th Emperor Nintoku ruled the country.
He found that there were houses with no cooking smokes and worried that people might have suffered from famine and natural disasters.
So, he decided to lift taking taxes for three years.
Three years passed, and then people became rich enough to have sufficient food.
However, the emperor insisted on keeping tax exemption for another three years.
Due to a lack of tax revenue, even the leaking roofs of the Imperial Palace were not able to be repaired.
When the people saw the emperor’s situation, they felt sorry for him and offered to pay their taxes.
Finally, the emperor decided to resume tax collections.
People who heard that news came to the palace and volunteered to restore the palace as well as work hard to pay taxes.

Emperor Nintoku/仁徳天皇

There was a feeling of caring for each other.
The people never thought the emperor was a person who exploited the people. 
Rather, the people thought that the emperor was a venerable person who prayed for them.
There was no reason for the people to attack the emperor and for the emperor to be afraid of the people, that is to say, the high and thick wall was not necessary.
It was possible that the single low wall worked well as the boundary between the Imperial Palace and people’s residential areas until Emperor Mutsuhito went to Tokyo in 1869.

Do you think it is quite unique to Japan?

【Translation for language learners of either English or Japanese】/英語・日本語学習者向け翻訳 えいご ・  にほんごがくしゅうしゃむ  ほんやく








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