JAPAN: Auspicious Birth

Last August a great sea turtle emerged upon the beach at Kamakura, famed site of the imperial villa of the Crown Prince Hirohito of Japan. Out rushed the imperial household, agog at this omen of good luck. When the turtle, having laid exactly 70 eggs, retired into the sea, it was bruited throughout Japan that the Crown Princess Nagako would be certain to give birth to a male heir. Then a pair of sacred cranes nested in a great pine tree almost at the imperial threshold, and this omen was thought to be...

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