FAR EAST: Extension of Heaven

Japan's grave-faced Emperor Hirohito last week wrapped himself in a silken robe embroidered with the sacred Paulownia blossom and stepped into the innermost sanctuary of the Imperial Palace to worship his mythological ancestress, the Sun Goddess, celebrating the ascension to the throne 2,601 years ago of his lineal ancestor, the great Emperor Jimmu. Aside from the fact, of no great importance, that there is no historical evidence that Jimmu ever existed, there was a striking difference between the two ceremonies 2.601 years apart: whereas Jimmu had given thanks to the Sun Goddess after his conquest of Central Japan, Hirohito...

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