Florentino taught Naruhito Cedida Spanish
He taught him for a year at the imperial palace in Tokyo and attended Naruhito's wedding, who yesterday was enthroned emperor
Japan will crown Naruhito's wife, the sad Princess Masako
Letizia's diadem, the great absences, the strange styles ... This has been the enthronement of Naruhito in Japan
The guests at the great gala dinner of Naruhito, new emperor of Japan
The wedding was a Wednesday, Water Day for the Japanese. All the lights pointed to the Kashiko-dokoro, the Shinto shrine of Amaterasu (Goddess of the Sun), on the grounds of the Tokyo Imperial Palace. He was wrapped in an orange cape. She wore a huge green kimono from the 11th century. He was a prince who had studied at Oxford. She a diplomat who had achieved the highest academic distinction, a magna cum laude , at Harvard. Naruhito and Masako Owana married on June 9, 1993. It had been seven years since they met for the first time during a reception at Infanta Elena for the first great exhibition of El Greco in Tokyo.
The wedding lasted five days. During the first the hosts received royalty personalities from around the globe. The last day was a more intimate celebration, only with friends. Among them was a Madrid historian, Florentino Rodao, who had been in Tokyo since 1990 thanks to a research grant from the Japanese Ministry of Education. Florentino was not only a friend of Naruhito. He was also his Spanish teacher.
Today 26 years have passed since that wedding. Naruhito (59 years old) is now the ten (sovereign of heaven) of Japan, the emperor. Masako (56), is an empress who gave up her promising diplomatic career. And Florentino (59) a professor at the Complutense University.
Five months ago, the Reiwa era (beautiful Harmony) began in Japan, when Emperor Akihito abdicated and left the Chrysanthemum Throne to his son. Yesterday, the man who in his first speech was erected as a "symbol of unity for the nation," repeated his words before dignitaries from more than 174 countries: "I promise to act in accordance with the Constitution and I will fulfill my responsibilities as a symbol of the State and of the unity of the Japanese people, always aiming at the happiness of the people and the peace of the world. " On Tuesday, at the enthronement ceremony of Naruhito, Reyes Felipe and Letizia were present. Also Carlos of England, Guillermo and Máxima of Holland, Felipe and Matilde of Belgium ... few of the royalty missed an event surrounded by Zionist ceremonies under the shout of banzai! (long live the emperor). Although they were not present people who have been closer to the emperor, such as his former Spanish teacher, Florentino.
" In December I will go to Tokyo and try to see the emperor, " says the professor as he shows the wedding invitation he received from Naruhito and Masako. He also keeps the gift they gave to the guests, a little silver box with the Chrysanthemum , the imperial emblem of Japan.
Florentino remembers clearly how his subway rides were to the Togugosho Palace, in the Minato district of Tokyo, where the then Crown Prince Naruhito resided in the 1990s. "At the entrance of the enclosure I was always waiting for a car that took me to the door of the palace. They put me in one of the rooms and there we taught," says Florentino. "Naruhito is a close guy . And a very good student because he always complied with the duties he was sending. He reached a very good level of Spanish that he then applied in his visits to Spain during the Seville Expo and in the Olympic Games in Barcelona."
Florentino tells some anecdotes of those classes. Like when Naruhito started playing the viola or commented in Spanish the sumo matches he had seen on the NHK, the Japanese public television. In total, the professor was giving him the lessons for a little over a year. "The last time we met was when Naruhito came to Madrid for the wedding of Felipe and Letizia (2004). We were commenting anecdotes of those years in Tokyo," he recalls.
The emperor's teacher also says that they both congratulated themselves on the birth of their children, both 17 years ago. The daughter of the Japanese, Aiko, would be the next in the line of succession if it were not for the regulations that prohibit reigning women. "Naruhito has said that he will adapt his throne to the current situation of modernity in Japan. The issue of succession may change, " Florentino said.
"The Japanese constitution does not regulate the succession to the throne. It refers to the Law of the Imperial House. At this point the monarchy departs from the treatment given to this issue by the European monarchical constitutions, including the Spanish one. In 2005 the Report of the Committee of Experts advised to reform the Law to allow Princess Aiko to inherit the throne, as the Imperial Family was running out of male members. But the birth of Prince Hisahito in 2006 (Emperor's nephew) diluted the urgency of a reform, "explains the jurist Salvador Rodríguez Artacho, expert in the Japanese royal house. "The current legislation on the succession was made to adapt the imperial house to the western monarchies. It is not impossible to change it again ," adds Alfonso Falero, Professor of History of Japanese Thought at the University of Salamanca.
If this happens, a woman, Aiko, will be the next to occupy the throne in the oldest hereditary monarchy in the world.
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