Living Person
Nationality: Japan
Date of Birth: 1933
Religion: Shintoism
Occupation: Monarch, Author of Non-Fiction,
Parents: Hirohito, Emperor Showa
Nagako, Empress Kojun
Spouse: Michiko Shōda
Children: Naruhito, Crown Prince of Japan
Fumihito, Prince Akishino Sayako,
Princess Nori
House: Yamato
Political Office: Emperor of Japan
Turtledove Appearances:
Joe Steele
POD: 1878;
Relevant POD: July, 1932
Novel or Story?: Novel only
Type of Appearance: Contemporary references
Nationality: Constitutional Monarchy of Japan (born in Japan)
Akihito (明仁?, born 23 December 1933) is the reigning Emperor of Japan (天皇 tennō?), the 125th Emperor of his line according to Japan's traditional order of succession. The Era of Akihito's reign bears the name "Heisei" (平成), and according to custom he will be renamed Emperor Heisei. Akihito ascended the throne in 1989 upon the death of his father, Hirohito, Emperor Showa.

During the U.S. occupation of Japan after World War II, Akihito received an education in the English language and Western customs. Like his father, Akihito has a degree in marine biology, and has published several papers.

In the Summer of 2016, Akihito began publicly implying that he intends to abdicate due to failing health. To avoid a constitutional crisis, the Japanese parliament enacted legislation in June 2017 to allow Akihito to abdicate. In December 2017, it was announced that Akihito would abdicate on 30 April 2019.

Akihito in Joe SteeleEdit

Akihito CrownPrince

Constitutional Emperor Akihito

Despite his youth, the 12-year-old Akihito was proclaimed Emperor of the Constitutional Monarchy of Japan ("South Japan") by the United States after the death of his father Hirohito in Spring 1946. In truth, it was the U.S. military who actually ran the country under general Dwight D. Eisenhower.[1]

Akihito's subjects resented this state of affairs. Flyers depicting Akihito as a ventriloquist's dummy in Eisenhower's lap were posted by Japanese citizens, despite their illegality.[2]

Akihito's reign coincided with the Japanese War, in which his nominal subjects did not acquit themselves against their former countrymen from the north. Ultimately, it was the U.S. that kept Akihito on this throne.[3]

Literary commentEdit

Akihito and the Constitutional Monarchy are not mentioned in the short story, where the government of South Japan is undefined.

See alsoEdit


  1. Joe Steele, pg. 325, HC.
  2. Ibid., pg. 337.
  3. Ibid., pg. 364.
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Hirohito, Emperor Showa
Emperor of Japan
1989 to present
Succeeded by
Regnal offices
(Joe Steele)
Preceded by
as Emperor of Japan
Emperor of the Constitutional Monarchy of Japan
Succeeded by
Incumbent at novel's end, 1953