Concept

Emperor of Japan

Summary
The emperor of Japan or 天皇, literally "emperor of heaven" or "heavenly sovereign", is the hereditary monarch and head of state of Japan. The emperor is defined by the Constitution of Japan as the symbol of the Japanese state and the unity of the Japanese people, his position deriving from "...the will of the people with whom resides sovereign power." The Imperial Household Law governs the line of imperial succession. Pursuant to his constitutional role as a national symbol, and in accordance with rulings by the Supreme Court of Japan, the emperor is personally immune from prosecution. By virtue of his position as the head of the Imperial House, the emperor is also recognized as the head of the Shinto religion, which holds him to be the direct descendant of the sun goddess Amaterasu. The role of the emperor of Japan has historically alternated between a largely ceremonial symbolic role and that of an actual imperial ruler. Since the establishment of the first shogunate in 1192, the e
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