Now and Zen: A history of Japanese eras
February 11 marks National Foundation Day in Japan
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Emperor Naruhito is Japan's 126th emperor, which has meant a new era. The Reiwa period follows the Heisei era under Naruhito's father and previous emperor, Akihito, who declared his historic abdication, becoming the first emperor to stand down in more than 200 years.
It's all relatively recent news, and yet we already know who the new heir to the throne will be. If you're thinking one of Naruhito's children, guess again. Naruhito only has a daughter, and Japanese tradition dictates that women cannot take the throne. Which means Naruhito's younger brother, Prince Fumihito, has been declared heir to the throne.
Over the years, Japan has seen hundreds of changes, from earthquake destruction to technological innovation. Get to know the country's history, and the world's oldest monarchy, with this guide to Japan's sprawling past. Click on!
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