The Japanese Imperial
The imperial household of Japan (also referred
to as the imperial family or ko¯shitsu) refers those members
of the extended family of the reigning Emperor of Japan who
undertake official and public duties, as well as their minor
Under the present Constitution of Japan, the
emperor is the symbol of the state and unity of the people.
members of the imperial family perform ceremonial and social
duties, but have no role in the affairs of government.
monarchy is the oldest continuous hereditary monarchy in
the world. The imperial household recognizes one hundred twenty-five
legitimate monarchs since the ascension of Jinmu Tenno¯.
Most historians regard the first fourteen emperors (Jinmu to
Chuai) as legendary figures. The reigning emperor, Akihito, is
the one hundred twenty-fifth monarch in the official chronology.