When Emperor Akihito abdicates on April 30 it will, quite literally, be the end of an era for Japan. Crown Prince Naruhito will formally accede to the Chrysanthemum Throne and the event will be marked by a change of era name, from “Heisei” to “Reiwa”.
An announcement of this at the prime minister’s official residence in Tokyo was broadcast live on April 1, bringing much of Japan to a standstill. Cabinet chief secretary, Suga Yoshihide, announced simply: “The new era is Reiwa” and unveiled a framed calligraphy that presented the ...
We’re all familiar with the word empathy. We may not be as familiar with the name of the radical woman who brought the word into the English language.
Half a century of Christmases ago, the NASA space mission Apollo 8 became the first manned craft to leave low Earth orbit, atop the unprecedentedly powerful Saturn V rocket, and head out to circumnavigate another celestial body, making 11 orbits of the moon before its return. The mission is often cast in a supporting role – a sort of warm up for the first moon landing.
Yet for me, the voyage of Borman, Lovell and Anders six months before Neil Armstrong’s “small step for a man” will always be the great leap for humankind.