Aiko Nakamura -by chelsey 8c-

MY NAME

My reason for choosing 'Aiko' (子) as my first name is due the reason that it means 'child of morning sun'. My first name symbolises a bright image of myself (morning sun) as well as always being youthful at heart (child). Surnames were important in Japan, and the meaning behind 'Nakamura' (中村) is 'center of village'. If your house was in the center of a village, it meant you were important and valued. Being the Empress of Japan, you were certainly valued by your subjects. Thus the reason why I chose my name; Aiko Nakamura.

DIARY ENTRY

Dear Diary,

It's me, Aiko again.

There is simoly so much going on right now, so I must tell you all of it.

Just this morning, I was told my Suiko, my maid, of my schedule. Everyday, I have to assist in promoting Buddhism across the country. Our constitution promotes Buddhism worship and The Royal Family has to sponsor many Buddhist temples and monasteries. All this promotion is hard work! I don't think I'd survive without the luxurious food and service my husband and I receive. We eat fish, rice, sake and Japanese sweets, often made of rice, which all taste amazing as usual.

Speaking of luxurious, today I had to get measured for a brand new kimono. There are several grades of kimonos and what type of designs you can wear depending on your social class. Of course, as I am Empress, I will probably have a silk kimono in a nice shade of purple, or maybe pink, since it is already the kaika period, almost the Mankai season. Often at times, I miss my family terribly. My brother, Emperor Sushu, who was originally meant to be in my position, was brutally murdered. I occasionally see my mother and father, but not often, due to the amount of work I have currently have to do, along with my husband.

Despite all this, don't feel too sorry for me as I do get rest . I often participate in flower viewing and incense smelling in my spare time, as well as watching dance and theatre performances, which are always entertaining.

- 'Kaika' means the opening of the first blossoms and 'Mankai' refers to the full bloom -

MY HOUSE

POSTITION ON FEUDAL PYRAMID

The Japanese Empress is on the top of the feudal pyramid, along with the Emperor. However, the Shoguns and Diamyos had all the political power. Although she would not have done as much, she still participated in events and ceremonies relating to religious activities. Most of the time it was the Emperor who had given land to the people in exchange for food and services, but the Empress would often receive the same treatment. Despite the fact that the Shoguns and Diamyos had more power than the Emperor and Empress, the royal family still enjoyed a luxurious lifestyle which involved watching exquisite performances, eating various types of foods, having servants as well as wearing expensive clothing. The Empress and Emperor were well respected, as they were religious and some people saw them as gods, thus making them being placed at the top of the pyramid.

MOTTO AND COAT OF ARMS

My self-designed and drawn coat of arms

My motto, 'あなたは花のように咲くで' (which translates into: 'may you bloom like the blossoms') refers to how the Royal Family wants their subjects to 'bloom' like blossoms. As the people at the very top of the feudal pyramid, the Emperor and Empress have a big influence as leaders and promoters, so with their efforts, they would want their subjects to become inspired, to become successful, which goes back to the concept of 'blooming'. The Sakura, or cherry blossom, was and still is the nation's flower. The cherry blossoms bloom once a year, and represent the beauty in life. They are extremely gorgeous and admired, thus why the Royal Family would have wanted their subjects to bloom like blossoms instead of any other flower or object.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Clothing of Early Asain Cultures n.d., accessed 28 April 2017, <http://www.fashionencyclopedia.com/fashion_costume_culture/Early-Cultures-Asia/Clothing-of-Early-Asian-Cultures.html>.

Feaudalism in Japan n.d., accessed 28 April 2017, <http://www.skwirk.com/p-c_s-14_u-177_t-515_c-1916/feudalism-in-japan/nsw/feudalism-in-japan/medieval-and-early-modern-societies-japan/medieval-japanese-societal-structure>.

Hays, J 2012, DUTIES AND LIFESTYLE OF A JAPANESE EMPEROR, accessed 28 April 2017, <http://factsanddetails.com/japan/cat16/sub111/item585.html>.

Japanese Sayings n.d., accessed 29 April 2017, <https://www.cs.cmu.edu/~fgandon/miscellaneous/japan/>.

Langley, W 2007, Japanese Empress who wishes to become Invisible, accessed 28 April 2017, <http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/personal-view/3639999/Japanese-Empress-who-dreams-of-being-invisible.html>.

Marks, S n.d., Facts on the Imperial Palace, accessed 4 May 2017, <http://traveltips.usatoday.com/imperial-palace-9888.html>.

Tokyo Imperial Palace 2016, Japan- Guide, accessed 28 April 2017, <http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e3017.html>.

When do the Cherry Blossoms Bloom? 2017, Japan- Guide, accessed 2 May 2017, <http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2011_when.html>.

Credits:

Created with images by Unsplash - "blossoms pink flowers bush" • Alyn - "woman china antiquity" • klimkin - "mat character paper"

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