Today we move from the Iron Throne of Westeros (Game of Thrones) to the Chrysanthemum Throne of Japan. Emperor Akihito abdicated his throne in favour of his son Naruhito. Fascinatingly, because Japanese monarchs are not allowed to abdicate, the Japanese parliament had to pass a law allowing Akihito to do just that. It was also a one-time deal. The next emperor would need similar legislation should he ever want to abdicate. You will also note there are a lot of male pronouns in this paragraph. By law, women cannot inherit the throne. And when royal princesses marry, they leave the royal household.
Not surprisingly, the news today had some graphics depicting the family tree of the Japanese royal family. And you all know how much I am a sucker for genealogy related work. This piece comes from the BBC and it is pretty simple. It uses a nice grey bar to indicate the generations and some titling indicates who succeeds whom.
The graphic also makes rather painfully clear that if Japan wants to preserve its monarchy, it will need to embrace some kind of reforms. There are only four males left in the line of succession and only one is likely to have any sons.
Credit for the piece goes to the BBC graphics department.
I’m sure the word you were looking for was symbolism. (Points if you get the reference.) Apologies for yesterday, I was a bit under the weather.
Today we deviate from graphs and things and go to another area of conveying information: symbology. I mean iconography. The BBC featured an article about possible new symbols for maps ahead of the 2020 Olympics when, presumably, lots of foreigners will need maps to get around Tokyo. And so you can imagine that the agency behind the proposed ideas has received a backlash about changing customary Japanese symbols for foreigners.
I combined each of the examples from the article. Each row includes the proposed Japanese version and the foreigner version. See if you can identify them without the word. You can imagine, however, that the focus of the article was upon that first row. The answers are after the credits.
Credit for the original work goes to the Geospatial Information Authority of Japan.
The answers, top to bottom: temple, hotel, church, hospital, post office, police station.
Two and a half years ago an earthquake and then tsunami devastated Japan. But it was the tsunami that crippled the Fukushima nuclear power station and created the world’s worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl. Unfortunately things are still not working properly and the plant is still leaking radioactive particles into the local environment. This interactive guide from the Guardian illustrates just what Tepco, the power company responsible for the plant, is trying to do to prevent further radiation from leaking into the ocean.
Credit for the piece goes to Paddy Allen and the Graphic News.