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  • The Emperor of Japan is the ceremonial monarch in Japan's system of constitutional monarchy and is the head of the Japanese Imperial Family and the symbolic head of state. According to Japan's 1947 constitution, which dissolved the Empire of Japan, he is "the symbol of the state and of the unity of the people." He is also the highest authority of the Shinto religion as he and his family are said to be direct descendants of Amaterasu. Therefore, the Emperor performs Shinto rituals for the people of Japan. In the Japanese language, the Emperor is called the Tenno, which means "heavenly sovereign". He is also referred to in English as the Mikado of Japan. Currently, the Emperor of Japan is the only remaining monarch in the world reigning under the title of "Emperor". The Imperial House of Japan is the oldest continuing hereditary monarchy in the world. In Kojiki or Nihon Shoki, a book of Japanese history finished in the eighth century, it is said that Japan was founded in 660 BC by Emperor Jimmu. The current Emperor is Akihito, who has been on the Chrysanthemum Throne since his father the Showa Emperor died in 1989.

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