The Emperor, His Castle and Modern Japan.

On May 1, 2019, Prince Naruhito (b. 1960) becomes the emperor of Japan following the abdication of his father, emperor Akihito (b. 1933), after a thirty-year reign. The enthronement ceremonies will take place in the Imperial Palace, a vast former castle complex that dominates the centre of Tokyo. Yet, the new emperor will only be the fifth to reside in Tokyo, after the so-called Meiji Restoration of 1868 saw the imperial institution move to the “Eastern Capital” following more than a millennium in the ancient city of Kyoto. In this blog post, Oleg Benesch explains the history and significance of this modern imperial location. Continue reading “The Emperor, His Castle and Modern Japan.”

Condemned to Become: the Future of the Past in Berlin

colla prizeMarcus Colla is a final year PhD student at the University of Cambridge. His research looks at the legacy of the Prussian state in communist East Germany. Marcus was awarded the Alexander Prize for 2018 for his article ‘Prussian Palimpsests: Architecture and Urban Spaces in East Germany, 1945-1961,’ Central European History, Vol. 50, (2017), 184-217. Here, he considers how Berlin has dealt with its contested past in its urban landscape. Continue reading “Condemned to Become: the Future of the Past in Berlin”