December 23rd is the Emperor of Japan's Birthday.
This is a National holiday in Japan. The Japanese trace the lineage of their Emperors back for over 2 thousand years. Emperor Akihito was born on December 23, 1933. He had four older sisters, but as the first born male, he was first in line for the throne. The Emperor of Japan does not rule but is a symbol of the nation. On this day prayers are offered of his longevity, and the Imperial Family, appearing on the balcony of the Imperial Palace, exchanges greetings with the crowd of visitors.
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