Monday, December 23, 2013

Ave Imperator Mobilis!

The neatest factoid from today's plethora of special articles looking at the Heisei Emperor on the occasion of his 80th birthday? It is not that he has a driver's license that he has to renew every three years just like any other senior driver of his advance age. It is not that he has a car he loves which he uses to ferry himself and the Empress to the Imperial Palace tennis court (where he unleashes a mean cross-court forehand).

It is that the Emperor's car is a gray 1991 Honda Integra.

Talk about an unpretentious ride.

Not a Nissan. Not even a Toyota. A Honda!

And a thirteen twenty-three year old Honda at that. (Check out the video)

One can imagine His Royal Highness Prince Akishino trying to convince his father it is time to upgrade his mode of transport:
HRH P.A. - Dad, you need a new car.

HME - Why?

HRH P.A. - Dad, that car of yours is three technology cycles out of date. How about a Prius or an electric vehicle? You're never going to drive faster than 30 kilometers an hour anyway. Heck, the annual shaken on that car probably costs double what a Siberian is willing to pay for it.

HME - How can I get rid of my car? It's got less than 3000 kilometers on it!
Which brings up question I have never considered before: how do members of the royal family address one another, when they are strictly en famille?

Later - Reader Karayama (?) answers the above question in comments.

Later still - It seems that the above linked-to snippet is the first ever Imperial Household Agency release of video of the emperor at the wheel of his car.


唐山 said...

親父とママ、 なくん、まちゃん、秋くん、きっこ、と思えます。

As a curious aside, are there any international organization built around the monarchies of the world? To discuss the glorious and trite life of royalty, perhaps.

Mitchell Atlas said...

Isn't a 1991 model 23 years old now, not 13?