This presentation addresses the debate on constitutional monarchy that has arisen as a consequence of the emperor of Japan announcing his wish to retire. Although over half of all past emperors have abdicated, two hundred years have elapsed since the last abdication. While public opinion is overwhelmingly positive, the postwar Imperial Household Code governing the monarchy contains no provision on abdication. Thus, a legal determination on the permissibility of abdication was required.
In the popular imagination, China’s Yellow River has always been sediment-choked and flood-prone. In fact, the historical and ecological record reveals that the highly unstable and intensively managed river existed for only a few hundred years. This talk describes how the ecological record and historical data analysis can enrich our understanding of the long history of human-environment interaction along the Yellow River.