Deborah Cameron comments that the Japanese imperial family claims an unbroken line dating back 2600 years. Well, of course they do; they’re here, and if the line had been broken they wouldn’t be. Transmission in the direct father-son line is something else again, lasting an average of three generations, and if that had lasted 2600 years that would be impressive – but it hasn’t. And as for the descent from the sun goddess, the average emperor having had more than two children and 104 generations having passed since Amaterasu that means that she has approximately ten million trillion trillion descendants, which, allowing for overlaps, means that the entire population of the world is in much the same position. Roll on the republic.