The ceremony, officially known as sokui-no-rei (即位の礼), is to be held tomorrow, October 22nd, at 1:00 p.m. local time (GMT + 9). This is when the enthronement of Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako is officially proclaimed and representatives from Japan, world leaders, and other royals express their congratulations.
The ceremony will be broadcast on the government’s internet TV channel. It will also be broadcast live on NHK tmr (https://facebook.com/nhkworld/). Edit: Prisma has provided another option: youtube.com/user/kanteijp .
The Hofdames will be in their beds, but we will catch up as soon as we can. We will have an open post ready for those who might be able to view it in real time. There has been concern about the local weather, so some events might be moved from their current planned venues.
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Schedule of Events
To say it is a busy couple of days is an understatement of great proportions. The schedule for the guests for both days is listed below, and it sounds frankly quite exhausting. Good thing we are watching the pros here.
The actual enthronement ceremony is on Tuesday, from 1:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m., local time. There are not one, but two, banquets. A court banquet is to be held the same evening and a banquet for foreign dignitaries held on the evening of October 23rd. There have been no guest lists released, so we will see where the royals appear.
There is also a tea party to be held for foreign royals during the day on October 23rd. The parade has been moved to a later date.
Dress of Emperor and Empress
The Empress, Crown Princess Kiko, and the other Princesses will wear jūnihitoe, the formal robes of the historic Japanese Court. Although the term means 12-layer robe, the actual layers vary with the individual and the event. We shall see how Masako approaches it.
The jūnihitoe was a set of formal & complex kimono garments worn only by court-ladies in Japan c. 1000 CE. The term means “12-layer robe”, however, the number of layers varied & during the Heian period up to 20 layers of colour-coordinated kimono was worn #Genji #SeiShonagon pic.twitter.com/9PZADI5yFK
— Professor Lloyd Llewellyn-Jones (@LloydLlewJ) October 8, 2019
Junihitoe for 1990 Enthronement
Princess Sayako – unmarried princess
Princesses Kiko & Hisako – married princess
Princess Takamatsu (Kikuko) – older, married princess
In 2019, Kiko’s junihitoe will be somewhat different to reflect her position as crown princess. pic.twitter.com/mL8pc1Sq2u
— Prisma (@ImperialJPNfan) October 6, 2019
The Emperor and Crown Prince will wear Sokutai, another traditional form of dress from the historic Japanese Court.
Dark orange/brown “kourozennogohou” robe is reserved for the Emperor.
Red-orange “ouninohou” robe is reserved for the Crown Prince.
Other princes wear black (Prince Takamado)
I’m not sure we’ll see the black version in 2019. Prince Hitachi may wear tailcoat instead. pic.twitter.com/B5o0oFzIma
— Prisma (@ImperialJPNfan) October 6, 2019
Prisma on Twitter described a probable schedule for Masako, based on the 1990 enthronement. Just for the first part of the day!
- 5 a.m.: Emperor & Empress wake up
- 7 a.m.: Empress leaves for Tokyo Imperial Palace 1 hour before the Emperor to prepare, which includes being washed, dressed, and coiffed for 2 court rituals. The traditional “osuberakashi” hairstyle takes 1 hour, even with 3 attendants.
- Sometime past 9 a.m.: The Empress will be ready in white jūnihitoe with “osuberakashi” hair, golden hair ornaments, and a hiougi fan. After the 2 court rituals, she will change into plain clothes for a 40-minute lunch.
- 11:20 a.m.: The Empress will start dressing for the 1 p.m. enthronement ceremony. It takes about 80 minutes to put on the jūnihitoe. Empress Michiko’s ensemble weighed 16kg.
Updated Royal Guest List
- Willem-Alexander and Máxima, King and Queen of the Netherlands
- Philippe and Mathilde, King and Queen of Belgium
- Felipe VI of Spain and Letizia, King and Queen of Spain
- Carl XVI Gustaf and Crown Princess Victoria
- Frederick and Mary, Crown Prince and Crown Princess of Denmark
- Haakon, Crown Prince of Norway
- Albert II, Prince of Monaco
- Henri, Grand Duke of Luxembourg
- Charles, Prince of Wales
- Abdullah II and Rania, King and Queen of Jordan
- Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck and Jetsun Pema, King and Queen of Bhutan 
- Hassanal Bolkiah, Sultan of Brunei
- Mohammed bin Salman, Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia
- Norodom Sihamoni, King of Cambodia
To get you into the spirit, here are the Bhutanese royals departing for Japan. It’s our first and last glimpse of Prince Jigme Namgyel on this trip. He is a baby no longer. It’s amazing to see him taking on his royal duties with great seriousness here.
The Bhutan Royal Family departed for Japan today for the Emperor’s enthronement ceremonies.
King Jigme Khesar & Queen Jetsun will be joined by their son, Prince Jigme Namgyel on the visit. But, the 3.5 won’t be participating in the official duties. pic.twitter.com/5nOo92HXDp
— Gert’s Royals (@Gertsroyals) October 20, 2019
The King and Queen of Spain are also in the house.
— Casa de S.M. el Rey (@CasaReal) October 21, 2019
I hope everyone is looking forward to this historic event as much as we are!