The Abdication: Their New Imperial Highnesses

Disclaimer: Much like Jon Snow, I know nothing. Please check out the links!

Today marks a new era in Japan: The era of Emperor Naruhito. The Japanese government is giving everyone 10 days off to celebrate the ascension, and I am beyond sorry that I can’t do the same for you. But I can give you a way to kill 10 minutes or so.

April 30th: The Emperor Akihito started off the day’s ceremonies with a visit to the Three Palace Sanctuaries at the Imperial Palace. Hundreds of Volunteers spent the past four days gathering up trash and manicuring the palace lawns to insure they would be abdication ready.

At 5:00 pm the 10 minute Taiirei Seiden no Gi abdication ceremony took place at the Imperial Palace’s Seiden-Matsu-no-Ma (Hall of Pine) in front of around 300 people. The state and privy seals, as well as two out of Japan’s three sacred treasures (a sword and a jewel. The mirror never comes out of its storage box) were present. Prime Minister Abe thanked the emperor for his service and dedication to Japan, and then Akihito made his final speech as emperor.

After his speech, the new Emperor and Empress Emeritus headed home to kick back and put their feet up. They did not attend any of the ceremonies on the 1st in order to let the new emperor take center stage.

May 1st: Crown Prince Naruhito officially ascended the throne at the stroke of midnight. Crowds cheered, braved the rain, and all of Japan welcomed in the Era of Reiwa.

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The Kenji-to-Shokei-no-gi – (Ceremony for Inheriting the Imperial Regalia and Seals) began at 10:15 am. As per tradition no women were allowed to attend, EXCEPT for Satsuki Katayama. As the only female minister in the current PM’s cabinet she became the first woman in modern times to witness the ceremony.

The ladies were back for the second part, where the emperor gave his first speech after ascending the throne. And they got to wear tiaras.

Tiaras arriving. And she’s wearing that great big beautiful tiara form AK’s post!

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The new Emperor’s speech.

And that was pretty much that! We have a new Emperor and Empress in Japan. The official Enthronement Ceremony with all of the (trimmed down) pomp and circumstance will take place on October 22nd. Guests from 195 nations have been invited, so it will be interesting to see who shows up. I hope you enjoyed the various links and whatnot that I provided over the past few posts. I encourage you to take a look at some of the info that’s out there. This is history my friends!