The Imperial Household of Japan has announced what the new titles will be of Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko following the Emperor’s abdication in April.
On April 30th, His Imperial Majesty will be called Emperor Emeritus. His wife, Empress Michiko will become the Empress Emerita.
The Taiirei Seiden no Gi abdication ceremony will take place at 5:00 pm on April 30th, an acknowledgement of the time that the Emperor will hand over power.
Sacred objects that have been passed down alongside the Imperial throne, including the sword, Kusanagi(symbolising valour) and the jewel, Yasakani no Magatami (symbolising benevolence) will be placed at the site of the ceremony and those attending will be in formal attire.
The first ceremony for the new Emperor on May 1st will be The Kenji to Shokei no Gi which will be held at 10:30 am. This ceremony is where the new Emperor receives the Sacred Objects, and he will be accompanied by only adult males of the Imperial Family as is the custom.
Japan still operates a system where the Emperor’s are male and the new Crown Prince or “Koshi” will be Prince Akishino, the younger brother of Crown Prince Naruhito. Also attending the ceremony will be Prince Hitachi, younger brother of Emperor Akihito.
Though only male members of the Imperial Household will be present, the same is not true of the members of the three branches of government and Cabinet attending.
It is thought that one of the attendees may well be the Minister for Regional Revitalisation, Satsuki Katayama.
At the final ceremony, Sokuigo Choken no Gi which will happen at 11:10 am, the new Emperor meets with representatives of the people for the first time. These ceremonies are all quite short, perhaps only ten minutes each and will take place in the Matsu no Ma State Room in the Imperial Palace. It is thought in the region of three hundred and forty members of the central and local governments will be invited to attend.