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Emperor and Empress of Japan take part in Imperial Procession to mark enthronement

NHK/Fair Use

This afternoon in Toyko, Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako took part in the Imperial Procession to mark the Emperor’s enthronement. The parade, dubbed “Shukuga-Onretsu-no-gi,” began at 3.00 pm local time.

The imperial couple travelled at a slow speed of 10 kilometres so the thousands of Japanese people lined up on the streets could get a good look at their smiling and waving Emperor and Empress. Their Imperial Majesties were driven by their longtime chauffeur in a new and specially crafted black Toyota Century hybrid sedan convertible.

Crown Prince Akishino and Crown Princess Kiko travelled in a separate car with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in a third car. In total, the procession extended 400 metres including the security cars.

Security was tight for the parade with those lined up on the streets having to go through metal detectors at one of 40 checkpoints. Some were lined up on the streets since yesterday.

NHK/Fair Use

The couple were in formal dress in their convertible with the Empress donning a tiara and gown. At one point, the band performing for the procession played a song composed for the couple’s wedding.

The route saw them go from the Imperial Palace to the family’s residence at Akasaka Estate. It was due to take place at the end of October alongside the rest of the enthronement activities. However, due to the devastation and deaths caused by Typhoon Hagibis, it was postponed until November.

Once the couple arrived at Akasaka Estate, the couple exited their car and stood outside the building with the Crown Prince and Crown Princess and government officials as the national anthem was played. In total, the procession lasted around 30 minutes.

The Enthronement Ceremony took place on 22 October at the Imperial Palace with foreign royals and dignitaries in attendance.

Emperor Naruhito ascended the throne on 1 May after his father, Emperor Emeritus Akihito abdicated the previous day. The Emperor’s younger brother, Akishino, is now the Crown Prince as the Emperor and Empress’s 17-year-old daughter, Princess Aiko, cannot ascend the throne; women are not allowed to reign in their own right and are not in the line of succession in Japan.

About author

Brittani is from Tennessee, USA. She is a political scientist and historian after graduating with a degree in the topics from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, in December 2014. She also holds a master's degree from Northeastern University. She enjoys reading and researching all things regarding the royals of the world. Her love of royals began in middle school, and she's been researching, reading, and writing on royalty for over a decade. She became Europe Editor in October 2016, and then Deputy Editor in January 2019, and has been featured on several podcasts, radio shows, news broadcasts and websites.