28 February 2019

Japan Celebrates an Imperial Anniversary

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The eyes of the world are on the monarchy of Japan this spring, as Emperor Akihito is scheduled to abdicate in favor of his elder son, Crown Prince Naruhito, at the end of April. This weekend, the nation celebrated the 30th anniversary of Akihito's accession to the throne.




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On Sunday, a gathering to mark the 30th anniversary of the imperial reign was held at the National Theatre in Tokyo.


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Emperor Akihito ascended to the Chrysanthemum Throne in January 1989, following the death of his father, Emperor Hirohito. His enthronement ceremony took place in November 1990.


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Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was among those in attendance at this weekend's anniversary celebration. The Japan Times also noted that the nation's House of Representatives took the unusual step of issuing a congratulatory message to the emperor: "We, the Japanese people, respectfully acknowledge His Majesty the Emperor’s achievements over the past 30 years under his era of Heisei, during which he has always stood by the people and prayed for their peace."


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Empress Michiko was elegantly attired for the event as usual. She wore pearls with a lovely diamond studded bar brooch, worn vertically on her jacket.


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Here's a good view of her teardrop-shaped pearl earrings.


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Sunday's celebrations also included an audience at the Imperial Palace, where Crown Prince Naruhito and Crown Princess Masako extended official greetings.


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For the audience, Michiko wore pearl drop earrings with a pearl necklace featuring a diamond-set pendant.


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Masako, who will become the nation's empress this spring, also wore pearls to greet her parents-in-law.


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We're witnessing history being made this year in Japan. Akihito is the first Japanese emperor to abdicate in more than two centuries, and careful preparations have been made for the upcoming imperial transition. On April 1, we will learn the name of the new imperial era that will be ushered in by Naruhito's succession. (The current era's name is Heisei.) The Golden Week holiday season will begin on April 27, and Akihito will formally abdicate on April 30. The new Emperor Naruhito will officially ascend to the Chrysanthemum throne on May 1. His enthronement ceremony will take place on October 22.