Japan's Emperor Naruhito to announce enthronement in ancient-style ceremony
TOKYO - Japanese Emperor Naruhito will proclaim Tuesday his enthronement before roughly 2,000 guests from home and more than 190 countries in a major ancient-style ceremony at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo, which will be marked by solemnity and tradition, Kazinform has learnt from Keyodo News.
The 59-year-old emperor in a dark-orange robe only emperors wear on special occasions will make the announcement after ascending to the 6.5-meter-high canopied Takamikura imperial throne, while Empress Masako in layered court kimono will be seated on the adjacent Michodai throne.
The emperor succeeded to the Chrysanthemum Throne on May 1, the day after his 85-year-old father, former Emperor Akihito, stepped down as the first Japanese monarch to do so in about 200 years. The latest ceremony, an equivalent of a coronation, will be held to formally announce the enthronement of the new monarch.
In the ceremony known as the «Sokuirei Seiden no gi» at the Seiden State Hall, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will convey felicitations from the floor of the «Matsu-no-Ma» state room and lead the guests in three banzai cheers wishing for the longevity of the emperor.
Two of the three items of imperial regalia -- the imperial sword and jewel -- which the emperor inherited in May as proof of his ascension to the throne, will be presented at the ceremony along with the state and privy seals.
The major ceremony, to be held as a state occasion, follows the style of former Emperor Akihito's enthronement ceremony in 1990, as well as that of Emperor Hirohito, posthumously known as Emperor Showa, held in Kyoto in 1928. The rite of succession for the world's oldest hereditary monarchy has a history of more than 1,000 years.
There have been criticisms that the way of staging the ritual contravenes the postwar constitutional separation of state and religion as well as the sovereignty of the people, as the emperor declares his enthronement from a high place as the prime minister stands below.
Japan made the day a national holiday for the celebration with the imperial couple initially scheduled to parade in the capital following the ceremony, but the event was postponed to Nov. 10 in the wake of a deadly typhoon earlier in the month.
The emperor and the empress will appear in a court banquet to be held in the evening.