Photo/IllutrationEmpress Masako at the Kashikodokoro sanctuary at the Imperial Palace grounds on May 8 (Provided by the Imperial Household Agency)

  • Photo/Illustraion
  • Photo/Illustraion

Emperor Naruhito wore ceremonial court attire May 8 for a time-honored rite at the Imperial Palace to report the dates of two important functions to be held this fall to mark his enthronement.

Naruhito, who ascended the Chrysanthemum Throne on May 1, reported the dates of the Sokuirei-Seiden-no-Gi (Enthronement Ceremony) and Daijosai (Great Thanksgiving Ceremony).

The rite, or Kijitsu-Hokoku-no-Gi, was held at three imperial sanctuaries on the Imperial Palace Grounds: the Kashikodokoro, Koreiden and Shinden.

Empress Masako, in a layered ceremonial kimono, also appeared at the three venues where she bowed each time.

It was her first participation in rites involving the three sanctuaries since December 2002.

She had been absent from ceremonies held there since then after developing a stress-induced “adjustment disorder.”

Crown Prince Fumihito, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and heads of local governments also attended the Kijitsu-Hokoku-no-Gi.

Naruhito wore Korozen-no-Goho, which only an emperor is allowed to wear during ceremonies, and entered the corridor of the Kashikodokoro around 10:30 a.m. The Kashikodokoro is reputed to enshrine Amaterasu Omikami (the Sun Goddess), a mythical ancestor of the imperial family.

Chamberlains followed the emperor, bearing a centuries-old sword and jewel, imperial regalia that serve as proof of imperial status. The regalia were stored at Naruhito’s residence since his ascension but they carried to the Imperial Palace for the rite.

During the ceremonies, Naruhito said the Sokuirei-Seiden-no-Gi will be held on Oct. 22 and Daijogu-no-Gi on Nov. 14 and 15.

(This article was written by Aya Nagatani and Ayako Nakada.)