What to watch at the Emperor's enthronement ceremonies What to watch at the Emperor's enthronement ceremonies
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What to watch at the Emperor's enthronement ceremonies

    NHK World Correspondent
    Japan has embarked on a new era Reiwa since Emperor Naruhito took the throne in May. Ceremonies related to the accession are planned to be held on October 22, inviting heads of state from all over the world. The Emperor and Empress will be busy all day, performing rituals of historical significance.

    Emperor reports the conduct of ceremony

    In the morning, Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako will perform rituals called "Sokuirei-Tojitsu-Kashikodokoro-Omae-no-gi" and "Sokuirei-Tojitsu-Koreiden-Shinden-ni-Hokoku-no-gi" at the Imperial sanctuaries, a group of shrines in the Palace compound.

    The Emperor will read out a text in Old Japanese and report to the Sun Goddess, the souls of his ancestors, and various deities that the Enthronement Ceremony will be held on that day. Later, Empress Masako will visit the three Imperial sanctuaries.

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    The Imperial sanctuaries, a group of shrines, located inside the Palace compound.

    Sokuirei-Seiden-no-gi

    The "Sokuirei-Seiden-no-gi" is the main enthronement ceremony. It will be held at the Seiden-Matsu-no-Ma, or the State Room, of the Imperial Palace.

    About 2,000 people, including the Prime Minister, the heads of both Diet chambers, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and foreign dignitaries are scheduled to attend the event.

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    "Sokuirei-Seiden-no-gi", 1990

    The ceremony is expected to last about half an hour from 1:00 p.m. The Emperor will step on the Takamikura throne placed in the room. The Emperor will then proclaim his accession to the throne.

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    The Takamikura throne is said to have been used for important ceremonies since the Nara period, which began in the 8th century.

    This will be followed by a congratulatory address by the Prime Minister and three rounds of "banzai," meaning long life.

    Kyoen-no-gi

    "Kyoen-no-gi" is a series of court banquets to celebrate Emperor Naruhito's enthronement and receive congratulations from guests. The first one will take place at the Imperial Palace on the same day of the enthronement ceremony.

    When Emperor Emeritus Akihito ascended the throne, "Kyoen-no-gi" was held seven times over four straight days. This time, the banquets will be held four times over four days with intervals, to help ease the burden on the Emperor and Empress.

    Procession postponed

    The Japanese government has decided to postpone the Imperial procession called "Shukuga-Onretsu-no-gi" that was scheduled to be held on October 22. It has been rescheduled for November 10.

    Officials say the aim is to deal with the extensive damage caused by Typhoon Hagibis, which took away lives of dozens.

    The November parade will be a chance for people to congratulate the Emperor and Empress.

    The Imperial couple will proceed through Tokyo in an open-top limousine as people gather to celebrate and extend their good wishes.

    Crown Prince and Princess Akishino and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will also take part in the procession.

    The chrysanthemum emblem and the Imperial flag will be attached to the limousine. Musicians of the Self-Defense Forces and the Tokyo Metropolitan Police will perform along the route.

    If it rains, the Emperor and Empress will travel in a car they normally use for important events.

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    An open-top car carrying Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako is based on Toyota's Century sedan. It is more than 5 meters long and almost 2 meters wide. The rear seat is 4 centimeters higher than the front, and the backrest is reclined at an angle designed to enable spectators to see the couple well.

    The car has been coated with many layers of paint to make it shinier than other vehicles available on the market. Reinforcements have been placed in the floor and elsewhere to strengthen its body.

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