Heisei Reiwa Live Blog

Empress Masako visits three Imperial sanctuaries

After the Emperor's visit to the three Imperial sanctuaries, Empress Masako, in an ancient-style kimono and hairstyle, bowed to the Imperial ancestors.

Emperor performs first ritual at Imperial Palace

Emperor Naruhito has performed his first ritual at the Imperial Palace since his accession to the throne.

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Emperor Naruhito addresses public

Japanese Emperor Naruhito has addressed the public at the Imperial Palace for the first time since ascending the throne on Wednesday.

Tens of thousands of people gathered to celebrate the Imperial succession.

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Sumo wrestlers express hopes for the new era

Sumo wrestlers gathered at the Kokugi-kan Arena in Tokyo's Ryoh-goku district. The wrestlers formed the word "Reiwa" to express their hopes for the new era.

Japan's new Emperor delivered his first speech in his new role

Emperor Naruhito said, "I swear that I will act according to the Constitution and fulfill my responsibility as the symbol of the State and of the unity of the people of Japan, while always turning my thoughts to the people and standing with them."

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Kenji-to-Shokei-no-gi ceremony ends

A ceremony marking the new Emperor's succession of the sacred sword and jewel has ended in Japan.

Japanese people celebrates the beginning of the new era

Some wanted to make sure the first day of Reiwa will be an unforgettable memory.

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Celebrating the new era across Japan

Emperor thanks people for support

Emperor Akihito gave his last speech to the people in his current role. The Emperor said, "Since ascending the throne 30 years ago, I have performed my duties as the Emperor with a deep sense of trust in and respect for the people, and I consider myself most fortunate to have been able to do so."

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Emperor gives final speech before abdication

Emperor Akihito to abdicate

Emperor Akihito went to the Imperial Palace Sanctuaries to pay respects to the Sun Goddess, the souls of his ancestors, and various deities.

A visit to the Mausoleum of Emperor Showa

Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko have visited the Mausoleum of Emperor Showa in western Tokyo to report his abdication on April 30.

Paying their respects at Ise Shrine

Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko have worshipped at Ise Shrine as part of a series of rituals leading up to the Emperor's abdication. This is their last regional trip as Emperor and Empress.

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Exhibition commemorating the Emperor's 30 years

Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko visited a department store in Tokyo to see an exhibition that commemorates the Emperor's 30 years on the throne and the couple's 60th wedding anniversary.

A visit to a children's park

Japan's Imperial couple celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary by visiting a children's park built with monetary gifts that they received when they got married.

Imperial couple's 60th wedding anniversary

Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary. The couple were congratulated by members of the Imperial family at the Imperial Palace.

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Japan will revamp its banknote designs

Japanese Finance Minister Taro Aso announced that Japanese banknotes will be getting a redesign. The new notes are expected to enter circulation around 2024, the first change since 2004.

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Enjoying the cherry blossoms

Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko went for a walk outside the Imperial Palace to take in the cherry blossoms. They were spotted by joggers, who looked on in surprise.

A crane is used to paint giant-sized Reiwa characters

A crane in Tokyo helped to ring in the new era by painting the characters for 'Reiwa'. The machine's delicate touch and subtle strokes wowed spectators.

Cerebrating announcement of the new era

Hours after the announcement, retailers from cupcake bakeries to stamp makers started putting out products with the new name.

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New era named "Reiwa"

The Japanese government has announced that the name of the new era will be "Reiwa." It will begin with the new Emperor's accession on May 1.

The name was taken from the Manyoshu, the oldest existing anthology of Japanese poetry. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said, "Culture is nurtured when people bring their hearts together in a beautiful way. 'Reiwa' has such meaning."

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