Japan’s New Emperor Naruhito Ascends to Throne In Ancient Ritual

Cheers of “Banzai!” rang out at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo as Naruhito formally declared his ascension.

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Japan elevated its 126th emperor, Naruhito who ascended the Chrysanthemum throne at the ceremony of accession in Tokyo's imperial palace while the audience cheered ‘banzai’ to wish him a long and prosperous reign.

A smaller throne is also set beside the emperor for empress Masako.

The throne, called ‘Takamikura’ is a 6.5-meter (21-feet) high decorative structure resembling a gazebo. It was transported from the former Imperial Palace in Japan’s ancient capital of Kyoto, where emperors lived until 150 years ago.

Naruhito pledged at an enthronement ceremony at the Imperial Palace to serve his constitutional duty as a symbol of the state and to stay close to the people, as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe congratulated him and led three ‘banzai’ cheers.

The cheers traditionally means ‘ten thousand year’ of long life.

The event was held in the presence of the royal family and nearly 2,000 guests.

A number of global figures who attended the event were:

  • UK's Prince Charles
  • Indian President Ram Nath Kovind
  • US Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao
  • Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan
  • South Korean PM Lee Nak-Yon
  • Myanmar’s Aung San Suu Kyi
Historians believe that Japan’s hereditary monarchy goes back 1,500 years and is the world’s oldest.

Naruhito, wore a formal brownish-orange robe that was dyed in sappan wood and Japanese wax tree bark and a black headdress decorated with an upright tail, appeared as a pair of black-robed chamberlains opened the purple curtains of the throne at the sound of a bell.

The enthronement ceremony is the high point of several succession rituals that began in May when Naruhito inherited the throne after the abdication of Akihito, his father.

The last Japanese enthronement ceremony took place in 1990.

(With inputs from AP)

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