Donning elaborate robes, Japan's new imperial couple hold Shinto rite

Japan's Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako donned traditional robes for rituals in which he reported to Shinto gods the date of two important ceremonies later this year.
Japan's Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako donned traditional robes for rituals in which he reported to Shinto gods the date of two important ceremonies later this year.PHOTOS: REUTERS

TOKYO (REUTERS) - Japan's new Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako donned traditional robes on Wednesday (May 8) for rituals in which he reported to Shinto gods the date of two important ceremonies later this year, including his enthronement.

Naruhito wore a brown robe and tall black hat during the ritual held at the Imperial Palace, while Masako wore a light green and vermillion gown with long sleeves, photos from the Imperial Household Agency showed.

The 59-year-old emperor inherited the Chrysanthemum Throne on May 1, a day after the abdication of his father, Akihito, the first monarch to abdicate in two centuries.

Naruhito's enthronement will take place in an elaborate ceremony on Oct 22, to which hundreds of foreign dignitaries will be invited. He will step into an elevated pavilion called the "Takamikura" and proclaim his succession to the world.

It will be followed by the Great Thanksgiving Ceremony on Nov 14 and 15, when Naruhito will offer newly harvested rice and sake to imperial ancestors and deities, and partake of them himself as he prays for a good harvest and national peace.