Japan’s Imperial Family celebrates New Year with tiaras

Japan’s Imperial Family celebrates New Year with tiaras

It’s a brand new year and two royal families celebrated with tiara events. This post is for the Japanese Imperial Family (go here for the Danish Royal Family post). Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko of Japan, accompanied by members of their family, hosted the annual New Year Greeting Ceremony at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo yesterday, January 1.

Japan Imperial Family New Years Greeting

Before I get to the tiaras, here is the Emperor’s 2015 New Year message:

    Last year many lives were lost to natural disasters such as heavy snow, torrential rains, and the volcanic eruption of Mt. Ontake, and my thoughts go out to those who lost their loved ones and their homes in those disasters.
    This is the fourth winter since the Great East Japan Earthquake, and it pains me to think that there are still so many people who cannot return to the places they used to live because of radioactive contamination and so many who face the prospect of a cold, harsh winter in temporary housing. These conditions have made me reflect on the importance of people becoming concerned about and involved in disaster prevention in their respective regions and being prepared to protect their own localities.
    This year marks the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II, which cost many people their lives. Those who died on the battlefields, those who died in the atomic bombings in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, those who died in the air raids on Tokyo and other cities-so many people lost their lives in this war. I think it is most important for us to take this opportunity to study and learn from the history of this war, starting with the Manchurian Incident of 1931, as we consider the future direction of our country.
    It is my sincere hope that the new year will bring happiness to the people of our country and the people around the world.

Japan Imperial Family New Years Greeting tiaras

Empress Michiko did not wear a tiara, but there were lots of other tiara-wearing ladies in attendance. The three women in white in the above photo are (from L-R) Princess Kiko (wife of Prince Akishino, the second son of the Emperor), and her daughters Princess Mako and Princess Kako. They are all wearing their own tiaras and matching necklaces and brooches.

Princess Kako just celebrated her 20th birthday on December 29. She celebrated with an event at the Imperial Palace where she prayed at the Three Palace Sanctuaries on the palace grounds and then her grandfather, the Emperor, bestowed her with a decoration known as the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Precious Crown.

The tiara was a gift for her birthday and is part of a parure, including a necklace and bracelet. The entire suite of jewels cost about $233,000.

Here are two videos of the New Year Greeting Ceremony:


Photos: ANN Screengrab/FNN Screengrab/Getty

13 thoughts on “Japan’s Imperial Family celebrates New Year with tiaras

  1. The young ladies look like they are bored to death. But, the tiaras are just fabulous. It’s like staring at the stars in the night sky. But, where is the crown princess? And where are the men?

    1. The men were standing on the other side of the podium to the Emperor’s right; not in view in the screengrabs. The Crown Princess has been in hiding for the most part for a long time. She apparently suffers from emotional problems or anxiety or something. She rarely comes out of hiding.

      1. A while ago, I read that the Crown Princess was not averse to dining in expensive restaurants with her friends.

        Marrying into the Japanese royal family I think is much more stressful than any other royal families. Crown Princess Masako denied the marriage offer a couple of times. She has been under so much pressure to produce an heir and not able to do it. Even the ever popular Empress Michiko said she was under so much pressure that she could not speak for a year. If the Duchess of Cambridge is finding her life stressful, I don’t think it’s anything compared to what it’s like in the Japanese royal family.

        I saw a picture of CP Masako last year at some inernational function, 1st time after a long time and wow, her looks declined so much as compared to the images at her engagement and wedding.

        CP Masako was an extremely accomplished woman with a career and diverse language abilities. She came on the scene when the all the broken marriages and drama of the British royal family took place. I thought what would happen if Diana or Fergie married into the Japanese royal family???

        1. From the little I know of the Japanese family, it seems way more stressful than the Brits. I don’t think Kate would be able to handle that at all – she can barely handle the Brits. But the cruel part of me is laughing a little thinking about Kate’s Marilyn moments if she were a part of the Japanese family. My god, that would be hilarious.

          1. OMG KMR….hahaha…The Marilyn moments in the Japanese royal family…CP Masako would hide for the rest of her life…

            I don’t think neither the Duchess, Diana and definitely not Fergie would have made it on the list of potential candidates for the Crown Prince.

            The qualifications they had for the bride-to-be..e.g. shorter than the Crown Prince, NEVER dated and had a boyfriend, families are checked back 2 to 3 generations…

  2. The tiaras are gorgeous. The Emperor’s words were soothing for his people, I am sure.
    The women, though wearing gorgeous gowns, seem so lost. I guess female subjugation is alive and well and living in Japan. Or, perhaps, the tone of the Emperor’s speech resonated deeply with them. No warmth anywhere, here, I am afraid. At least, that’s the impression I got.

    1. The ladies all seem a bit dead inside to me. Or they are just bored out of their minds.

  3. Hi KMR,

    Really glad you posted this. I thought about asking if you’re interested in posting about the Japanese Royal Family.

    I am surprised the royal ladies were not decked out in their super expensive kimonos. I think they would prefer to wear the evenings gowns and tiaras since I heard that you don’t go to the washroom when you wear a kimono.:))

    I like the tiaras. Just thought that with Japan officially in recession, spending $233,000 on all those jewels for a 20 y.o. is crazy. But then you will not hear of the Japanese wanting to abolish the monarchy there.

    1. The Japanese don’t seem shy about spending money on jewels. Apparently all the of-age girls get their own full parure.

  4. CP Masako’s story is so sad. She seems like a broken woman. I remember her engagement and marriage and headlines about how she will bring life and modern ways to the Japanese crown. It hasn’t happened. The fact that she is so educated and accomplished is a feat as well. I just get the sads when I look at her. She seems to have left a rich life to one where it is all about producing a male heir. I would love to hear more about her relationship with Maxima.

    1. I don’t know much about her other than that she’s been out of the public eye for a while due to some mental problems or something. I feel badly for her, though, that she broke under all that pressure.

    2. Hi Rhiannon,

      At that time, I thought CP Masako would never get anywhere never mind modernizing the Chrysanthemum throne. I thought with her being pressured into the marriage, she would end up just a dutiful, royal wife. It’s just sad that she couldn’t be stronger and use her amazing capabilities to make herself happy in helping others.

      The things Diana did…the affairs and airing all the dirty laundry (Honestly, was not a classy thing. Jacki O never did a tell-all book nor interview.)… CP Masako wouldn’t even dare to dream of.

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