New Year’s Celebration


On 1st January 2016, the members of Imperial Family attended the Ceremony of New Year’s Celebration took place at Imperial Palace.


It is the ceremony that Their Majesties Emperor and Empress receive greetings from the other members of Imperial Family; the Speaker and Vice-Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President and Vice-President of the House of Councillors; Diet members; the Prime Minister; Ministers of State; the Chief Justice and Justices of the Supreme Court; other government officials with Imperial attestation; Administrative Vice-Ministers of Ministries and Agencies and other leading figures of legislative, executive and judicial organs; prefectural governors and chairpersons of prefectural assemblies; and heads of diplomatic missions to Japan and their spouses. This ceremony is considered a state event.




HIH Crown Princess Masako and HIH Princess Aiko also visited Imperial Palace to greet Their Majesties.

Photo from Asahi and Huffington Post


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9 responses to “New Year’s Celebration

  1. Has it ever become clear why the Crown Princess is never in the reception line altough she seems to be at the Palace full dressed up.

    • Avery

      Crown Princess Masako attended the reception before her adjustment disorder. She hasn’t appeared since becoming ill. The day is full of events. I can’t find the schedule on the IHA site anymore but the Emperor apparently starts Jan 1st with a shrine visit at 5am (according to Google translate). There’s also a meeting with former imperial family members so I assume CP Masako attends the family or less public events. I don’t know how long the reception with tiaras lasts. Perhaps the doctors don’t think she’s ready for a long/formal ceremony yet. Her condition has been improving so it’s a good sign she could be well enough to attend in the future.

    • Avery

      Found the Emperor and Empress’ schedule for Jan 1st. I posted to another blog but forgot to return here.
      Google translate isn’t the best but I gather the family joins the Imperial couple from 10am and then the public events start at 11am.


      5:30am Emperor attends an event called Shihohai
      5:40am Reign worship
      9:05am Emperor and Empress attend celebration with Chamberlain and staff
      9:30am Emperor attends can event called “Partly Gozen”
      9:45am Their Majesties attend another celebration
      10:00am Their Majesties attend ceremony of celebration (with Crown Prince? Not sure of translation here)
      10:10am Their Majesties attend celebration with former royal family, relatives
      10:15am Their Majesties attend celebration with minor royalty
      11am, 11:30, 11:40, 1:20, 1:30, 2:30pm Their Majesties attend celebrations with Prime Minister, government officials, IHA members, and diplomats

  2. I understand that white is a sacred color in Japanese culture, hence the tiaras of diamonds and pearls. Also, white on the high ranking ladies. However, there are some colored dresses on what I am assuming are lower ranked ladies? Is this correct?

    • Sharad

      You’re right! The order of precedence of the ladies is determined by which branch of the Imperial family they were born into/married into. In the very first picture, from the immediate right of the dais you have Princess Akishino (married to Prince Akishino, the Emperor’s younger son) and her two daughters. Next you have Princess Hitachi, married to the Emperor’s younger brother. Next you have Princess Tomohito of Mikasa, widow of the Emperor’s first cousin. In ladies next to her wearing pink and blue respectively are her daughters. Princess Takamado is in green, the widow of another of the Emperor’s cousins. Standing next to her are her two daughters. The two women not wearing tiaras and apparently standing behind the first row of ladies are not princesses, but rather ladies-in-waiting at the Imperial court.

      • Thank you for that info! I have read much about the branches, but have not yet made all the connections of who is who. I appreciate your info! Oh to be a fly on the wall..

  3. can’t wait to see princess Aiko in the reception line too, wearing her very oun tiara as princess Mako and Kako

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