Amid rain showers of good luck, Princess Noriko of Takamado was married to Kunimaro Senge at the Izumo Taisha grand shrine in Shimane Prefecture yesterday. The smiling bride arrived at the shrine early yesterday morning in a mint green suit and a coordinating hat with flared brim and square crown wrapped in a large silk bow.
For the wedding ceremony, the 26-year old princess wore a traditional silk costume and a hairstyle that I can only imagine is steeped in symbolic tradition as well. (If anyone can provide further explanation, it would be most welcome).
I believe the only members of the Imperial family in attendance were the bride’s mother, Princess Hisako, and sisters, Princess Tsuguko, and Princess Ayako- all three women wore traditional kimonos, seen below.
According to Japanese law, Noriko lost her royal title and membership in the Imperial family with her marriage today and officially became “Mrs. Noriko Senge”. The Japan Times reports that the couple will host 300 friends and family at a wedding reception in Matsue on Monday, while Crown Prince Naruhito, Crown Princess Masako and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will be among the guests at a dinner party to be held at a Tokyo hotel on Wednesday.
Because this wedding ceremony is so different to those we’re used to seeing in the west, I am curious to hear your thoughts (and gently remind everyone to remain culturally respectful in your comments). I’m sure you all join me in wishing Noriko much happiness in her new life.
Photos from Sankei News; Jiji Press/Stringer via Getty; Kyodo via Japan Times; and Nikkei
Hello 🙂 I enjoy reading this blog, this is one of “my everyday must see”!! I am aware that this is royal “hat” so the main focus is her hair do, but i’d like to mention about her ceremony attire. The red garment, called kouchigi, which she wore during the ceremony is the most significant piece in this wedding I think. Because it was a wedding gift from Teimei Empress of Taisho to Princess Yuriko who is Princess Noriko’s Grandmother.
Sorry if this is an unnecessary post, but just in case, FYI for someone who’s interested!
Thank you so much for your explanation of the red kouchigi. The history behind it is rather remarkable.
Thank you very much indeed for your post! I am passionate about the Imperial Family of Japan and the Japanese Nobillity histories and customs. So the red garment called “Kouguchi” was a gift from the bride’s great-grandmother, Her Imperial Majesty Empress Teimei, to the bride’s grandmother and Empress Teimei’s daughter-in-law, Princess Yuriko of Mikasa.
Considering the bride is from a lineage of high ranking Shinto Priests of Izumo Taisha Grand Shrine being himself a Shinto Priest who assists his father who is the High Priest of the Shrine and who will inherit the post someday, He is wearing a hat named “Kanmuri” worn by High Ranking Shinto Priests.
I have made a mistake in my comment above: bride stands for groom
For the hair style of Her Imperial Highness Princess Noriko of Takamado please refer to:
And for the attire:
The hairstyle is named “osuberakashi” and it’s used by ladies of the Japanese Imperial Court only as well as the attire named “Keiko” and worn only by ladies of the Imperial Court of Japan.
Luis- thank you so much for sharing this knowledge. I didn’t realize the keiko was worn only within the Imperial Court.
Thank you so much for the information,it is always very interesting to learn about the customs of other countries and to know how they have their own values and customs that they live by. I find the history of Japanese royal family extremely interesting and yet difficult to understand why some thing are down the way they are.
Congratulations to this happy couple who both look so radiant and happy and traditional. It is good that this blog shows other royals other than just the British ones, like many sites. Just like Europeans, Japanese weddings and other special occasions, including tiara wear, demand long hair, which many women these days do not have, and so they pack their own hair with wigs or wiglets. Just look how Queen Silvia of Sweden goes from quite short hair by day to dramatic upswept hair when she wears a tiara. Many royals and celebrities also pack their hair with wigs or add hair extensions.
When we lived in Japan (2003-2006), most couples would have the very traditional wedding ceremony and clothes, but the reception would be a western style bridal gown. I would be interested to see what she wore to the receptions.
It looks like it has been styled into the shape of a lotus leaf. On a trip to Japan we stayed in the Fuji region on a summer long weekend at a hotel that turned out to be wedding central, the outfits were amazing to see; they incorporate particular natural motifs that have meaning, happiness, health etc. We noticed that most of the guests were in black which is the colour for guests. The married women wear black with embroidery on it and her single sisters can wear colour. The handbag and shoes are also beautifully embroidered and matching. Traditionally her wedding outfit will hang on the wall of their home. It certainly is a beautiful outfit.
Thanks for this insight, Suzanne!
The photos are wonderful. I wish I could see the fabrics up close. If they look this spectacular from afar, can you imagine how they look right in front of you.
I’m glad that she wore traditional attire!
Thank you so much for showing this! I agree with what has already been written–how happy she looks and the beautiful kimonos.
Her hairstyle was made by hers hair. A hairpiece was used under her tied hair.
Japanese traditional wedding hairstyle needs very long hair. Most current women don’t have such long hair. So we use a wig.
Please make a following site a reference.
Thanks so much for this helpful information, Hiro.
I also wondered if she were wearing a wig. I have seen very elaborate hairstyles in pictures from other Japanese weddings before, and often wondered if they were wigs. Regardless, she and her family look very happy, and she looks lovely in her suit and hat, and in the ceremonial wedding kimono. She is so dainty and pretty, and I will miss seeing her. I could not get the video to work, but will try again later.
Thank you Rebecca for the video, it was a pleasure to see how they show their respect to each other and to the other people around them. Her traditional dress was gorgeous and she makes a beautiful bride.
What a beautiful bride she is. I so love those kimono’s that the ladies wore. They are so delicate and the design of some of them is outstanding. You can tell she is a very happy young lady from her smile and eyes. I am not sure about her hair during the traditional ceremony, I wonder if that is a wig or not. Wishing her and her husband a very long and joyous life together!
I agree with you elizabethmclaughline42, and I definitely think she is wearing a wig with her own hair arranged on top of it.