Imperial Royals Visit Wakayama

Last Friday, the Imperial Emperor and Empress embarked on a three day trip to Wakayama to attend the 70th Japanese National Sports Festival. Empress Michiko kicked off the trip in a new cream saucer hat trimmed with a stylized arrow in the same geometric print as her blouse. I thought the arrow trim, which creates a much bolder overall look we usually see on the Empress’ millinery, was a new idea until I saw this similar hat, worn back in 2006.

Empress Michiko, September 25, 2015 | Royal Hats Empress Michiko, September 25, 2015 | Royal Hats

Designer: I suspect Akio Hirata
Previously Worn: Uncertain. It has not been worn before in this form but I wonder if it is a reworked version of this hat

On Saturday, the royal couple opened the Sports Festival. For this event, Empress Michiko repeated her large rimmed white saucer had with folded slate blue bow.

Empress Michiko, September 26, 2015 | Royal Hats

Empress Michiko, September 26, 2015 | Royal HatsDesigner: Likely Akio Hirata
Previously Worn: May 17, 2015; May 26, 2013

Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko concluded their visit yesterday with a visit to a Fruit Tree Experiment Station. For this final event, the Empress wore a smaller domed saucer hat trimmed with a two tone grey and green silk twist.

Empress Michiko, September 27, 2015 | Royal Hats

Designer: unknown.
Previously Worn: I believe this hat is new

The photos from this weekend’s trip shed some light on the subtle differences between the Empress’ saucer hats. The saucers are flat, rimmed and domed- not great differences, perhaps, but ones that lend different impressions to this style of hat. What do you think of this trio of royal saucers?

Photos from Sankei, Sankei, Sankei, Sankei and Asahi

12 thoughts on “Imperial Royals Visit Wakayama

  1. While I wouldn’t wear any of these hats myself, I do think the Empress has got the ability to manage this established unique style that she owns so well. She is a petite woman who can get away with wearing teeny hats that would not work on most others. My personal favorite of her hats is the Empress’s small domed saucer hat trimmed with a two tone grey and green silk twist. It’s unusual, and just a little different from her usual hats. It reminds me of origami, as many of us readers have said before about lots of her hats.

  2. I really like the first hat for something different in terms of detailing for HIM’s hats. The second one is fine, but a bit ordinary compared to most. My favorite is the third one in grey, although on my screen it does look like the one side of the twisted trim looks green (as @LadyLou also indicated), and may match the Emperor’s tie, which looks to be a similar shade of green.

  3. The angle on the one with the arrow looks exactly like someone hit her in the head with an axe and left the blade behind. Love the last one (gray). On my screen there’s a greenish tinge.

  4. I like all three saucers and appreciate the differences, even though subtle. I really like the arrow trim on the first hat but prefer the color of the blue bow on the second hat. While I prefer its larger size, the blue and white repeat does rather resemble a salad plate.
    Does the Empress ever have her hats reworked? (Perhaps all royals have had this done.) One certainly can see how the first hat could been a reworked version of the 2006 model.

  5. Just as much as the late Queen Mother, the Empress has created an image that one can immediately recognise (albeit a rather more restrained image than the QM!), and the hats play a major part in this. I suppose from that point of view one doesn’t want too much variety, as it might take away from that instant recognition. Having said that, these differences are subtle enough that they don’t really affect the overall impact! But nonetheless very interesting to have them pointed out – thank you. I do prefer the slightly bolder nature of the first hat out of this trio, but on the whole the Empress’s hats always fit her outfits and her role beautifully.

  6. I agree with Edie. What an elegant couple they are! I also think the white hat with blue bow looks a little too much like a paper plate.

  7. What a handsome and elegant pair the imperial couple remain! The empress’s saucers become her in general, but I am not fond of the large rimmed saucer with the blue bow–it looks too much like a real saucer–and it’s just too large for its forward position. That said, all the empress’s hats go so beautifully with her attire. However, not everyone would have the elegance of carriage to wear these hats!

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