Imperial Royal Memorial and Tour

Last Friday, Princess Yuriko of Mikasa attended a service at Toshimagaoka Imperial Cemetery in Tokyo to commemorate the 1st anniversary of the death of her late husband, Prince Takahito. For this memorial, she wore a veiled black bumper hat.

Princess Yuriko, Oct 27, 2017 | Royal Hats

Princess Mako, Princesses Akiko and Yoko of Mikasa and Princesses Hisako, Tsuguko and Ayako of Takamado all wore veiled black bumper hats.

Oct 27, 2017 | Royal Hats Oct 27, 2017 | Royal Hats

Oct 27, 2017 | Royal Hats Oct 27, 2017 | Royal Hats

On October 29, Princess Akiko braved the rain in a repeated a white pillbox hat for the enshrinement of Prince Mikasa’s spirit at the Imperial Palace.

Oct 29, 2017 | Royal Hats

Over the weekend, Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko visited Fukuoka and Oita Prefectures. For a visit to a robotics innovation center on Saturday in Kitakyushu City, the Empress wore a large white (or cream? oyster?) domed saucer trimmed with a large bow that looked to be embroidered in a lattice pattern with metallic thread.

Oct 28, 2017 | Royal Hats

Designer: unknown. Likely Akio Hirata
Previously Worn: the bow seems new… who knows about the saucer. 

The focus of the visit, the 37th National Meeting for the Healthy Ocean, took place Sunday in Munakata City. Empress Michiko wore a smaller scale saucer in pale bluey-grey trimmed with a multi-looped silk bow that circled around the left side of the design. The sheen of the silk bow gave a bit of contrast to the hat, which was, I suspect, covered in the same fabric as Michiko’s suit and caped jacket. The shade of blue is more becoming on her than the dull grey we often see her wear.

Oct 29, 2017 | Royal Hats Oct 29, 2017 | Royal Hats

Oct 29, 2017 | Royal Hats Oct 29, 2017 | Royal Hats

Designer: unknown. Likely Akio Hirata
Previously Worn: I believe the hat is new

The visit concluded yesterday with a stop in Kitakyushu Eco-Town Center. Empress Michiko repeated a familiar hat for this leg of the visit, a denim blue saucer trimmed with an angular, flat folded blue and gold bow.

Oct 30, 2017 | Royal Hats Oct 30, 2017 | Royal Hats

Oct 30, 2017 | Royal Hats 

Designer: unknown. Likely Akio Hirata
Previously Worn: Oct 26; 2016; Sep 28, 2016Jan 29, 2016Oct 30, 2015May 21, 2015Apr 9, 2015
The last hat has made seven appearances during the past two years, leading me to wonder if the Empress’ larger saucer hats (like the first one) are repeated with interchangeable trims to coordinate with her attire. I seldom see them repeated as much as the blue hat… but perhaps, it is simply a favourite. What do you think of this group of hats?
Photos from Sankei; AsahiAsahi and Asahi via Getty; JijiAsahi; Asahi; Kyodo NewsKyodo News and Kyodo News via Getty; Sankei, Mainichi and Asahi

11 thoughts on “Imperial Royal Memorial and Tour

  1. Princess Yuriko looks very elegant here. I also see her pearl necklace is black; wondering if that’s a detail I’ve always missed before with Japanese mourning attire?

    I do always enjoy when the Empress pulls out one of her larger saucer hats, and this one is no exception. Simple, subtle details, but they definitely do the trick. The second hat doesn’t stand out as much since the color is similar to others she has, but the bow detailing was done well in a way that’s new for the Empress’ hats. Finally, even though we see it a lot, I do love this blue and gold ensemble for HM.

  2. Princesses Mako, Akiko, and Yoko wore veiled bumper hats at the memorial on the 27th, see video at

    Princess Akiko wore a white pillbox / bumper hat when the Imperial family enshrined Prince Mikasa’s spirit at the Imperial Palace on the 29th:
    Better view of the hat when Prince Katsura’s spirit was enshrined in 2015:

    • Good catch. Her clothes are sometimes so difficult to tell as the shades are usually pale with very subtle colour shades. I usually have to wait until we see it outdoors in natural light to make a final call!

  3. I have (in a box somewhere) a rather crushed pink velvet rose which my grandmother wore on a fur hat about one hundred years ago when she was married. The Empress’s penchant for these flat little hats reminds me of this sad relic. But I suspect she will never change!

  4. Hat #2, the multi-looped bow on the smaller grey saucer, has a jaunty modern vibe which I really like.
    Hat #3 the repeat navy, is not one that I am a fan of. The teal colour added to the hat is not really achieving anything, and to me the gold trim looks sour against the Empress’s cool complexion -(dove grey would have been a safer choice). And right now, the hat looks rather the worse for wear.

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