Imperial Enthronement: Imperial Family Members

We finally wrap up our look at last week’s Imperial Enthronement  with attention to the hats worn by members (and former members) of the Imperial royal family. Two familiar faces at Tuesday’s enthronement ceremony included Noriko Senge (former Princess Noriko of Takamado) and Sayako Kuroda (Emperor Naruhito’s younger sister, the former Princess Nori). While Noriko paired her gown with a delicate tiara borrowed from her mother (Princess Hisako usually wears it as a necklace), Sayako wore a calot hat covered in grey silk with what looks like hand folded pleats around the outside edge of the hat.

Ayako Moriya (former Princess Ayako of Takamado) , who is expecting a baby, and her husband Kei were also in attendance, Ayako in a tiara from her mother’s jewellery collection, usually worn as a necklace. Also in tiaras were former Mikasa princesses, Masako Sen and Yasuko Konoe as well as the emperor’s paternal aunt, Takako Shimazu (Emperor Emeritus Akihito’s sister).

While not royal, it feels important to include retired diplomat Hisashi and Owada and his wife Yumiko- Masako’s parents, who, it is understood, have been an unwavering source of support to her over the past two decades. Yumiko wore a silk covered bumper percher hat in the same muted lilac shade as her gown. The hat was placed at a perfect angle and shows how a hat of this shape and scale can look wonderful on any aged wearer.

Last Wednesday, on the day following the enthronement, Imperial family members attended a court banquet. While the empress, as hostess, did not wear a hat, Crown Princess Kiko wore a tan silk covered bumper design. Her daughters opted for more new bandeau headpieces making more vibrant statements, Princess Mako in pale pink trimmed with pink gerbera daisies and Princess Kako in deep scarlet with delicate flowers and leaves.

Princess Nobuko topped her deep raisin purple velvet gown with a silk covered bumper hat in the same hue with split bumper brim embroidered with beads. Princess Akiko repeated a lemon yellow hat with white silk organza wrapped bumper brim, trimmed with a spray of silk flowers at the back. Princess Yoko repeated a salmon pink pillbox hat trimmed in wispy feathers that give it distinct texture.

Princess Hisako wore a boater hat variation in what looks like cream and peach crin. The hat’s shallow peach crown is accentuated with a with cream hatband and its focal point, a gently fluted brim, in transparent overlapping layers of the two shades. The left side of the hat is trimmed with leaf cutouts and applique lace studded with pearls. Princess Tsuguko repeated her blue and green silk jacquard percher hat with layered sash and trailing spray of blossoms on the side- a spray that has received a trim since its first outing.

Former Takamado princesses Noriko Senge and Ayako Moriya were also spotted at the banquet in a pair of bumper hats, Noriko in a veiled white design with ostrich feather trim and Ayako in forest green with a dark spray of feathers on the side.

Empress Masko’s parents, Hisashi and Yumiko Owada, attended again, Yumiko in a small, angular pillbox in the same pale avocado shade as her ensemble.

Excellent footage of this court banquet can be seen below. This post concludes our look at hats worn to the Japanese enthronement, dearest readers. Which designs here stand out most to you?

Photos from social media as indicated 

11 thoughts on “Imperial Enthronement: Imperial Family Members

  1. How wonderful it is to see all these former members of the Imperial household back in action for this event! Is there precedence for this happening at past enthronements? I want to say yes as these appearances didn’t seem to make headlines, but I honestly don’t know.

    Moving on, it’s interesting how we got tiaras and small hats at the same event, something that doesn’t happen often. I wonder if Sayako’s choice to wear a hat instead of a tiara (like the other former princesses) is in line with her role as Supreme Priestess of the Ise Grand Shrine? It’s a nice choice for her, and the grey-lavender color suits her well. I also think it is appropriate to include Yumiko Egashira’s hat (not the first time we’ve covered non-royal family members’ hats); again, not an exciting hat, but it looks good on her, and I love the combination of the pearls and the pleats on her dress for visual effect.

    At the Wednesday event, Kiko unfortunately went too safe, but her daughters Mako and Kako went bigger with their bandeau hats; I’m not always a fan of the headband shape, but these two are fantastic with great trim and lovely colors. Brava!

    Nobuko’s split brim was an unexpected look, but I welcome it, and the raisin purple (fantastic description HatQueen) is perfect for her. Akiko’s oversized yellow hat is wonderful on her; she wears this tilted look well. Yoko’s hat is less exciting, but the feathers give it some interesting visual texture.

    Of course Hisako doesn’t hold back, and I continue to love her for it! Fantastic color, fantastic shape, fantastic trim, this hat wins this event. I, for one, am sad to see Tsuguko’s hat trim received a haircut, which dulls the impact of the hat in my opinion. Still, a good choice (although I also prefer the placement from its first appearance). Noriko and Ayako, despite not being in the public eye anymore, still managed to bring their hat game. The Takamados certainly know how to pick and wear good hats.

    Finally, once more not an exciting hat, but still an elegant ensemble from Yumiko Egashira.

    Thank you so much HatQueen for this excellent coverage of the Japanese Imperial Enthronement. I didn’t see much media coverage of it here in the US, but I’m glad it wasn’t forgotten here. 🙂

  2. No, Ayako Moriya is not wearing the tiara she received when coming of age. That tiara went back to the imperial vault. She is wearing a necklace on a tiara frame from her mother. She wore the same tiara at her post-wedding banquet.
    Her sister Noriko Senge is also wearing a necklace as a tiara borrowed from her mother.

  3. I can’t decide if Japanese royal hats are getting just a little more adventurous in design, or are we becoming more discerning of their detail under your tutelage?
    Princess Hisako looked lovely in the peach boater and Mako and Kako’s shades of pink/red were my second favourites.
    Thank you for your coverage. I have loved following this event.

  4. So curious that two princesses wore tiaras to hat events. Does anyone have insight?

    This is a lot more variety than we usually see with Japanese royal hats! My favorite is Mako’s pale pink. I love how the pleating echoes the swirls in her bodice, and the Gerbera trim looks so fresh. Kako’s scarlet bandeau is also pretty. No surprise that Hisako’s hat is another beauty. That fluted brim is so light.

    As always, there are some beautiful details here, especially the pleating in Sayako’s grey, the split effect and beading of Nobuko’s purple. And well done to Mrs. Owada!

    • The dress code was white tie, so it was acceptable to wear a tiara. It was one of the options included on the invitations. And it’s not just two of them, there were other former princesses from older generations who also wore tiaras. I guess it was left up to them to decide, and I guess it also depends which ones have a personal tiara to use.

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