Imperial Crown Prince Proclaimed

Last Sunday, the Imperial royal family celebrated Rikkoshi-Senmei-no-Gi, the final ceremony in the Emperor’s enthronement that officially proclaims the new crown prince which had been postponed seven months due to the global pandemic.

Empress Masako arrived early in the morning to prepare for the day of ceremonies in her oyster silk covered bumper hat.
Crown Prince Akihito and Crown Princess Kiko followed an hour later, Kiko in a pale lime silk jacquard floral gown with matching calot hat. The cuffed brim on this hat is covered in wide bias stripes of smooth silk and silk smocked in the same fine pattern as the waist on Kiko’s dress. This smocking gives some textural dimension to the hat, especially when punctuated with the small shiny silk stripe between each section. While a subtle detail, it is impeccably executed and once again, shows incredible quality and millinery skill.


At eleven o’clock that morning, the Imperial royal family gathered for the Rikkoshi-Senmei-no-gi ceremony where the new Crown Prince was officially proclaimed. Emperor Naruhito and Crown Prince Akishino wore traditional sokutai robesand the distinctive black kanmuri hat. Empress Masako and Crown Princess Kiko wore junihitoe multi-layered kimonos with the triple pronged golden headpiece and elaborate sculpted sweeping ponytail that is worn with this costume.




Members of the extended Imperial Royal family were in attendance, the ladies in court dress (gowns and hats).
Princess Mako repeated a blush dotted silk jacquard gown and matching bumper brimmed calot hat. Princess Kako repeated a scarlet bandeau headpiece trimmed with silk flowers.
Princess Mako’s hat previously worn: Nov 16, 2019; Jan 13, 2017; December 23, 2015;
Princess Kako’s hat previously worn: Feb 23, 2020; Oct 25, 2019
Princess Hanako topped her apple silk gown with a matching saucer percher hat with pleated rim, embellished with ivory feathers and silk leaves. Princess Nobuko wore a bandeau headpiece covered in periwinkle blue silk, trimmed with feather flowers on the side.
Princess Nobuko’s hat previously worn: Feb 23, 2020
Princess Akiko of Mikasa wore a lemon yellow bumper hat wrapped in a swath of pleated crin and trimmed with a spray of silk flowers across the back. Princess Yoko repeated a pale coral textured pillbox.
Princess Akiko’s hat previously worn: Oct 25, 2019; Apr 10, 2019
Princess Yoko’s hat previously worn: Oct 25, 2019Apr 10, 2019
Princess Hisako wore a standout hat with crown in the same vibrant green silk as the cuffs on her gown. The hat’s cartwheel brim appears to be  covered in overlapping ombre leaves and an overlay of veil. Princess Tsuguko repeated her burgundy bumper hat with veil and side silk floral trim.
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Princess Hisako’s hat previously worn: I believe this hat is new
Princess Tsuguko’s hat previously worn: Apr 30, 2019; Feb 26, 2019; Jan 10, 2018 
Following the ceremony, the Crown Prince and Princess worshipped at Kashiko-dokoro shrine which is located on the grounds of the Imperial Palace. They were joined by several of the Imperial princesses who wore pale gowns and repeated ivory hats.



That evening, the emperor, empress, crown prince and princess took part in the Choken-no-Gi (First Audience ceremony), the women in glittering diamond parures complete with impressive tiaras.

The vibrant hats worn by the Imperial princesses at the Rikkoshi-Senmei-no-gi stood out to me- weren’t they wonderful?!
Photos from social media as indicated; The Asahi Shimbun, The Asahi Shimbun, The Asahi Shimbun via Getty; 

5 thoughts on “Imperial Crown Prince Proclaimed

  1. I saw brief glimpses of this ceremony earlier this week, and am delighted that you highlighted it today.
    I love the traditional clothing and am also delighted to see tiaras back in action.
    Empress Masako’s bumper is gorgeous and I love the green color on CP Kiko.
    Princess Kako’s scarlet bandeau, Princess Nobuko’s periwinkle bandeau, Princess Yoko’s coral pillbox, and Princess Tsuguko’s burgundy bumper all stand out for me.
    I love Princess Akiko and Princess Yoko’s ivory hats.
    Princess Tsuguko’s second ivory hat is wonderful as well. She’s the overall hat winner for me.

  2. I agree with the former comments and would like to add how nice it is to see tiara’s again. It has been a long tiara fast and it makes my heart happy to see these two tiaras!!!

  3. Like you, Hanako and Hisako’s green hats stood out for me, both for the vibrant colour, the distinguishing trims on their hats and the interesting jewels worn with them.
    Tsuguko is always my favourite amongst the younger princesses – she always manages to stand out

  4. The standouts for me during this event were Princess Hanako, Princess Hisako, and Princess Tsuguko during the Rikkoshi-Senmei-no-gi. Hanako looks great in apple green and the hat is perched well, but the true icing on the cake is that sapphire brooch standing out against the green, cream, and white. Hisako was the clear winner IMO, not just because she wore green, but for donning such an unusual hat (even for her) that looks fantastic and has great trim; her necklace is also another beautiful finishing touch to her ensemble. And while there is nothing new here for Tsuguko, it’s still a wonderful hat, dress, and color for her, and I like seeing her hair worn down as a contrast to most of the Japanese imperials who usually wear their hair up or short.

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