Imperial Royals Celebrate Daijosai

On Thursday and Friday, enthronement rituals concluded with The Daijosai (Great Thanksgiving Ceremony), a festival that dates back to at least the 7th century and is performed by a new emperor the autumn following his enthronement. This festival was held in temporary Shinto shrine compound called the Daijokyu, composed of nearly 30 buildings (about 6,500 square meters) specially built in the East Gardens of the Imperial Palace grounds for the Daijosai. For those of you in Tokyo, this will be opened to the public free between November 21 and December 8 before being dismantled, the wooden building materials being recycled for parks and disaster-prevention facilities.

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The Imperial Household Agency purchased specialty vegetables, fruit and seafood from each of Japan’s 47 prefectures for this festival. Rice was cultivated in two rice paddies in the country’s east and west with the locations determined by divination using turtle shells; special fabrics- hemp from Tokushima and silk from Aichi were also provided.

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The day began with Empress Masako arriving at the royal palace (earlier than the emperor, to prepare her elaborate costume) in a cream silk jacquard printed bumper hat.


For the ritual, the emperor wore white sokutai robes with the distinctive black kanmuri hat.

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The empress wore a traditional “junihitoe” multi-layered kimono, this one in white and peach, along with this Heian Era costume’s triple pronged silver headpiece.

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The Imperial Princess (I’ve spotted Kiko, Mako, Kako and Nobuko and suspect the other Mikasa and Takamado princesses also attended) wore a similar metal headpieces but with more delicate, beaded triple prongs (following a tree shape, I think?) and silk cord that loops around the top of the head and hangs down in a multi-bowed tassel on either sides of the face.


The event concluded with a banquet, hosted by the emperor and empress. The Imperial Princesses were in attendance, the Akishinos in cuffed calot hats, Princess Nobuko in a teal button percher, Princess Akiko in a brimmed cream hat, Princess Yoko in a pale blue percher, Princess Hisako in a green saucer with cream brim and flowers around the raised back, and Princes Tsuguko in a petal trimmed peach bumper.

Photos from Getty as indicated 

This Week’s Extras

On Wednesday, October 23, Swazi King Mswati III and his newest wife, Inkhosikati LaMashwama arrived in Sochi to take part in the 2019 Russia-Africa Summit. Inkhosikati LaMashwama wore a magenta straw disc percher hat trimmed with straw twists, rosettes, feathers and sparkle crin bows
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On Thursday, October 24, Princess Yoko wore a sunny, tall-crowned cloche to open the 46th Tokyo Motor Show. The same day, Princess Kiko wore a beige silk covered bumper hat with smocked side panel to open the Meiji Jingu Museum
Also on October 26, Queen Margrethe repeated her tan, caramel, chocolate and burgundy checked hat with short  brim and stacked hatbands for military awards and parades at Fredericia. Crown Prince Frederick wore a Tyrolean hat to host a hunt on the Gludsted Plantation in central Jutland on Monday, October 28.
The Imperial Princesses in hats on Monday for the 3rd court enthronement banquet. Last Sunday, a memorial for the Prince of Mikasa (Takahito) was held on the third anniversary of his death. Crown Princes Kiko, Princess Mako, Princess Kako, Princess Yuriko of Mikasa, Princess Akiko, Princess Yoko and Princes Tsuguko were all in attendance in demure black hats.


On Thursday, Queen Maxima repeated her warm brown straw picture hat with high upswept brim.
The following new millinery designs caught my eye this week:
And from British milliner, millinery instructor and millinery flower maker Ann Tomlin, this whimsically wonderful green button percher trimmed with a handmade wildflower garden. It’s just so charming.

Lovely new portraits of the Belgian royal family (see here, here and here) released last weekend for the celebration of Princess Elisabeth’s 18th birthday
The Norwegian and Greek royals shared inspiration for their Halloween costumes this year

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Knask eller knep ? ❤️

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The Greece’s as Royal Tenenbaums

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The Imperial royal ladies in beautiful kimonos on October 31 for the 4th court enthronement banquet

Photos from social media as indicated

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 

Imperial Enthronement: Ceremony

The main element in Tuesday’s Imperial Enthronement was the Sokuirei-Seiden-no-Gi, an official proclamation ceremony where the new emperor announces to domestic and foreign audiences that he has ascended the Chrysanthemum Throne.

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This ceremony took place inside the Imperial Palace before a large audience. Emperor Naruhito again appeared in sokutai robes, this time in the dark rust-brown colour reserved for his role, and the distinctive black kanmuri hat.

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Empress Masako wore a traditional “junihitoe” multi-layered kimono which dates back to the Heian Era (794 to 1185). In white, silver, red, coral,  purple, pale peach and green, the kimono is regal and dramatic, especially paired with the the elaborate sculpted sweeping ponytail that is worn with this costume along with a triple pronged golden headpiece.

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Crown Prince Fumihito wore saffron orange sokutai robes and a black kanmuri hat.

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The Imperial princesses also wore the traditional junihitoe with Crown Princess Kiko in shades of red, pink, orange, gold, white and purple, with a top robe in slate navy and the others in layers of green, navy, red, burgundy, yellow and white with a top robe in royal purple. Each wore the traditional spiky gold headpieces atop the costume’s dramatic hairstyle.

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Crown Princess Kiko

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Princess Kako and Princess Mako

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Princess Hanako

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Princess Hanako and Princess Nobuko in front; Princesses Akiko, Yoko, Hisako and Tsuguko in back

On their own, these spiky headpieces and tall hats seem so unusual but somehow, they add to the grandeur and strong sense of history at these events.

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Next up, we’ll look at the hats worn by royal guests.

Photos from Getty as indicated 

Imperial Enthronement: Morning Court Rituals

On Tuesday, the Enthronement of Emperor Naruhito took place with a series of ceremonies at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo. Empress Masako was spotted arriving at the palace early in the morning in a sleek,  unembellished bumper hat covered in a warm shade of ivory silk.

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Designer: unknown
Previously Worn: uncertain. I think it may be same hat was worn May 7, 2019; Mar 20, 2019; Jan 7, 2019; Dec 27, 2018

The day began with the ‘Sokuirei-Tojitsu-Kashikodokoro-Omae-no-Gi’ ceremony held at the Kashikodokoro Shrine within the Imperial Sanctuaries where Emperor Naruhito ceremonially announced the enthronement ceremony, which would shortly follow. For this event, the emperor wore traditional sokutai robes in white linen specifically cultivated for this event and a tall, black kanmuri hat.


Empress Masako wore a white and peach jūnihitoe, a formal ancient kimono, with multiple (at least 12) complex layers. The traditional costume includes a specific and rather distinctive hairstyle and triple pronged silver headpiece, worn just over the forehead.

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This ceremony was attended by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, select government officials and members of the Imperial royal family. The imperial princesses followed a traditional court dress code of gowns with ivory hats.

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Princess Kiko, Princess Mako, and Princess Kako all chose bumper designs with slightly different brim shapes and trimming.

While Princess Yoko was also in a cream silk bumper hat, her sister, Princess Akiko made a slightly different statement in a pillbox with textured vertical pinstripes, trimmed with a slim band around the middle of the hat that tried in a bow at the back.

The most interesting hats were, again, worn by the Takamado princesses. Princess Hisako’s bumper variation featured less structured sides that draped into some lovely movement. Princess Tsuguko was the only one to wear a brimmed design, trimmed with a slim bow at the front.

While I understand that a string of ivory hats might not seem exciting to western fashion sensibilities, I think there’s something serenely compelling and regal about it.

Photos from Getty as indicated and Sankei News

This Week’s Extras

On Thursday, Queen Beatrix opened the opening of the 79th session of the Institut de Droit international (IDI) in the Hague. She topped her black floral dress with a black straw hat with tall, pleated Breton style brim.
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Princess Ingrid’s confirmation took place yesterday in the Chapel of the Royal Palace in Oslo. For this milestone, she, Crown Princess Mette Marit, Queen Sonja and Princess Märtha Louise, all  wore traditional Norwegian bunads with the folk costume’s wreath-style rolled headpiece .

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Ingrid’s new bunad was a gift from her grandparents, King Harald and Queen Sonja. In a wonderfully personal touch, Queen Sonja, who was a trained dressmaker before beginning her royal life, helped create the traditional folk dress.
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Ingrid’s godmother, Crown Princess Victoria, attended the event in a lilac silk chiffon dress with matching headpiece. of  lilac silk ribbon pleated flowers with hand beaded centers from Parant Parant Couture Headpieces by Örjan Jackobsson. Crown Princess Mary, who attended with Crown Prince Frederik and Prince Christian, wore a new folded headpiece in plum straw that wrapped around her head with a side rosette.
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Today, Princess Kako attended a memorial service for victims of the 1923 Great Kanto Earthquake at the Metropolitan Memorial Hall in Tokyo. She wore a sedate black silk covered hat with wide hatband and short kettle brim.

Also today, Queen Elizabeth was joined by Princess Anne and Vice Admiral Timothy Laurence for Sunday service at Crathie Kirk in Scotland. The Queen repeated a raspberry Rachel Trevor Morgan hat with sidesweeping short brim and felt feather trim while Princess Anne seems to have repeated the brown felt trilby with extended brim she first wore last Sunday.

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The following new millinery designs caught my eye this week:
Sleek olive green felt cloche with metallic gold hatband from Melbourne brand Contempromental Millinery
White straw boater hat with lace overlaid brim by German brand MATAdesign
Pale blue straw capulet with lime hatband and navy honeycomb veil from Dutch milliner Wies Mauduit
Exquisitely dramatic black lace headpiece by UK-based Italian milliner Guilia Mio
Pink buntal button with delightful ruffled swoosh from Australian milliner Rachel Henry
Rust felt pillbox with black pleated ombre trim by British milliner Jane Taylor
White percher with swirling black feathers from British milliner George Durdy
Copper straw hat with relaxed crown, wide brim and feathers by German milliner Nicky Marquardt
Purple silk abaca turban with magenta leather orchids by Australian brand Murley and Co.
Emerald silk covered button percher with crin ovelay and gold feather by Czech milliner Jolanta Kotabova
Cream and poppy red straw hat with marvelous side sweeping brim by Dutch milliner Myra van de Korput
Fantastic black straw hat with rainbow tipped ostrich feathers by Anthony Peto Chapelier

And from Australian hat shop The Essential Hat and milliner Catherine Ellen, this sunny yellow straw picture hat with cut-out brim.

The Danish monarchy released a trio of portraits to mark Prince Nikolai’s 20th birthday
Lovely portrait of the Norwegian king, queen and crown princely family taken before the formal dinner following Princess Ingrid’s confirmation
Pierre Casiraghi was part of the sailing team for Greta Thunberg’s landmark voyage and navigated some rather rough seas.
Empress Masako and the Imperial princesses donned traditional kimonos on Friday for a palace tea party hosted for African leaders.

We end this week with an August 27 performance”The Swan” by Saint-Saëns by Empress Emerita Michiko and flutist Karl-Heinz Schütz (jump to 0:30 to start)

Photos from social media as indicated

Imperial Royals Host and Embark on Foreign Visits

Numerous world leaders were in Japan this week for the G20 Summit- on Thursday, the emperor and empress welcomed French President and Mrs. Macron to the Imperial Palace for a luncheon in their honour. While the empress, as hostess, did not wear a hat, the Imperial princesses in attendance did.

Princess Mako and Princess Kako both wore silk covered bumper hats trimmed with bows at the back. It’s difficult to tell- I think Mako’s hat and suit is an almond beige while Kako’s looks to be a blush pink.


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Princess Nobuko of Mikasa wore a grey hat with Pork pie crown and rolled brim trimmed with a darker grey hatband and bow at the back. Princess Hisako of Takamado topped her blue and grey floral print suit with a repeated ivory saucer. The hat features an ivory windowpane crin inverted binding around the brim and is trimmed with pale blue silk ruffled flowers on the side.

The most interesting hats of the day were on Princess Yoko of Mikasa, who wore a white hat with wide, curved brim and tall pinched crown, trimmed with a pale turquoise hatband and Princess Tsuguko of Takamado, whose hat featured a navy crown with ivory wrap and ivory brim with a stripe of navy binding. With her navy and cream ensemble, the hat topped a crisp and very summery look.

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This year marks 100 years of Polish-Japanese diplomatic relations, a centennary being celebrated with a visit by Crown Prince Fumihito and Crown Princess Kiko to the Eastern European nation. For their arrival yesterday at the Presidential Palace in Warsaw, Princess Kiko wore a cream bumper hat with upfolded brim. Polish first lady Agata Duda’s fuchsia straw button percher with straw loops and feathers is a small hat but an eye-catching one!

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For a visit to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier later in the day, the Crown Princess wore a brimmed white hat with upturned kettle brim trimmed with a layered taupe hatband. Kiko wears so many brimless bumpers, it’s great to see her in a brimmed design for a change.

Following the visit to Poland, Crown Prince Fumihito and Crown Princess Kiko will continue to Finland where we’ll no doubt see several more hats. What do you think of these designs at these foreign diplomatic relations events?

Photos from Getty and social media as indicated