Tomorrow, Japan's Emperor Naruhito will proclaim his succession to the Chrysanthemum Throne in an enthronement ceremony. Here's a basic primer on the celebration, which will take place in Tokyo in front of dignitaries from around the world.
This marks Japan's first enthronement ceremony in three decades.
In May, Naruhito's 85-year-old father Emperor Akihito abdicated the Chrysanthemum Throne, becoming the first Japanese emperor to do so in 200 years.
"I am deeply grateful for the people that accepted me as a symbol and supported me," Akihito said at the time, per the BBC. "I pray, with all my heart, for peace and happiness for all the people in Japan and around the world."
Diplomatic representatives from nearly 200 countries are expected to be in attendance.
That number include other royals as well as political leaders. Notably, U.S. transportation secretary Elaine Chao is expected to attend. (Previously Vice President Mike Pence was supposed to travel to Japan for the ceremony, but a change was made somewhat last minute).
Prince Charles will also be there, representing the United Kingdom—he previously attended Akihito's enthronement ceremony with Princess Diana—as will other members of royal families throughout the world such as: King Jigme and Queen Jetsun of Bhutan, Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg, Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden, and King Felipe and Queen Letizia of Spain, among others.
The ceremony will take place at 1 p.m. on October 22 at Imperial Palace’s prestigious Matsu no ma or "Hall of Pine."
For the ceremony, Naruhito will wear a traditional robe and headdress, and step onto a raised pavilion known as a "takamikura" to proclaim his enthronement publicly.
A sword and a jewel, two of the symbols of the emperor, will also be present. According to the New York Times, the ceremony is expected to be about 30-minutes, and that Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will make a speech following Naruhito's declaration.
The celebration will then continue with a banquet and garden party for the foreign representatives in attendance.
Per Reuters, later on in November, Naruhito will take part in a "great thanksgiving ceremony," in which he will make an offering of rice and sake and will pray for a large harvest and peace in the country.
The formal parade in honor of the ceremony has been postponed.
Following Typhoon Hagibis, the government of Japan has postponed a procession in honor of the enthronement ceremony, so they can better deal with the aftermath of the natural disaster. It has reportedly been rescheduled for November.
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