During the abdication ceremony on Tuesday, which lasted simply over 10 minutes, the emperor and empress stood solemnly on a stage in a state room with wooden flooring that evoked a highschool gymnasium.
A crowd of almost 300 politicians, Supreme Court judges and their spouses watched the proceedings, in which palace chamberlains positioned an imperial sword, jewels and seals, all wrapped in silk material, on cypress benches flanking the stage.
Akihito wore a topcoat and tails with a silver tie, and Michiko wore a floor-length silver-white robe with white gloves.
In his transient deal with, with Crown Prince Naruhito and his spouse standing to the aspect simply off the stage, the departing emperor mentioned he had prayed that the new period could be “peaceful and fruitful.”
At the finish of the ceremony, Akihito, now emperor emeritus, stepped down from the stage, turned and waited. He wished to offer his spouse a hand down the steps.
The following morning, Naruhito, the new emperor, returned to the similar room at the palace to obtain the sword, jewels and seals. He stood on the similar stage the place his father and mom had stood, however alone, with out his spouse, Masako. Off the stage beside him was his brother, Akishino.
Under the Imperial Household Law, which governs the line of succession in addition to most issues of protocol associated to Japan’s monarchy, girls in the royal household usually are not permitted to be in the room throughout the sacred regalia ceremony. Satsuki Katayama, the sole girl in Mr. Abe’s cupboard, was current amongst a small viewers of 26 individuals. Another girl, Misuzu Iwami, deputy chief of the board of ceremonies for the Imperial Household Agency, stood alongside a wall.
Empress Masako, together with a number of different princesses, joined the new emperor for his formal remarks.