TOKYO, Japan (October 22, 2019): Meticulously following centuries old tradition, Emperor Naruhito proclaimed his ascension to the Chrysanthemum Throne of Japan October 22, an event witnessed Japan-wide on television and by an impressive list of distinguished guests of royals, heads of state and distinguished guests.
An estimated 900 invited guests both from Japan and abroad, including Palau President Tommy Remengesau, attended the ceremony as damp and chilly weather followingTropical Storm Neoguri passed Tokyo heading toward northeastern Japan’s Sanriku coast.
Main Tokyo thoroughfares leading to the Imperial Palace were sparsely populated with mainly police, security personnel, news crews and some locals hoping to catch sight of either the Emperor and Empress or their distinguished guests.
The streets were devoid of gawking crowds with people moving around in their normal course of business, stopping only briefly to watch the ceremony on television screens before moving on.
The ceremonial parade that was suppose to occur after the Enthronement Ceremony was postponed to November 12 in consideration of the victims of the recent Typhoon Hagibis. Hagibiscaused flooding and land slides claiming over 80 lives and millions of dollars in lost property.
As the enthronement ceremony was taking place, recovery efforts were ongoing at 11 prefectures that felt the brunt of the Typhoon Hagibis. Meanwhile, preparations were also being made to mitigate heavy rainfall predicted to be brought in by the downgraded Typhoon Neoguri.
Despite incongruity of Japanese people’s response to Emperor Naruhito’s Enthronement Ceremony, it is no less important as a 21-year-olduniversity student Shogo Isoadmitted, “I feel sense of pride in the Emperor even though I don’t know much about them. I feel the Emperor family have connection to us.”
Another university student Mai Yamada explains her feelings as demonstrated by her uncle whom she recounted, cried when he saw the Emperor waving a flag. She said she felt a “sense of psychological comfort and security” when she sees the Emperor even though she too felt she did not know enough about Emperor’s personal life. (L.N. Reklai)