Thousands of well-wishers brave cold to gather at Japan’s royal palace shouting Banzai to congratulate Emperor Naruhito on his enthronement
- Tens of thousands gathered outside palace to congratulate the new Emperor
- Naruhito and Empress Masako greeted well-wishers from the Nijubashi bridge
- The royal couple held paper lanterns as the crowds below cheered Banzai
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Japanese Emperor Naruhito thanked tens of thousands of well-wishers who gathered outside the palace to congratulate his enthronement.
Saturday’s ceremony was organized by conservative political and business groups.
Naruhito and Empress Masako greeted well-wishers from the Nijubashi bridge overlooking the crowd who shouted cheers of Banzai, or long live, for the emperor in unison, while waving Japanese ‘rising sun’ flags.
The royal couple held paper lanterns and moved them up and down in harmony with the Banzai cheers.
Well-wishers wave Japanese flags as Japan’s Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako make an appearance outside the palace on Saturday
WEl-wishrs ghold Japanese national flags as they cheer during a national celebration event to mark Emperor Naruhito’s enthronement
Japanese Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako hold lanterns on the Nijubashi bridge overlooking the crowd
Well-wishers wave Japanese flags as Japan’s Emperor and Empress make an appearance a day before a royal parade
Naruhito, who has pledged to stay close to the people, expressed his sympathy to the victims and residents hit by deadly storms last month.
‘I deeply appreciate that so many of you gathered despite the cold weather today to celebrate my enthronement,’ said Naruhito, standing next to his Harvard-educated wife, also a former diplomat.
The celebration featured music and dance performances, including the song ‘Ray of Water’ performed by the hugely popular Japanese male pop group Arashi and dedicated to the emperor, who is known for his studies of water.
Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako stand on the Nijubashi bridge during the National Festival to celebrate the throne of the new Emperor
Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako wave to the crowds below
Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako stand on the bridge at the Imperial Palace on Saturday evening
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe pledged to make Naruhito’s imperial era one ‘filled with peace and hope for everyone to blossom.’
Abe’s key ultra-conservative supporter, Nippon Kaigi, or Japan Conference, was among the organizers Saturday. The group is pushing to restore a deified emperor, and to preserve a male-only succession and a patriarchal system.
Naruhito said the devastation caused by Typhoon Hagibis and a severe rainstorm in October ‘has pained my heart,’ and expressed hope for a speedy reconstruction in the affected areas.
J-pop group Arashi perform a song composed for the celebration event to mark the enthronement of Japan’s Emperor Naruhito in Tokyo
General view of the celebration event to mark the enthronment of Japan’s Emperor Naruhito
Well-wishers wave flags outside the palace. Naruhito ascended to the Chrysanthemum Throne on May 1 following the abdication of his father, Akihito
The typhoon and the rainstorm in central and northern Japan left more than 100 people dead and about 100,000 homes flooded or damaged.
Naruhito ascended to the Chrysanthemum Throne on May 1 following the abdication of his father, Akihito. He proclaimed his enthronement at in an ancient-style palace ceremony on Oct. 22.
Saturday’s celebration comes on the eve of a royal parade that had been postponed due to the damage from the storms.
Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako on Nijubashi bridge. Saturday’s celebration comes on the eve of a royal parade that had been postponed due to the damage from the storms