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Gold, silk, lacquer: the kit and garb of Japan’s imperial ceremony

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RARELY seen outfits, elaborate thrones and ancient paraphernalia adorn Tuesday’s sacred and sumptuous ceremony marking the formal ascension of Emperor Naruhito to Japan’s Chrysanthemum Throne.

The new emperor took the throne earlier this year after his father Akihito’s abdication, but the proclamation ceremony cements the transition in stunning style.

Here are some of the elements that will be on show:

Imperial Thrones

The emperor and empress are each allotted an enormous throne, consisting of a relatively restrained seat set inside an elaborate canopy atop a fenced platform.

The emperor’s eight-tonne throne is called “Takamikura”, while the empress’s smaller “august seat” is known as “Michodai”.

The structures are made of lacquered cypress wood and were disassembled for transport from the ancient capital of Kyoto to Tokyo for the ceremony.

The emperor’s seat sits inside a canopy featuring rich purple curtains hanging from a roof decorated with golden curlicue adornments and 16-petal chrysanthemum crests.

Underneath is a rectangular stage with low........

© Asian Correspondent