Japan’s new Emperor Naruhito, accompanied by his wife, Empress Masako, makes his first address after succeeding his father Akihito. Photo: AP

Japan has a new emperor and a new era – but can the royal family move past old, patriarchal traditions?

  • Former emperor Akihito stood up to royal household a number of times over the years, and new Emperor Naruhito may bring about institutional change of his own
  • Rules binding Japanese royal family don’t just mean they avoid celebrity status; they also make the likes of female succession a thorny issue
Topic |   Japan

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Japan’s new Emperor Naruhito, accompanied by his wife, Empress Masako, makes his first address after succeeding his father Akihito. Photo: AP
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Emperor Naruhito (right) inherits the imperial regalia. Photo: AFP

A sword, a jewel and a mirror: what are Japan’s Sacred Treasures handed over to Emperor Naruhito?

  • Together, these three items represent the valour, wisdom and benevolence that the emperor displays towards his people
  • No one other than the emperor and the most senior priests of the Shinto religion have ever seen them
Topic |   Royalty

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Emperor Naruhito (right) inherits the imperial regalia. Photo: AFP
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