Japan’s Empress Masako has defied expectations and is unquestionably thriving. Photo: Kyodo

In Japan, Empress Masako shines in the spotlight after 16 years on the sidelines

  • The new empress has surprised those who doubted she could handle the pressure of her imperial duties after the coronation of Emperor Naruhito
  • She had barely been seen in public since 2003, but last month impressed watchers at a banquet attended by US President Donald Trump
Topic |   Japan

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Japan’s Empress Masako has defied expectations and is unquestionably thriving. Photo: Kyodo
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Julian Ryall

Julian Ryall

Julian Ryall never expected to still be in Japan 24 years after he first arrived, but he quickly realised its advantages over his native London. He lives in Yokohama with his wife and children and writes for publications around the world.