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Japan's Reiwa era

Japan's emperor performs first ritual at Imperial Palace

New monarch also reports dates of enthronement and thanksgiving ceremonies

Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako attend a ritual of reporting dates for the enthronement and great thanksgiving ceremonies at the Imperial sanctuaries on May 8. (Courtesy of Imperial Household Agency)

TOKYO -- Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako performed their first ritual at the Imperial Palace on Wednesday, kicking off a series of enthronement ceremonies that will last until fall.

In the afternoon, another ceremony took place, that of dispatching Imperial envoys to Ise Shrine as well as to the mausoleums of Emperor Jinmu and of the four most recent emperors through Emperor Showa.

The rite of reporting the dates of the enthronement and great thanksgiving ceremonies started at the Imperial sanctuaries at around 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, with the emperor wearing korozen no goho ceremonial robes and the empress wearing an itsutsuginu five-layered robe, kochigi outer robe and long hakama.

The emperor and empress worshipped at the three palace sanctuaries -- Kashikodokoro, Koreiden and Shinden. The Sun Goddess Amaterasu-omikami is enshrined at Kashikodokoro. Past emperors and Imperial family members are worshipped at Koreiden. And Yaoyorozu no kami, or multitudinous deities, are enshrined at Shinden.

Inside the sanctuaries, the emperor bowed and read out a statement reporting that the ceremony to proclaim his enthronement will be held on Oct. 22 and that the key great thanksgiving ceremony will be held on Nov. 14-15.

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