Japan's Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako beam in family portraits

Japan’s Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako beam in family portraits with their daughter Princess Aiko for the New Year

  • Emperor Naruhito happily smiled for family photos at Tokyo’s Imperial Palace  
  • He was pictured with his wife, Empress Masako, 59, and daughter Princess Aiko 
  • The Emperor, 62, looked sharp in a black suit as his wife donned a cream blazer 
  • READ: Princess Kako of Japan marks her 28th birthday with new official portraits 

Japan’s Emperor Naruhito appeared in high spirits as he posed for a New Year’s portrait at Tokyo’s Imperial Palace with his wife and daughter.  

He donned a sophisticated black suit, teamed with a cream tie, as he sat next to Empress Masako – who was effortlessly elegant in a white blazer and skirt – and their daughter Princess Aiko in a smiling family photo.

The trio was surrounded by beautiful traditional interiors as they marked the world saying goodbye to 2022 and greeting the first day of 2023 today. 

The Empress, 59, who smiled next to her husband, 62, collected her chestnut tresses back in a sleek style, looking beautiful with a minimal coat of make-up and matching pearl jewellery. 

Japan’s Emperor Naruhito appeared in high spirits as he posed for a New Year’s portrait at Tokyo’s Imperial Palace with his wife and daughter

Elsewhere the young Princess Aiko, 21, stunned in a pastel, peachy dress and blazer as she wore her raven locks in a half-up half-down style, emulating her mother with the understated but beautiful accessory choices.

Emperor Naruhito’s father – Emperor Emeritus Akihito, 89 – also appeared in the festive pictures, looking refined as ever in a deep navy, double breasted suit. 

He was snapped with his wife Empress Emerita Michiko, 88, who sported a glamorous ensemble in muted tones, featuring a square-neck top and a flowing skirt.

Other family members in the jovial portraits also included Japan’s Crown Prince, and the Emperor’s younger brother Prince Akishino, 57.

Emperor Naruhito’s father – Emperor Emeritus Akihito, 89 – also appeared in the festive pictures, looking refined as ever in a deep navy, double breasted suit

The trio was surrounded by beautiful traditional interiors as they marked the world saying goodbye to 2022 and greeting the first day of 2023 today

The Empress, 59, who smiled next to her husband, 62, collected her chestnut tresses back in a sleek style, looking beautiful with a minimal coat of make-up and matching pearl jewellery

He smiled candidly while speaking to his family and flipping through a book in the pictures, dressed in a simple black suit.

His wife Princess Kiko, 56, was the picture of elegance in a cream cardigan blazer, adorned with pearl jewellery and an ornate brooch, worn over a matching dress.

The couple’s children Princess Kako, 28, and Prince Hisahito, 16, appeared to laugh along with their parents in the sweet family photos.

Kako – whose birthday was only a few days before the New Year’s Eve celebrations – looked incredible in a dusky pink dress, which she teamed with minimal accessories and a simple hairstyle as her teenage brother opted for a classic black suit. 

Emperor Emeritus Akihito was snapped with his wife Empress Emerita Michiko, 88, who sported a glamorous ensemble in muted tones, featuring a square-neck top and a flowing skirt

The pair appeared to be in good spirits as they smiled for the family’s festive portraits at the Akasaka imperial property residence in Tokyo

The niece of Emperor Naruhito marked her 28th birthday with new official portraits – after taking on the official duties left by her older sister Princess Mako, who has moved to New York with her commoner husband.

Kako posed up a storm at the Akasaka imperial property residence in Tokyo on December 2, ahead of celebrating her birthday a couple of days ago. 

In the photographs, the princess, dressed in a white jumper and jacket with a cream pleated skirt, walked through a scenic woodland.

The younger daughter of Crown Prince Akishino and Crown Princess Kiko has spent the past year actively filling in for her older sister, Mako Komuro, who relocated to New York in 2021, according to the Japan Times.

Princess Kako took over as honorary president of the Japan Tennis Association and president of the Japan Kogei Association following her sister’s departure.

Other family members in the jovial portraits also included Japan’s Crown Prince, and the Emperor’s younger brother Prince Akishino, 57, alongside his wife and children

The couple’s children Princess Kako, 28, and Prince Hisahito, 16, appeared to laugh along with their parents in the sweet family photos

She also visited urban green infrastructure events this year, which her sister used to attend.

It was reported the former princess Mako is working as an unpaid volunteer at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art after giving up her titles – and a $1.3 million payout – to marry her ‘commoner’ college sweetheart. 

In November, it was revealed that Mako’s husband Kei Komuro has passed the New York bar exam after two failed attempts.

Meanwhile, Mako is working in the iconic museum’s Asian art collection, helping to put together an exhibit of paintings inspired by the life of a 13th century monk who introducing Buddhism in Japan, according to the Japan Times.

Kako – whose birthday was only a few days before the New Year’s Eve celebrations – looked incredible in a dusky pink dress, which she teamed with minimal accessories and a simple hairstyle

The Upper East Side museum is a 10-minute drive from the luxury one-bedroom apartment in Hell’s Kitchen that she shares with husband and aspiring lawyer Kei Komuro, 30.

The couple were engaged for eight years before tying the knot last October in a small civil ceremony in Tokyo.

Because only male members of the Japanese imperial family are allowed to wed non-royals, Mako’s decision to marry for love means that she is no longer considered a princess and any future sons will not be in the line of succession for the emperorship.

Mako and Kei met in 2013 when they were both studying at the International Christian University outside Tokyo, where she studied art and cultural heritage. She went on to work as a special researcher at Tokyo’s University Museum.

Earlier this year, the Crown Prince Akishino officially became the heir to the throne following Emperor Naruhito’s accession in 2019.

Nahurito, who ascended the throne himself following the abdication of his father, Emperor Akihito, does not have a male heir, and according to Japanese succession rules, only a man can ascend the throne.

In April, Crown Prince Akishino travelled to the holy shrine at Ise, Mie, where he completed the ritual known as Rikkoshi no Rei, which all heirs to the Chrysanthemum Throne are asked to do.

The ritual first began in 2020, when Nahurito had to send envoys across Japan to locations which have a strong link with the Imperial family, to report that Fuhimito will be his heir.

The locations included Ise Jingu, a Shinto shrine complex in Mie Prefecture, the mausoleum of Emperor Jinmu, Japan’s mythical first Emperor, in Nara Prefecture, and the mausoleum of Emperor Showa, Emperor Naruhito’s grandfather.

After the envoys reported on the news, ceremonies were performed at each sites.

Read more:

  • Crown Prince Akishino of Japan marks his 57th birthday with new official family photos – WITHOUT Princess Mako who’s moved to New York with commoner husband
  • Third time lucky! Kei Komuro, husband of Japan’s former Princess Mako, finally passes his New York bar exam – after failing his first two attempts
  • Japan’s former Princess Mako is now working as an unpaid volunteer at the Met Museum in NYC after giving up her titles and moving to the US to marry ‘commoner’ college boyfriend

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