Emperor performs first ritual at Imperial Palace
NHK -- May 09
Emperor Naruhito has performed his first ritual at the Imperial Palace since his accession to the throne last week.

The Emperor visited the three Imperial sanctuaries Wednesday morning to report to the Sun Goddess, the souls of his ancestors, and various deities the dates of the Enthronement Ceremony and the Great Thanksgiving Ceremony.

He looked solemn, dressed for the first time in the court costume which has been the Emperor's formal attire for important rituals since ancient times.

Chamberlains accompanied him, carrying a sword and a jewel, two of the three sacred treasures that symbolize the status of the Emperor.

Inside the sanctuaries, the Emperor bowed and read out a statement reporting that the ceremony to proclaim his enthronement will be held on October 22 and the key ritual of the Great Thanksgiving Ceremony will be held from November 14 to 15.

Later, Empress Masako, in an ancient-style kimono and hairstyle, similarly bowed to the Imperial ancestors. It was her first visit to the three Imperial sanctuaries since December 2002.

The ceremony was witnessed by Crown Prince Akishino and seven other members of the Imperial family, as well as the country's leaders, including the prime minister, the heads of both chambers of the Diet, the chief justice of the supreme court and Cabinet members.

即位の礼と大嘗祭(だいじょうさい)の期日を伊勢神宮などに報告するため天皇陛下が使いを派遣する儀式「勅使発遣の儀」が皇居・宮殿で行われました。 8日午後2時すぎ、冠に御引直衣(おひきのうし)と呼ばれる装束に身を包んだ天皇陛下が宮殿「竹の間」に入られました。
News sources: NHK, ANNnewsCH
Jul 18
Police have confirmed 25 people have died in a suspected arson attack in Kyoto. They say 36 others were injured and five others are still unaccounted for. (NHK)
Jul 18
Johnny and Associates Inc., one of the most powerful talent agencies in Japan, is suspected of having pressured commercial broadcasting television stations to stop inviting three former members of popular boy band SMAP on their shows after they left the office in 2017, sources familiar with the matter said Wednesday. (Kyodo)
Jul 18
A Japanese policeman stabbed another officer by mistake during training when he used a real knife instead of a replica. (NHK)
Jul 18
Tokyo DisneySea will launch a new flight simulator attraction Tuesday that promises to make visitors feel as if they are soaring over famous landmarks such as the Great Wall of China and the Egyptian pyramids. (Japan Times)
Jul 17
School-related matters led to more suicides last year among youth aged between 10 and 19 than any other issue, the government said Tuesday in its annual paper on the topic. (Japan Times)
Jul 17
Over two weeks of cloudy and rainy days in Tokyo and nearby areas has resulted in higher vegetable prices and sluggish sales of summer clothing. (Japan Times)
Jul 17
Former Emperor Akihito briefly suffered from cerebral anemia last week, forcing him to postpone his regular health checkup, the Imperial Household Agency said Tuesday. (Japan Today)
Jul 17
Toyota Motor Corp. and Japan's space exploration agency said Tuesday they have signed a three-year agreement to jointly research and develop a rover to be sent to the Moon in 2029. (Kyodo)
Jul 16
The Tokyo metropolitan region experienced another cloudy and rainy day on Monday, marking the 18th straight day in which the country’s capital has seen less than three hours of sunshine per day. (Japan Today)
Jul 16
The sounds of chanting men carrying huge, decorated floats signaled the climax of the Hakata Gion Yamakasa festival. Each float weighs more than one ton. (NHK)