First portrait of Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko since enthronement unveiled

JIJI

The Imperial Household Agency unveiled on Monday the first portrait of Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko since their enthronement.

The portrait, 2 meters in width and height, was painted by Hiroshi Noda, 81, a master artist and painter specializing in realism. The work depicts the Emperor standing to the left with the Empress on the right.

According to the agency, there are a total of 31 portraits of emperors and empresses from the Meiji to Showa eras in existence.

The only portrait of Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko was drawn when they were still Crown Prince and Princess in 1974, at the request of a group of Japanese Brazilians. It is not held at the Imperial Palace.

After the Emperor’s 80th birthday in 2013 and ahead of the 30th anniversary of their enthronement in 2019, the agency asked Noda to paint their portrait after obtaining approval from the couple.

The work was started in 2014, and the completed portrait was handed over to the Imperial Palace in March this year.