National

Emperor hosts Daikyo-no-Gi grand banquet at Imperial Palace

JIJI

The first round of Daikyo-no-Gi grand banquets for Emperor Naruhito and guests who attended the Daijosai grand thanksgiving ceremony took place at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo on Saturday.

The day’s banquet, held after Daijosai was performed by the emperor from Thursday evening to early Friday, was attended by more than 280 people, including Empress Masako, Crown Prince Akishino, who is the younger brother of the emperor, and Crown Princess Kiko, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and the heads of the country’s parliamentary and judicial branches.

Emperor Naruhito appeared in the Homeiden state banquet hall shortly past noon with a sacred sword and the curved jewels, two of the three sacred treasures which symbolize the chrysanthemum throne.

“After finishing Daijokyu-no-Gi, I’m really glad to have you all here at Daikyo-no-Gi,” the emperor said, referring to the key rite in the Daijosai ceremony. “Taking this opportunity, I pray for the happiness of the people and further development of the country.”

Abe congratulated the emperor on successfully performing the Daijokyu-no-Gi rite.

After making a toast, Emperor Naruhito, Empress Masako and other participants enjoyed Japanese cuisine.

The emperor assumed the throne on May 1.

The second and final round of Daikyo-no-Gi will be held Monday.

For Emperor Emeritus Akihito, the father of the current emperor, three rounds of Daikyo-no-Gi were held over two days in November 1990. He ascended the throne in January 1989.