The Japanese Imperial Family's first cautious approach to Instagram

The Japanese Imperial Family recently opened an Instagram account. Although the photos posted on the page currently depict its members at official events, and in some cases are already in the public domain, the creation of the page is a sign of remarkable and unusual openness. In fact, the Imperial Family is traditionally considered very conservative, also because until 1945 the Emperor was considered a manifestation of divinity in the traditional Japanese religion, Shinto, and remains an important religious figure.

The Emperor and Empress visit places affected by the January 1, 2024 earthquake in western Japan (Kunaicho_jp/Instagram)

The photos published are all fairly official, unlike what other royal families around the world have done, who have instead used social media to convey an image of themselves closer to the daily lives of their subjects. There are photos of the imperial couple visiting places hit by the January 1, 2024 earthquake, at official meetings with other kings and heads of state, or inspecting competing specimens in a bonsai competition (trees that have been pruned to remain very small, typical of bonsai trees). Japanese traditions).

The page is named Imperial Household Agency in Japanese Konisho, the Japanese government body that handles the affairs of the Imperial Family. Japan's monarchs are the only ones in the world who still use the position of “Emperor”: since 2019, it has been held by Naruhito, who succeeded his father Akihito after he abdicated for health reasons.

The Emperor and Empress of Japan, center, with the Sultan of Brunei and his wife (Kunaicho_jp/Instagram)


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