Raw Japan

Slices of Japanese business, politics and life

Emperor enjoys hip-hop hurrah

November 14, 2009

Japan’s Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko celebrated 20 years on the throne this week with a typical formal ceremony, including a speech from the prime minister and classical music performances.

But the elderly imperial couple then escaped the palace for an outdoor celebration that included hip-hop dancers.


Friday’s newspapers showed the Imperial couple, both 75, beaming as they watched the show from a balcony, overlooking thousands of flag-waving Japanese.JAPAN-EMPEROR/

EXILE, an all-male group among Japan’s top selling artists, eschewed their usual wear for formal black suits and white ties, delivering a song and dance performance of “Flower of the Sun”.

“The sun shines without changing. It smiles at the breeze and quietly watches over everyone,” go the lyrics, composed especially for the occasion.

Legend has Japan’s imperial family, and Akihito, as descended from the sun goddess Amaterasu.

“It was a truly fun time,” Akihito was quoted as saying after the event. “Thank you very much.”

Photo credit: REUTERS/pool

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