Imperial Couple Remember Hanshin Tragedy

Last Friday and Saturday, Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko traveled to the Hyōgo Prefecture to take part in commemoration events for the 20th anniversary of the Great Hanshin earthquake (in 1995, Southern Hyōgo Prefecture was severely devastated by a magnitude 7.2  earthquake which destroyed major parts of the cities of Kobe,  Awaji, Takarazuka and Osaka and claimed the lives of 6,500 people). On Friday, the Imperial couple visited Hyōgo Emergency Medical Center in Kobe City. Empress Michiko’s petite saucer hat was made of the same finely patterned black and white check as her suit. This hat was trimmed with a half-black-half-checked bow and small white blossoms- trims I thought fell rather flat

Empress Michiko, January 16, 2015 | Royal Hats

Designer: likely Akio Hirata
Previously Worn: I believe this hat is new

On Saturday, the Imperial couple attended a formal remembrance service. Empress Michiko repeated her dove grey rimmed saucer hat with dark grey puffed bow for this event. I really like the dimension and contrast this bow lends to this hat.

Empress Michiko, January 17, 2015 | Royal Hats Empress Michiko, January 17, 2015 | Royal Hats

Designer: likely Akio Hirata
Previously Worn: April 11, 2014December 6, 2013; December 2, 2013

Photos from Sankei, Sankei and Asahi

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10 thoughts on “Imperial Couple Remember Hanshin Tragedy

  1. The Empress’s role is not to be a clothes horse. The aim is to look classic, dignified, and elegant. The Empress has developed her own distinctive style. As she is known to get headaches, and often has to wear hats for many hours at a time, it is understandable that she wants to keep them small and light. The Japanese Imperial family have to have their clothes and hats approved by The Imperial Household Agency, so they cannot just wear what they like. Many of the Empress’s larger hats were among my best choices in HatQueen’s 2014 polls.

  2. I like both the hats and outfits on her. The Empress is constrained in what she can wear because of the Imperial Household Agency rules, and also the fact that she suffers headaches, and can no longer even wear a tiara.

    • I also experience headaches and hats are too heavy and painful when I have a headache. I now have more understanding and compassion for Empress Michiko’s small hats.

  3. I too wonder about the Empress and her hat choices. I have decided I would not like to be constrained by the obvious rules and regulations that govern the Imperial Family to the point that all hats must exactly match the outfit. It just makes me yawn. Give me Maxima, Mathilde or Sophie any day! Even H.M. the Queen shows more individuality in co-ordinating her ensembles and her hats.

    • Glitter Girl I have to agree with you. I am very impressed with the Empress since she appears to be, or can be, more adventurous with her outfits and hats, but still to the point of boredom. Queen Maxima and Queen Mathilde are a breath of fresh air.

  4. I’m not trying to be sarcastic, but does the Empress ever wear a different style other than the little round saucer hat? Is there a restriction on the type of hat she is allowed to wear or is she just comfortable with this particular style of headgear?

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