Imperial Couple Visit Toyota Factory

After returning to Tokyo earlier this week, Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko visited the Toyota factory in Toyota City. The purpose of the visit was to see steps in the production of the “Mirai”, Toyota’s car powered by hydrogen fuel. Empress Michiko repeated the hat she débuted early last month, thankfully providing us a much better view.

Empress Michiko, July 27, 2015 | Royal Hats

Made up of stacked white and grey flat disks, the bottom grey disk is covered in silver fishnet which lends a subtle sheen to the piece. The hat is trimmed with a flat white and grey bow behind which are tucked some silk leaves and flowers. From the closer view I have tried to provide below, the hat is much more adorned than many of the hats Michiko has worn in recent years.

Empress Michiko, July 27, 2015 | Royal Hats

Designer: unknown. Likely Akio Hirata
Previously Worn: June 3, 2015;  May 26, 2015

While I love to see Michiko’s hat style expanding by even the tiniest of steps, I’m a little perplexed by the choice of this particular piece with her boldly patterned hound’s tooth check coat. The Empress has a number of hats with hound’s tooth check trims (see here, here, and here) and I would have expected her to pair this coat with one of those hats, which would have coordinated more directly.

Photo from Asahi Shimbun via Getty

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14 thoughts on “Imperial Couple Visit Toyota Factory

  1. I’n confused by the apparently conflicting dress codes here. The Empress is in a formal suit and hat (doesn’t get much more formal for daytime) while the Emperor is in shirt sleeves with no tie. They don’t seem to match!

    • I agree with what Cath says: July 30, 2015 at 1:55 am. I do like the Empress’s hat, but the way they are dressed seems rather a mismatch.

  2. We live in an entirely different part of the world. Our ideas of fashion is not at all related. I am not sure we should critize.

    • Japan is not a country totally removed from western fashion (like Bhutan is). I think it’s fair to give the same opinions to the Empress that we give to other royals. We all know her hat style is different and she’s not treated unfairly. Besides, the opinions today aren’t even about her hat style but about her hat not being a perfect match to her outfit as all the rest of her hats are. It’s not even an opinion it’s an observation.

      If there were any mean comments here I’d agree with you but there aren’t. I’ve read your comments on other royals in other posts here and you are one of the most critical Jane. Just sayin’.

      • Unless, there is more than one Jane and then I take back my comment. But I’m pretty sure you’re the same Jane who is VERY critical about a lot of royal hats.

      • Yes I noted last week there are two Janes.
        It does bother me that these royals are placed here for critism…they live such a different way. They must feel comfortable within themselves . Due to the differences it seems unfair for us to make comments about their hats, their placements or whatever. Perhaps they feel the reverse. There seems to be a lack of respect in the mix somewhere.

        I also do get upset the way our own Queen is dressed. She deserves better. I also believe better is possible. Let’s hope better comes her way soon.

        • The focus of this blog is to admire, discuss and critique royal hats. This principle is clearly laid out in the Royal Hats comment policy which reads as follows:

          All opinions and comments about hats are welcome. Opinions and comments about the real people involved – those both wearing or designing these hats – must remain respectful. This is not a place for personal attacks on any fellow human, either royal or non-royal. Inappropriate comments, including speculation about a royal’s character, will be deleted without notice; those who leave inappropriate comments more than three times will simply find themselves prohibited from commenting on this blog. Fun, wit, questions, and sarcasm is welcome as long as the overall tone remains respectful.

          I won’t respond to your accusation that royals are “placed here for criticism” because it’s an obviously rubbish claim. I do, however, feel called to defend the many other commenters who share their responses, insights, personal anecdotes and perspectives about royal hats here in such wonderfully respectful and thoughtful ways. Implying that these comments are disrespectful is inaccurate and unfair. While there is often varied opinion, I am so honoured that the vast majority of commenters here at Royal Hats consistently retain a respectful tone.

  3. Perhaps the empress selected the hat to coordinate with her dress, which seems to be similar colors. Judging from the emperor’s shirtsleeves, I’m guessing it was warm in the plant, and if there was a luncheon following the tour, perhaps she planned to remove the coat for that. Whatever her reasons, i do like this hat.

  4. At first glance, I was perplexed by the hat combination with the coat, too. But it makes perfect sense when you see that it ties her directly to the Emperor by way of his silvery gray shirt. At least, that’s my explanation, and I’m stickin’ to it!

    • The grey of her hat matching the grey of the Emperor’s shirt was exactly what I was thinking! The other times she wore houndstooth detailing in her hat, she was only wearing a houndstooth skirt, with her tops breaking it up. I think having houndstooth in her hat with this coat would’ve been too much too close together in the whole outfit.

  5. Is this (like Queen Elizabeth’s papal visit) the case of someone getting the wrong hat ready? All of the Empress’s hats have been so carefully matched to the outfit, and as you mentioned, she has a variety of houndstooth-trimmed saucers available. For me this is a rare miss for the Empress. I’m not fond of the shape of today’s coat either. But I’m sure that those who are tired of her traditional matchy-match style will welcome the change.

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