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Royal Wedding Attire Posted by on Jun 29, 2010 in Culture

Seventeen years ago in June, Prince Naruhito (皇太子徳仁親王) married a commoner named Masako Owada (小和田 雅子) :

After the ceremony, the Prince changed into a black suit and the newly crowned Princess changed into a white wedding dress. The actual wedding ceremony was held in the traditional Japanese style for royals. In the heat of June, both the Prince and his wife dressed in layers of clothing.

The bride wore a traditional kimono called a Jūnihitoe (十二単衣). The jūnihitoe is a multi-layer kimono worn by high ranking ladies of the court. The jūnihitoe is made with five to twelve layers of silk. Each layer is colorful and bright. The sleeves of the jūnihitoe are long enough to cover the hands. The whole robe itself is loose and behind the robe is a long train of silk.

The groom wore a traditional robe called sokutai (束帯). The sokutai is an outfit worn by nobles and royalty. The groom also carried a shaku (), which is a thin, flat scepter made of wood. The shaku is held in the hand. On top of the groom’s head was a long cap called a kanmuri () and for shoes, the Prince wore a type of high heeled shoe.

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