In Japan, Prince Hiro, the eldest son of the Crown Prince took part in an ancient coming of age ceremony on his twentieth birthday (23 February).
SV: Japanese Prince Hiro in ceremonial robes walks with attendants and is seated on chair in the Imperial Palace, Tokyo. (2 shots)
SCU: Prince seated
GV: The Emperor and Empress entering room.
GV AND SV: Silk cap symbolising youth removed by attendants (3 shots)
GV: Attendants place cap of "manhood" on head. (2 shots)
SV AND GV: Crown Prince and Princess watching.
GV AND SV: Prince Hiro addressing members of Royal family. (2 shots)
GV: Prince leaving as ceremony finishes.
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Background: In Japan, Prince Hiro, the eldest son of the Crown Prince took part in an ancient coming of age ceremony on his twentieth birthday (23 February). The celebration took place at the Imperial Palace and was attended by the Emperor and Empress and other members of the Royal family. And according to the record of the Imperial Household, this is the first time that such a ceremony for a grandson of a still-reigning emperor has been held.
SYNOPSIS: The Emperor's grandson, Prince Hiro is a second year history student at the Gaku Shuin University's School of Literature and until this ceremony was not considered a full-fledged adult member of the Japanese Royal family. The ritual was carefully studied for more than a year so that everything could be done as it had been for centuries. The Prince came into room dressed as a juvenile -- in a gown and head-gear that symbolised his youth.
Because Prince Hiro is the eldest Royal grandson, the emperor and Empress were honoured guests at the ceremony.
It was the Deputy Grand Chamberlain of the Royal household, Yoshihiro Tokugawa who symbolically removed his raw-silk hat to mark the end of the Prince's youth. The Prince was interviewed before the ceremony and said that his role as a member of the Royal Family will increase now that the has become a man.
What was formally called the head-gear of maturity was then placed on the Prince's head and the twenty year old Prince was fully recognised as an adult.
Prince Hiro then expressed his gratitude to his parents for having raised him, and to his grandfather and grandmother the Emperor and Empress for their support.
The ceremony was followed by several days of celebrations. Banquets attended by government officials and other members of the royal family with the Prince as host, and an informal tea party for the Prince's teachers and Classmates were all part of the young man's coming-of-age rite.