Tokyo Imperial Palace
The Tokyo Imperial Palace is the primary residence of the Emperor of Japan. It is a large park-like area located in the Chiyoda ward of Tokyo and contains buildings including the main palace, the private residences of the Imperial Family, an archive and administrative offices, it is built on the site of the old Edo Castle. The total area including the gardens is 1.15 square kilometres. During the height of the 1980s Japanese property bubble, the palace grounds were valued by some to be more than the value of all of the real estate in the state of California. After the capitulation of the shogunate and the Meiji Restoration, the inhabitants, including the Shōgun Tokugawa Yoshinobu, were required to vacate the premises of the Edo Castle. Leaving the Kyoto Imperial Palace on 26 November 1868, the Emperor arrived at the Edo Castle, made it to his new residence and renamed it to Tōkei Castle. At this time, Tōkyō had been called Tōkei, he left for Kyōto again, after coming back on 9 May 1869, it was renamed to Imperial Castle.
Previous fires had destroyed the Honmaru area containing the old donjon. On the night of 5 May 1873, a fire consumed the Nishinomaru Palace, the new imperial Palace Castle was constructed on the site in 1888. A non-profit "Rebuilding Edo-jo Association" was founded in 2004 with the aim of a correct reconstruction of at least the main donjon. In March 2013, Naotaka Kotake, head of the group, said that "the capital city needs a symbolic building", that the group planned to collect donations and signatures on a petition in support of rebuilding the tower. A reconstruction blueprint had been made based on old documents; the Imperial Household Agency at the time had not indicated. In the Meiji era, most structures from the Edo Castle disappeared; some were cleared to make way for other buildings while others were destroyed by earthquakes and fire. For example, the wooden double bridges over the moat were replaced with iron bridges; the buildings of the Imperial Palace constructed in the Meiji era were constructed of wood.
Their design employed traditional Japanese architecture in their exterior appearance while the interiors were an eclectic mixture of then-fashionable Japanese and European elements. The ceilings of the grand chambers were coffered with Japanese elements; the floors of the public rooms had parquets or carpets while the residential spaces used traditional tatami mats. The main audience hall was the central part of the palace, it was the largest building in the compound. Guests were received there for public events; the floor space was more than 223 tsubo or 737.25 m2. In the interior, the coffered ceiling was traditional Japanese-style; the roof was styled to the Kyoto Imperial Palace, but was covered with copper plates rather than Japanese cypress shingles. In the late Taishō and early Shōwa period, more concrete buildings were added, such as the headquarters of the Imperial Household Ministry and the Privy Council; these structures exhibited only token Japanese elements. From 1888 to 1948, the compound was called Palace Castle.
On the night of 25 May 1945, most structures of the Imperial Palace were destroyed in the Allied firebombing raid on Tokyo. According to the US bomber pilot Richard Lineberger, Emperor's Palace was the target of their special mission on July 29, 1945, was hit with 2000-pound bombs. In August 1945, in the closing days of World War II, Emperor Hirohito met with his Privy Council and made decisions culminating in the surrender of Japan at an underground air-raid shelter on the palace grounds referred to as His Majesty's Library. Due to the large-scale destruction of the Meiji-era palace, a new main palace hall and residences were constructed on the western portion of the site in the 1960s; the area was renamed Imperial Residence in 1948, while the eastern part was renamed East Garden and became a public park in 1968. Interior images of the old Meiji-era palace, destroyed during World War II The present Imperial Palace encompasses the retrenchments of the former Edo Castle; the modern palace Kyūden designed for various imperial court functions and receptions is located in the old Nishinomaru section of the palace grounds.
On a much more modest scale, the residence of the current Emperor and empress is located in the Fukiage Gardens. Designed by Japanese architect Shōzō Uchii the modern residence was completed in 1993. Except for Imperial Household Agency and the East Gardens, the palace is closed to the public, except for reserved guided tours from Tuesdays to Saturdays; each New Year and Emperor's Birthday, the public is permitted to enter through the Nakamon where they gather in the Kyuden Totei Plaza in front of the Chowaden Hall. The Imperial Family appears on the balcony before the crowd and the Emperor gives a short speech greeting and thanking the visitors and wishing them good health and blessings; every year a poetry convention called Utakai Hajime is held at the palace on January 1. The old Honmaru and Sannomaru compounds now comprise the East Gardens, an area with public access containing administrative and other public buildings; the Kitanomaru Park is the former northern enceinte of Edo Castle. It is the site of the Nippon Budokan.
To the south are the outer gardens of
The Japan Times
The Japan Times is Japan's largest and oldest English-language daily newspaper. It is published by The Japan Times, Ltd. a subsidiary of News2u Holdings, Inc.. It is headquartered in the Kioicho Building in Kioicho, Tokyo; the Japan Times was launched by Motosada Zumoto on March 22, 1897, with the goal of giving Japanese an opportunity to read and discuss news and current events in English to help Japan to participate in the international community. The paper was independent of government control, but from 1931 onward, the Japanese government was mounting pressure on the paper's editors to submit to its policies. In 1933, the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs managed to appoint Hitoshi Ashida, former Ministry official, as chief editor. During World War II, the newspaper served as an outlet for Imperial Japanese government propaganda and editorial opinion; the paper's circulation at that time was about 825,000. It was successively renamed The Japan Times and Mail following its merger with The Japan Mail, The Japan Times and Advertiser following its merger with The Japan Advertiser, Nippon Times before reverting to the Japan Times title in 1956.
The temporary change to Nippon Times occurred during ban of English language sentiment during World War II era Japan. Shintaro Fukushima became the president in 1956, he exchanged each company's stock with Toshiaki Ogasawara. After Fukushima renounced managing rights, Ogasawara's company Nifco, a manufacturer of automotive fasteners, acquired control of The Japan Times in 1983 and changed all of former staffs and company's tradition established in 1897. Nifco chairman Toshiaki Ogasawara served as the chairman and publisher of The Japan Times until 2016, his daughter Yukiko Ogasawara was president of the company from 2006 to 2012, when she was replaced by career Japan Times staffer Takeharu Tsutsumi. Yukiko succeeded her father as chairman of the company in 2016. Nifco sold The Japan Times to News2u Holdings, Inc. on June 30, 2017. After being sold to the "PR company" News2u, the Japan Times changed its editorial stance and contributor lineup as part of efforts to reduce criticism of the paper as an "anti-Japanese" outlet.
In November 2018, the newspaper announced in an editor's note that it would replace the term "forced labor" with "wartime laborers", the term "comfort women" with "women who worked in wartime brothels, including those who did so against their will, to provide sex to Japanese soldiers", in its subsequent articles. The change drew immediate criticism from readers and employees, with particular concerns expressed over the paper's apparent alignment with the political positions of Prime Minister Shinzō Abe; the Japan Times, Inc. publishes three periodicals: The Japan Times, an English-language daily broadsheet. The daily's content includes: News: domestic and world news. Opinion: editorials, op-eds, letters to the editor. Features: life and style, media, technology and drink, environment, cartoons. Entertainment: film, music, books, event previews, festival listing. Sports: domestic and overseas sports news, including coverage of baseball, basketball, figure skating. Since 16 October 2013, The Japan Times has been printed and sold along with The New York Times International Edition.
Printed stories from The Japan Times are archived online. The newspaper has a reader's forum and, since 2013, the website offers a section for readers' comments below articles; this came about during a redesign and redevelopment of the newspaper, using Responsive Web Design techniques so the site is optimised for all digital devices. The Japan Times has a social media presence on Twitter and Google+. Monty DiPietro, art critic John Gauntner, Nihonshu columnist Don Maloney Dreux Richard, African community, investigative Donald Richie, film critic Edward Seidensticker Robert Yellin Ceramic Scene columnist Jean Pearce, Community columnist Fred Varcoe, Sports editor Elyse Rogers and Fume Miyatake, Women in Business Columnists Mark Brazil, "Wild Watch" nature columnist Staff at The Japan Times are represented by two unions, one of, Tozen. Capital: ¥100,000,000 Business: Publishes The Japan Times, The Japan Times On Sunday, The Japan Times Alpha, books in English and Japanese Genki: an Integrated Course in Elementary Japanese A Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar Yomiuri Shimbun International Herald Tribune Asahi Shimbun Media related to The Japan Times at Wikimedia Commons The Japan Times Online The Japan Times Plus The Japan Times Bookclub Genki Online
National Printing Bureau
National Printing Bureau is a Japanese governmental agency in charge of the production of Japanese paper money, Japanese yen. It produces various other products, such as postage stamps and the official governmental gazette; the Paper Money Office was created on July 27, 1871 under the administration of the Ministry of Finance, was soon renamed in August the Paper Money Bureau. At the time, banknote printing was outsourced to the United States and Germany, as Japan did not have the required facilities for domestic production; the bureau managed the issue and exchange of banknotes. In January 1872, production of paper money was handed over to the Paper Money Bureau, it acquired papermaking and printing duties; these included the production of banknotes, postage stamps, typographic printing. The first domestically produced Japanese money, a 1-yen banknote, was created on October 15, 1877; the Paper Money Bureau was merged with the Official Gazette Bureau on January 1, 1898, thus acquired the duty of printing the Official Gazette, starting July 2, 1898.
The Bureau became an incorporated administrative agency in April 2003. The NPB includes a Head Office, Research Institute, Government Publications Service Center, several production plants; the head office includes strategic planning and auditing, security products, information products and development, general affairs, human resources, finance and accounting departments. The NPB has several production plants. Toranomon is responsible for publishing the Official Gazette and other government publications. At Takinogawa banknotes, public bonds, certificate stamps are made, at Oji postage stamps are printed. Plants at Odawara and Hikone produce banknotes, while Odawara makes paper as well, along with Okayama; the Bureau's environmental philosophy is "Conduct business activities in harmony with the environment." It is attempting to acquire ISO 14001 certification. Five of its plants have done so: Takinogawa in 2002, Odawara in 2004, Hikone in 2006, Okayama in 2007, Shizuoka in 2009; the Bureau publishes an environmental report on its website yearly.
Five areas of focus are: Environmental Compliance: Compliance with environmental laws and regulations Resource and Energy Saving: Reduction in the usage of resources and energy, in waste production Product Design and Production with Low Environmental Load: Engineering products for minimal environmental impact in all phases of the product lifecycle Green Procurement Environmental Conservation Enlightenment: Promotion of awareness through employee education programs
Cinnabar and cinnabarite deriving from the Ancient Greek: κιννάβαρι, refer to the common bright scarlet to brick-red form of mercury sulfide, the most common source ore for refining elemental mercury, is the historic source for the brilliant red or scarlet pigment termed vermilion and associated red mercury pigments. Cinnabar occurs as a vein-filling mineral associated with recent volcanic activity and alkaline hot springs; the mineral resembles quartz in its exhibiting birefringence. The color and properties derive from a structure, a hexagonal crystalline lattice belonging to the trigonal crystal system, crystals that sometimes exhibit twinning. Cinnabar has been used for its color since antiquity in the Near East, including as a rouge-type cosmetic, in the New World since the Olmec culture, in China since as early as the Yangshao culture, where it was used in coloring stoneware. Associated modern precautions for use and handling of cinnabar arise from the toxicity of the mercury component, recognized as early as ancient Rome.
The name comes from Ancient Greek: κιννάβαρι, a Greek word most applied by Theophrastus to several distinct substances. Other sources say the word comes from the Persian: a word of uncertain origin. In Latin, it was sometimes known as minium, meaning "red cinnamon", though both of these terms now refer to lead tetroxide. Cinnabar is found in a massive, granular or earthy form and is bright scarlet to brick-red in color, though it occurs in crystals with a nonmetallic adamantine luster, it resembles quartz in its symmetry. It exhibits birefringence, it has the highest refractive index of any mineral, its mean refractive index is 3.08, versus the indices for diamond and the non-mineral gallium arsenide, which are 2.42 and 3.93, respectively. The hardness of cinnabar is 2.0–2.5 on the Mohs scale, its specific gravity 8.1. Structurally, cinnabar belongs to the trigonal crystal system, it occurs as granular to massive incrustations. Crystal twinning occurs as simple contact twins. Note, mercury sulfide, HgS, adopts the cinnabar structure described, one additional structure, i.e. it is dimorphous.
Cinnabar is the more stable form, is a structure akin to that of HgO: each Hg center has two short Hg−S bonds, four longer Hg···S contacts. In addition, HgS is found in a non-cinnabar polymorph that has the zincblende structure. Cinnabar occurs as a vein-filling mineral associated with recent volcanic activity and alkaline hot springs. Cinnabar is deposited by epithermal ascending aqueous solutions far removed from their igneous source, it is associated with native mercury, realgar, marcasite, quartz, dolomite and barite. Cinnabar is found in all mineral extraction localities that yield mercury, notably Almadén; this mine was exploited from Roman times until 1991, being for centuries the most important cinnabar deposit in the world. Good cinnabar crystals have been found there.. Appear in Puerto Princesa, it was mined near Red Devil, Alaska on the middle Kuskokwim River. Red Devil was named after a primary source of mercury, it has been found in Dominica near its sulfur springs at the southern end of the island along the west coast.
Cinnabar is still being deposited at the present day, such as from the hot waters of Sulphur Bank Mine in California and Steamboat Springs, Nevada. As the most common source of mercury in nature, cinnabar has been mined for thousands of years as far back as the Neolithic Age. During the Roman Empire it was mined both as a pigment, for its mercury content. To produce liquid mercury, crushed cinnabar ore is roasted in rotary furnaces. Pure mercury separates from sulfur in this process and evaporates. A condensing column is used to collect the liquid metal, most shipped in iron flasks. Associated modern precautions for use and handling of cinnabar arise from the toxicity of the mercury component, recognized as early as in ancient Rome; because of its mercury content, cinnabar can be toxic to human beings. Though people in ancient South America used cinnabar for art, or processed it into refined mercury "the toxic properties of mercury were well known, it was dangerous to those who mined and processed cinnabar, it caused shaking, loss of sense, death.
Data suggest that mercury was retorted from cinnabar and the workers were exposed to the toxic mercury fumes." Overexposure to mercury, was seen as an occupational disease to the ancient Romans: "Mining in the Spanish cinnabar mines of Almadén, 225 km southwest of Madrid, was regarded as being akin to a death sentence due to the shortened life expectancy of the miners, who were slave
The Asahi Shimbun is one of the five national newspapers in Japan. Its circulation, 7.96 million for its morning edition and 3.1 million for its evening edition as of June 2010, was second behind that of Yomiuri Shimbun. The company has its registered headquarters in Osaka. One of Japan's oldest and largest national daily newspapers, the Asahi Shimbun began publication in Osaka on 25 January 1879 as a small-print, four-page illustrated paper that sold for one sen a copy, had a circulation of 3,000 copies; the three founding officers of a staff of twenty were Kimura Noboru, Murayama Ryōhei, Tsuda Tei. The company's first premises were at Edobori in Osaka. On 13 September of the same year, Asahi printed its first editorial. In 1881, the Asahi adopted an all-news format, enlisted Ueno Riichi as co-owner. From 1882, Asahi began to receive financial support from the Government and Mitsui, hardened the management base. Under the leadership of Ueno, whose brother was one of the Mitsui managers, Murayama, the Asahi began its steady ascent to national prominence.
On 10 July 1888, the first issue of the Tokyo Asahi Shimbun was published from the Tokyo office at Motosukiyachō, Kyōbashi. The first issue was numbered No. 1,076 as it was a continuation of three small papers: Jiyū no Tomoshibi, Tomoshibi Shimbun and Mesamashi Shimbun. On 1 April 1907, the renowned writer Natsume Sōseki 41, resigned his teaching positions at Tokyo Imperial University, now Tokyo University, to join the Tokyo Asahi Shimbun; this was soon after the publication of his novels Wagahai wa Neko de Aru and Botchan, which made him the center of literary attention. On 1 October 1908, Osaka Asahi Shimbun and Tokyo Asahi Shimbun were merged into a single unified corporation, Asahi Shimbun Gōshi Kaisha, with a capitalization of 600,000 yen. In 1918, because of its critical stance towards Terauchi Masatake's cabinet during the Rice Riots, government authorities suppressed an article in the Osaka Asahi, leading to a softening of its liberal views, the resignation of many of its staff reporters in protest.
Indeed, the newspaper's liberal position led to its vandalization during the February 26 Incident of 1936, as well as repeated attacks from the right wing throughout this period. From the latter half of the 1930s, Asahi ardently supported Prime Minister Fumimaro Konoe's wartime government and criticized capitalism harshly under Taketora Ogata, the Editor in Chief of Asahi Shimbun. Influential editorial writers of Asahi such as Shintarō Ryū, Hiroo Sassa, Hotsumi Ozaki were the center members of the Shōwa Kenkyūkai, a political think tank for Konoe. Ogata was one of the leading members of the Genyōsha, formed in 1881 by Tōyama Mitsuru; the Genyōsha was an ultranationalist group of organized crime figures and those with far right-wing political beliefs. Kōki Hirota, hanged as a Class A war criminal, was a leading member of the Genyōsha and one of Ogata's best friends. Hirota was the chairman of Tōyama's funeral committee, Ogata was the vice-chairman. Ryū, a Marxist economist of the Ōhara Institute for Social Research before he entered Asahi, advocated centrally planned economies in his Nihon Keizai no Saihensei.
And Sassa, a son of ultranationalistic politician Sassa Tomofusa, joined hands with far-right generals and terrorists who had assassinated Junnosuke Inoue, Baron Dan Takuma and Prime Minister Inukai Tsuyoshi to support Konoe. In 1944, they attempted assassination of Prime Minister Hideki Tōjō. On 9 April 1937 the Kamikaze, a Mitsubishi aircraft sponsored by the Asahi Shimbun company and flown by Masaaki Iinuma, arrived in London, to the astonishment of the Western world, it was the first Japanese-built aircraft to fly to Europe. On 1 September 1940, the Osaka Asahi Shimbun and the Tokyo Asahi Shimbun unified their names into the Asahi Shimbun. On 1 January 1943, the publication of the Asahi Shimbun was stopped by the government after the newspaper published a critical essay contributed by Seigō Nakano, one of the leading members of the Genyōsha and Ogata's best friend. On 27 December 1943, Nagataka Murayama, a son-in-law of Murayama Ryōhei and the President of Asahi, removed Ogata from the Editor in Chief and relegated him to the Vice President to hold absolute power in Asahi.
On 22 July 1944, Vice President of Asahi, became a Minister without Portfolio and the President of Cabinet Intelligence Agency in Kuniaki Koiso's cabinet. On 7 April 1945, Hiroshi Shimomura, former Vice President of Asahi, became the Minister without Portfolio and the President of Cabinet Intelligence Agency in Kantarō Suzuki's cabinet. On 17 August 1945, Ogata became the Minister without Portfolio and the Chief Cabinet Secretary and the President of Cabinet Intelligence Agency in Prince Higashikuni's cabinet. On 5 November 1945, as a way of assuming responsibility for compromising the newspaper's principles during the war, the Asahi Shimbun's president and senior executives resigned en masse. On 21 November 1946, the newspaper adopted the modern kana usage system. On 30 November 1949, the Asahi Shimbun started to publish the serialized cartoon strip Sazae-san by Machiko Hasegawa; this was a la
2019 Japanese imperial transition
Emperor Akihito of Japan is set to abdicate on 30 April 2019, which will make him the first Japanese Emperor to do so in over two hundred years. This marks the end of the Heisei period, will precipitate numerous festivities leading up to the accession of his successor, Crown Prince Naruhito; the enthronement ceremony will happen on 22 October 2019. Akihito's younger son, Prince Akishino, is expected to become his brother's heir presumptive. In 2010, Emperor Akihito informed his advisory council that he would like to retire from his demanding job. However, no action was taken by senior members of the Imperial Household Agency. On 13 July 2016, national broadcaster NHK reported that the Emperor wished to abdicate in favor of his elder son Crown Prince Naruhito within a few years. Senior officials within the Imperial Household Agency denied that there was any official plan for the monarch to abdicate. A potential abdication by the Emperor would require an amendment to the Imperial Household Law, which has no provisions for such a move.
On 8 August 2016, the Emperor gave a rare televised address, where he emphasized his advanced age and declining health. With the intention of the abdication now known, the Cabinet Office appointed Yasuhiko Nishimura as the Imperial Household Agency's Vice Grand Steward. In October 2016, the Cabinet Office appointed a panel of experts to debate the Emperor's abdication, which recommended that the law should be a one-off measure for Akihito alone. In January 2017, the Lower House Budget committee began informally debating the constitutional nature of the abdication. On 19 May 2017, the bill that would allow Akihito to abdicate was issued by the Japanese government's cabinet. On 8 June 2017, the National Diet passed a one-off bill allowing Akihito to abdicate, for the government to begin arranging the process of handing over the position to Crown Prince Naruhito; the abdication has been set to occur on 30 April 2019. He will receive the title of Jōkō, an abbreviation of Daijō Tennō, upon abdicating, his wife, the Empress, will become Jōkōgō.
On 1 December 2017, the Imperial Household Council, which had not met in 24 years, did so in order to schedule the ceremonials involved in the first such transfer of power in two centuries. The Imperial Household Council consists of the Prime Minister, the Speaker and Vice-Speaker of the House of Representatives, the President and Vice-President of the House of Councillors, the Grand Steward of the Imperial Household Agency, the Chief Justice and one justice of the Supreme Court, two members of the Imperial Family. Prince Akishino, the Emperor's younger son, has been asked to stand down as he is an "interested party" in the matter, he was replaced by Prince Hitachi, the Emperor's 82-year-old younger brother, the other one is Hitachi's wife Princess Hanako. Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told reporters that the date was chosen to permit the old Emperor to be able to preside over a 30th anniversary Jubilee and to coincide with the Golden Week annual holiday period, turning the changeover from a period of mourning and makeshift ceremonial into a joyous, well-planned, festival.
On December 8, 2017, the government created a special committee to oversee the events. According to Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga: "It will deal with the matter properly, taking into consideration the possible impact on the people's lives." The committee met for the first time in January 2018, the following month announced that a plan called a "basic policy statement," was released on April 3. Official farewell celebrations began with a 30th Jubilee ceremony on February 12, 2019, a delay which would avoid any implication of a celebration of the death of the Emperor Shōwa on January 7; the government has consolidated the Golden week holidays into a special ten day block lasting from April 27 to May 6. Had the transition not been scheduled in advance, April 29 and May 3–6 are national holidays in 2019, following the weekend of April 27–28; the abdication and enthronement would both be national holidays, public holiday law states that a regular work day sandwiched between two national holidays would become "Public" holidays.
Since the Meiji Restoration in 1867, a new Japanese Era starts. However, in Emperor Akihito's case, manufacturers of calendars and other paper products need to know the new Era's name in advance to produce wares in a timely manner. While the Era names for the Shōwa and Heisei eras were kept state secrets until the deaths of the previous Emperors, not possible in this case, because an abdication is unprecedented since the 1885 Meiji Constitution was adopted. In order to prevent divisive debate on the subject, delaying the announcement as late as is possible, either the old Emperor's birthday or his jubilee celebrations had been suggested; until the Era name became known and software manufacturers needed to test their systems before the transition in order to ensure that the new era will be handled by their software. Some systems provide test mechanisms to simulate a new era ahead of time; the new Era name, "Reiwa", was revealed on 1 April 2019 by Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga during a televised press conference.
The Enthronement Ceremony for Emperor Naruhito is scheduled to take place on 22 October 2019, marking the end of the transition period. It is to be an extra holiday. Emperor Akihito informs his advisory council that he would like to retire and to help him arrange it. July: Emperor Akihito leaks to the press his wishes to retire. July 13: NHK reports his wishes to the public. August 8: The Emperor makes address to the public o
Imperial Household Agency
The Imperial Household Agency is an agency of the government of Japan in charge of state matters concerning the Imperial Family, keeping of the Privy Seal and State Seal of Japan. From around the 8th century AD up to the Second World War, it was named the Imperial Household Ministry; the agency is unique among conventional government agencies and ministries, in that it does not directly report to the Prime Minister at the cabinet level, nor is it affected by legislation that establishes it as an Independent Administrative Institution. The Agency is headed by the Grand Steward and he is assisted by the Vice-Grand Steward; the main elements of the organization are: the Grand Steward's Secretariat the Board of Chamberlains the Crown Prince's Household the Board of Ceremonies the Archives and Mausolea Department the Maintenance and Works Department the Kyoto OfficeThe current Grand Steward is Shin'ichirō Yamamoto. The Agency's headquarters is located within the grounds of the Imperial Palace in Tokyo.
The Agency's duties and responsibilities encompass the daily activities, such as state visits, organising events, preservation of traditional culture, administrative functions, etc. the agency is responsible for the various imperial residences scattered throughout the country. Visitors who wish to tour the Tokyo Imperial Palace, the Kyoto Imperial Palace, the Katsura Detached Palace, other sites, should register for guided tours with the agency first; the Agency has responsibility for the health and travel arrangements of the Imperial family, including maintaining the Imperial line. The Board of the Chamberlains, headed by the Grand Chamberlain, manages the daily life of the Emperor and the Empress, it keeps the Privy Seal and State Seal of Japan. A "Grand Master of the Board of the Crown Prince's Household" helps manage the schedules, dining menus, household maintenance of the Crown Prince and his family; the Imperial Household Agency can trace its origins back to the institutions established by the Taihō Code promulgated in 701–702 AD.
The Ritsuryō system established the namesake Ministry of the Imperial Household, a precursor to the present agency. The old code gave rise to the Ministry of Ceremonial which has its legacy in the Board of Ceremonies under the current agency, the Ministry of Civil Administration which oversaw the Bureau of Music that would now correspond to the Agency's Music Department; the basic structures remained in place until the Meiji Restoration. The early Meiji government installed Imperial Household Ministry on 15 August 1869. However, there is a convoluted history of reorganization around how the government bodies that correspond to constituent subdivisions of the current Agency were formed or empowered during this period; the Department of Shinto Affairs and the Ministry of Shinto Affairs were in existence and placed in charge of, e.g. the Imperial mausolea under the Office of Imperial Mausolea, one of the tasks designated to the Agency today. Meanwhile, the Meiji government created the Board of Ceremonies in 1871, soon renamed Bureau of Ceremonies in 1872.
And by 1872 the Ministry of Shinto Affairs was abolished, with the bulk of duties moved to the Kyōbu shō and the administration of formal ceremonial functions transferred to the aforementioned Board/Bureau of the Ceremonies. The Bureau of the Ceremonies was under the sway of the Great Council of State but was transferred to the control of the Imperial Household Ministry in September 1877; the Bureau underwent yet another name change to Board of Ceremonies in October 1884. Since the name remained unchanged and is, headed by the Master of Ceremonies. An Imperial Order in 1908 confirmed that the Imperial Household Minister, as the chief official was called, was responsible for assisting the Emperor in all matters concerning the Imperial House; the ministry oversaw the official appointments of Imperial Household Artists and commissioned their work. The Imperial Household Office was a downgraded version of the ministry, created pursuant to Imperial Household Office Law Law No. 70 of 1947 during the American Occupation of Japan.
Its staff size was downscaled from 6,200 to less than 1,500, the Office was placed under the Prime Minister of Japan. In 1949, Imperial Household Office became the Imperial Household Agency, placed under the fold of the newly created Prime Minister's Office, as an external agency attached to it. In 2001, the Imperial Household Agency was organizationally re-positioned under the Cabinet Office; the Agency has been criticized for isolating members of the Imperial Family from the Japanese public, for insisting on hidebound customs rather than permitting a more approachable, populist monarchy. These criticisms have become more muted in recent years. Prince Naruhito, in May 2004, criticised the then-Grand Steward of the Imperial Household, Toshio Yuasa, for putting pressure on Princess Masako, Naruhito's wife, to bear a male child. At a press conference, Naruhito said that his wife had "completely exhausted herself" trying to adapt to the imperial family's life, added "there were developments that denied Masako's career as well as her personality."
It has been stat