The Japanese royal family debuts on Instagram and this is its first photo

The Imperial House of Japan has decided to open the doors of its traditionally reserved kingdom to the digital masses, officially launching its Instagram account.

Oliver Thansan
Oliver Thansan
31 March 2024 Sunday 17:04
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The Japanese royal family debuts on Instagram and this is its first photo

The Imperial House of Japan has decided to open the doors of its traditionally reserved kingdom to the digital masses, officially launching its Instagram account. This step, which marks a before and after in the history of the Japanese monarchy, symbolizes a small advance towards modernization.

The debut of the account was this Monday, April 1. With more than 280,000 followers accumulated in a short time, the @kunaicho_jp account is presented as a new channel to publicize Japanese imperial activities and responsibilities, from meetings with foreign leaders to admiration for traditional Japanese culture, such as bonsai.

The Instagram account, although cautious in its content, has generated significant expectation and reception among users of the platform. The 19 publications, which range from formal photos to videos of official events, are accompanied by precise descriptions and without space for informal or personal content.

This reflects the sacredness and historical depth of the Japanese monarchy, whose mythological origins date back more than two millennia and where uttering any public comments against the emperor remains taboo in the country.

Thus, the first post that served to inaugurate the account is a carousel in which Emperor Naruhito appears with Empress Masako and her daughter Aiko on the occasion of the New Year celebration at the Imperial Palace. There are also some images of the subsequent ceremony with Japanese dignitaries.

The opening of this account not only seeks to modernize the image of the Imperial House but also to put it in parallel with other monarchies, such as the British - the Spanish has not yet taken this step -, which have known how to use social networks to strengthen ties with the citizens and publicize their charitable and official activities. However, unlike other royal houses, the imperial account does not follow other users and, for the moment, has not explored more dynamic formats such as Instagram stories.

The decision to integrate into the world of social media was carefully considered by the Imperial Household Agency, especially after facing visibility problems during the coronavirus pandemic.

The impossibility of holding public events at that time highlighted the importance of social networks as the only viable means of sharing the work and commitments of the emperors with the public. The choice of this platform, therefore, aligns with a broader effort to modernize the image of the monarchy while maintaining its dignity and tradition.

This step also responds to the need to reach the younger generations, in an attempt to make them participate and aware of the role of the imperial family in today's society. In this sense, the creation of a public relations office last year marked the beginning of this new digital era for the monarchy.