Of all the requests I've gotten in the past few months for more information on non-European royal families, requests for Japanese tiaras seem to be the most popular. Information isn't widely available in this realm; the Japanese imperial family is a tight-lipped organization. No, you won't find any Japanese empresses casually discussing personal tiara stories in documentary format any time soon. Nevertheless, we'll do our best.
Japan's monarchy has a long and rich history, but most of that history doesn't include tiaras as we typically define them. The tiara is not a part of Japanese traditional dress - this is not what you top your kimono with. It wasn't until Westernization hit Japan in the Meiji era (1868-1912) that tiaras began to enter the imperial family's jewelry box.
One of the most important diadems in the collection is the Imperial Chrysanthemum Tiara. Depicting chrysanthemum flowers surrounded by foliage, the tiara is entirely diamond. In fact, there isn't a non-white tiara publicly worn by the imperial ladies today - they're all diamonds with a smattering of pearls here and there. White is an important color for the family, and is the traditional color of dress for senior ladies at the most formal imperial events.
|Imperial Seal of Japan|
|The empress wearing the Imperial Chrysanthemum Tiara with a sampling of the depth of the imperial tiara collection behind her, at the New Year's reception in 2012|
How does this one rank among your favorite floral tiaras?
Photos: All Over Press/yuk02ch