07 April 2017

Tiara Thursday (on a Friday): Princess Nori's Tiara

The Japanese imperial family puts on a splendid tiara show when the occasion calls for it (as seen just this week), thanks to their abundance of princesses and their practice of providing each with at least one full parure to wear. One of my favorite Japanese tiaras, however, does not appear in the current line up.

Princess Nori's Tiara
This graceful tiara by Mikimoto dates from 1923/24 and features layered diamond scrolls of graduated heights topped with single round diamonds. The largest single stone is a 3 carat diamond positioned in the middle of the tiara, which can be removed for use in a ring or brooch. The tiara was worn by Princess Nori (Sayako Kuroda), the youngest child and only daughter of Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko.

Bangja, Crown Princess Euimin of Korea
It is thought to be a reworking of a tiara that belonged to Bangja, Crown Princess Euimin of Korea (1901-1989). She was a Japanese woman, born Princess Masako of Nashimoto, who married Crown Prince Euimin of Korea in 1920. Korea was under Japan's rule at this time, following annexation in 1910; the Korean monarchy had been stripped of its rule and the prince was under Japanese control.

Princess Nori
The resemblance between the two tiaras suggests that Crown Princess Bangja's tiara was used to create the tiara given to Princess Nori when she came of age. Like other Japanese tiaras, it came with an accompanying set of jewelry; unlike several of the newly made tiaras given to Japanese princesses in recent years (and even a few older ones), the set's necklace is not a mirror image of the tiara.

See video of the last time this tiara was worn here.
Princess Nori wore the tiara for regular imperial events up until 2005, when she married Yoshiki Kuroda. In accordance with imperial household law, her marriage to a commoner meant that she had to give up her title, her official place in the imperial family, and her state allowance. Princess Nori is now known as Sayako Kuroda. She still attends some imperial events, just not in the same capacity as she did before and with no use for a tiara. Tiaras are provided by the imperial household and are returned when no longer needed; they might appear again as additional options for other family members, or - as is thought to have been the case with this tiara - they could be remade in the future. I hope this one returns in its current state, because it is lovely.

Do you find this one a standout from the Japanese tiara crowd?