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Explainer: Symbolic night with goddess to wrap up Japan emperor's accession rites


TOKYO (Reuters) - On Thursday evening, Japan’s Emperor Naruhito will dress in pure white robes and be ushered into a dark wooden hall for his last major enthronement rite: spending the night with a goddess.

Centred on Amaterasu Omikami, the sun goddess from whom conservatives believe the emperor has descended, the “Daijosai” is the most overtly religious ceremony of the emperor’s accession rituals after his father Akihito’s abdication.

Scholars and the government say it consists of a feast, rather than, as has been persistently rumoured, conjugal relations with the goddess.

Although Naruhito’s grandfather Hirohito, in whose name ...


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