Japanese Emperor Is Having A £193 Million Date With Sun Goddess
Some people tend to expect more from a first date than others - but I think the new Japanese emperor has gone and outdone everyone by planning a £193 million ($248m) one.
That's right, as part of his new role as leader of the Imperial Family, Emperor Naruhito will tonight take part in a mysterious and also well fairly expensive ritual - with none other that the Sun Goddess herself.
You can't expect her to be a cheap date can you - you don't tend to find a deity sat in 'spoons with her new fella, but the Emperor will share a full banquet with the Shinto deity Amaterasu - the sun goddess traditionally claimed by the Japanese Imperial family as one of its divine ancestors.
The meal, known as 'Daijō-sai' has been planned for months, since Naruhito formally took the throne in May - he's been out and about doing other ceremonies but has managed to pencil her in now.
So what actually happens during the 'date'?
Well they started preparing for it months ago. Firstly, the shell of a tortoise was baked until it fractured, and then the cracks in the shell determined where the rice which would be used in the ritual would be planted.
In this case, it was in Kyoto. An expert on this type of thing, Japanologist John Breen, said that it would be then offered to the sun goddess in two wooden halls, that have been purpose built within the grounds of the Imperial Palace.
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The halls cost millions of dollars to make and will be burned down after the ceremony.
The Emperor will spend about six hours with the sun goddess in the ceremony, which is attended only by the emperor, two 'maidens' and the sun goddess herself.
In the 1920s, it was said that the pair have 'relations' - there are silk covered beds in the halls. But apparently, thankfully for the Emperor's wife, that idea isn't really accepted anymore.
The ritual formerly reinforced the Emperor's divine right to rule, but these days it's seen more of a tradition, since the country banned the Imperial family from engaging in politics and Emperor Hirohito, Naruhito's grandfather renounced his divine status in the 20th century.
Still though, bet they had a right good scran - you'd hope so for £193 million wouldn't you?
Featured Image Credit: PA