• Saturday, May 25, 2024


After British Royals, Japan’s Imperial Family join the gram

The Imperial Household’s presence on Instagram represents a calculated move to reinforce its conservative and safe brand image.

Japan’s Emperor Naruhito (L), Empress Masako (C) and their daughter Princess Aiko (R) wave to well-wishers on the balcony of the Imperial Palace. (Photo credit: Getty images)

By: Vibhuti Pathak

Japan’s Imperial Family recently made its debut on Instagram, joining the ranks of other royal households that have long embraced social media platforms. Led by Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako, the family’s presence on Instagram marks a significant departure from tradition for the world’s oldest continuing monarchy.

While Japan’s Imperial Family had been among the last notable royal families to fully engage with the digital era, their arrival on Instagram was seen as inevitable given the increasing reliance on smartphones for accessing content.

However, for those expecting an intimate glimpse into the personal lives of the royals, the account has a formal tone and a curated gallery of images. The account primarily focuses on documenting royal duties and engagements. The captions, written exclusively in Japanese, provide factual recaps of events without offering personal reflections or insights.

Despite the limited interaction and absence of personal touches, the Imperial Household’s presence on Instagram represents a calculated move to reinforce its conservative and safe brand image. By tightly controlling the narrative and content shared on the platform, the royal family aims to minimize the risk of misinformation or controversy.

Unlike some other royal households, the Japanese royals have opted to disable comments on their posts—a decision in line with the trend observed in corporate social media strategies. By preventing potential brand damage and maintaining control over the discourse, the Imperial Household seeks to preserve its reputation and dignity in the digital realm.

While the adoption of Instagram may seem belated compared to other royal families, Japan’s Imperial Family has a unique relationship with its populace—one characterised by reverence and respect. With a history of using traditional media channels to communicate with the public, the family’s foray into social media represents a continuation of their strategy to maintain a respectful distance while fostering familiarity.

In essence, Japan’s Imperial Family’s presence on Instagram signifies a delicate balance between tradition and modernity—a strategic step toward engaging with a new generation of subjects while upholding centuries-old values of dignity and propriety.

As they navigate the digital landscape, the Imperial Family remains steadfast in their commitment to preserving their esteemed legacy for generations to come.

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