Japanese imperial throne taken apart and moved to Tokyo ahead of 2019 coronation

The Takamikura throne, left, and Michodai, a curtained platform, placed at the Kyoto Imperial Palace (Kyodo News via AP)

The monumental imperial throne for the coronation of Japan’s new emperor has arrived in Tokyo from an ancient imperial palace in Kyoto more than a year ahead of time.

Crown Prince Naruhito will become Japan’s next emperor on May 1 next year, the day after his 84-year-old father Emperor Akihito abdicates.

The Takamikura throne will be used at a ceremony in October 2019, when Naruhito formally announces his succession.

Naruhito will ascend to the elevated, octagonal structure to proclaim his enthronement in front of selected guests from around the world.

The 6.5-metre high (21ft high) canopied structure, decorated with lacquerware, gold and other ornaments, has been used for coronations and other key imperial rituals since around the eighth century, according to the Imperial Household Agency.

Japan’s Emperor Akihito reads an address on the Takamikura throne in 1990 Credit: Kyodo News via AP

It was last used by Akihito in 1990 and has since been stashed away at the Kyoto Palace.

The structure was taken apart for its delivery to Tokyo, where it will be repaired, fine-tuned and reassembled by March, the palace said.

Packs containing parts of the Takamikura throne are loaded on to a lorry at the Kyoto Imperial Palace Credit: Kyodo News via AP

It comes with a similar structure for Naruhito’s wife, Masako, the next empress.

Together, the structures are made up of 3,000 parts.

Naruhito, 58, will be the 126th emperor of one of the world’s oldest monarchies.

The Takamikura throne is disassembled at the Kyoto Imperial Palace Credit: Kyodo News via AP

He will be Japan’s first emperor born after the Second World War.

The current structure was built for his great-grandfather Taisho’s coronation in 1915 and was also used for his grandfather Hirohito, who was revered as the god of Shinto until the end of the Second World War, which Japan fought in his name.

At the time of Akihito’s coronation, the throne had to be airlifted by a Japanese Self-Defence Force helicopter in a highly secretive operation amid protests by extremists who said the throne’s use in a state ceremony violated the constitutional separation of state and religion.