World’s oldest monarchy launches Instagram account in bid to win over youth

Japan's Princess Aiko

Japan's imperial family debut their social media account

Hannah Ross

By Hannah Ross

Published: 02/04/2024

- 11:31

Japan’s imperial family debuted social media with a plethora of posts

  • The social media account documents the activities of the Imperial House of Japan
  • The account has already collected nearly half a million followers
  • Have your say: Would you like to see more of Japan’s Imperial Family’s posts? Just click the comment button above now

The world’s oldest monarchy hard launched its social media account in a bid to win over the youth.

Japan’s imperial family set their Instagram page live on Monday with a plethora of posts.

The family hopes to ease their reclusive public image and reach younger generations through social media.

Within the first day of their launch, the family released a whopping 60 images and five videos showing Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako’s public engagements.

The Imperial Household Agency, who oversee the family’s affairs, said that they want the public to better understand the family’s duties and Instagram was chosen because of its popularity among young people.

By Tuesday morning, the account named kunaicho_jp had over 500,000 followers.

However, the photos published on the account may not be the type of content that young people search for on social media.

They feature pictures of the royals at official public events and performing royal duties and fail to touch on the personal.

Japan's Emperor Naruhito, Empress Masako and Princess Aiko

Japan's Emperor Naruhito, Empress Masako and their daughter Princess Aiko wave from a balcony


So far there are no images of the family relaxing at home or spending private time with their families which is more likely to appeal to a younger generation.

One Instagram user wrote: “When I heard the IHA created an Instagram account, I quickly checked it out. But of course the emperor wouldn’t post ‘today’s lunch (heart emoji)’ or anything like that.”

Other users joked that Instagram was the more “civilised” choice of social media compared to X, formerly known as Twitter.

The Japanese imperial family joined social media later than other royal families around the world; Britain’s royal family joined X in 2009.

Emperor Naruhito

Emperor Naruhito is Japan's 126th monarch


The Prince and Princess of Wales also have a successful Instagram account boasting 15.9m followers.

In contrast to Kate and William’s account, the Japanese imperial family’s social media does not let you ‘like’ or comment on their posts.

They are also not following any other accounts on Instagram; however, the household agency said it would consider proposals from other monarchies to connect on social media.

The family’s shift to using social media comes after the Emperor’s niece Mako Komuro faced backlash online and in the press for her controversial marriage to a non-royal in 2021.

Japan's imperial family Instagram account

Over half a million accounts already follow the new account


Mako’s marriage to her former university classmate Kei Komuro was delayed amid a financial scandal involving her mother-in-law.

The former princess said at the time that she suffered psychological trauma because of the negative media attention online.

Last year, the family set up a team of experts to study the effects of using social media on Japan’s imperial family.

The experts said that the Instagram account could help bring the royal family closer to the public and let them control the narrative and respond to disinformation.

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