She may have just been assigned to be the ambassador of the United States to one of the most technologically advanced countries in the world, but one of Caroline Kennedy‘s first events to attend in Japan is an actual throwback to the 19th century. On her visit to the Imperial Palace where she will be granted diplomatic status, the daughter of the former U.S president John F. Kennedy will be riding in an old-school horse-drawn carriage.
She will actually be following an old tradition which dates back to 1854, when the diplomatic relations between the Japan and the United States started, upon signing the Treaty of Kanagawa. The carriage that Kennedy will ride in is believed to have been built in the late 19th century to carry ambassadors. It is an intricately designed carriage decorated with gold Imperial chrysanthemum crests outside and inside it has beige twill fabric with flower patterns embroidered in silk.
Ms. Kennedy will be bringing an official letter of credence from U.S President Barack Obama and will be accompanied by a guide from the Imperial Household Agency. The 15-minute ride will begin at the Meiji Seimei Kan which was used as the headquarters of the U.S during their occupation of Japan in 1945. Ambassadors used to be picked up at the Tokyo Station until 2007 when the renovation at the train station started. Ms. Kennedy is the 26th ambassador this year to have used the 19th century carriage, along with the others who have chosen to use the carriage for the ceremony, like the ambassadors of Pakistan, Ukraine and Uganda.
[ via Wall Street Journal ]