Ancient Japanese tradition steps lightly into video age as heir to throne weds former diplomat

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The Independent Online
Japanese passers-by watch Masako Owada, who married Crown Prince Naruhito yesterday, on a video screen in a Tokyo department store. Almost 200,000 spectators, waving flags and cheering 'Masako' or 'Banzai' (long life), voiced their approval as the bride and groom rode through Tokyo streets after a private wedding ritual, in which the heir to Japan's 1,400- year old throne and the former diplomat were married in the palace's most sacred Shinto shrine. Wedding rituals will continue until the end of the month. The three-night rice cake ceremony was due to begin later yesterday. Each night the prince and princess are served four plates, each laden with 29 rice cakes, a number equalling Masako's age. The newly-weds will eat several before retiring, and the rest will be buried in the garden for good luck.

Photograph: Koji Sasahara/AP

(Photograph omitted)