How to Address an Emperor or Empress

How to Address an Emperor or Empress of Japan?

Envelope or address block on letter or email:
His/Her Majesty
The Emperor/Empress of Japan

——Their Majesties
The Emperor/Empress of Japan

Letter salutation:
Your Majesty:orYour Majesties:

Your Majesty

Subsequently in conversation:


Robert Hickey author of “Honor & Respect”

Why Isn’t the Emperor of Japan Your Imperial Majesty?

Wikipedia says you address the Emperor and Empress of Japan as Your Imperial Majesty, but my Dad says it is just Your Majesty? I figured you would know what was correct.
————-– Ginger in California

Dear Ginger,
Your Dad is right.  Wikipedia is incorrect. The Emperor and Empress of Japan are addressed as His/Her/Your Majesty.

And you are right to note that just about every on-line source suggests the standard courtesy for an emperor or empress: Imperial Majesty.

There’s a history to this. My understanding is – as specified by an end-of-war peace agreement, their courtesy title was changed to be the same as kings and queens: Majesty.

See below: I’ve collected some official sources doing it correctly: the Embassy of Japan in Washington, The Embassy of Japan in London, and the current website of the Imperial Household in Tokyo .


Robert Hickey author of “Honor & Respect”

The Household is still imperial, and the crown prince, crown princess, princes, and princesses are all still addressed as his/her/your imperial highness.

But the Emperor and Empress of Japan are now:
—-Their Majesties the Emperor and Empress of Japan
—-His Majesty the Emperor of Japan
—-Her Majesty the Empress of Japan
—-Their Majesties
—-His Majesty
—-Her Majesty
Your Majesty

– Robert Hickey

See these Related Posts:
—-Knight/Dame—-Noble Titles: Social Use Only


Robert Hickey author of “Honor & Respect”

When Should You Use the Forms on this Page?

You can use these forms of address for any mode of communication: addressing a letter, invitation, card or Email. (If there are differences between the official and social forms of address, I will have mentioned the different forms.)  The form noted in the salutation is the same form you say when you say their name in conversation or when you greet them.
___What I don’t cover on this site are many things I do cover in my book: all the rules of forms of address, about names, international titles, precedence, complimentary closes, details on invitations, place cards, all sorts of introductions, etc. I hope you’ll get a copy of the book if you’d like the further detail.

Not Finding Your Answer?

—-#1)  At right on desktops, at the bottom of every page on tablets and phones, is a list of all the offices, officials & topics covered on the site.

—-#2)  If you don’t see the official you seek included or your question answered send me an e-mail. I am pretty fast at sending a reply: usually the next day or so (unless I am traveling.)  Note: I don’t have mailing or Email addresses for any of the officials and I don’t keep track of offices that exist only in history books.

—-#3)  If I think your question is of interest to others, Sometimes I post the question  – but always change all the specifics.

— Robert Hickey 


Robert Hickey author of “Honor & Respect”