Grand Steward

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The Grand Steward (宮内庁長官?, Kunaichō Chōkan) is an official within the Imperial Household Agency of Japan. He is the senior official of the Imperial Household,[1] and is responsible for managing the part of the household staff who are omote, or "outside the house"; these employees serve as drivers, cooks, gardeners, or administrative officials.[2] The current Grand Steward is Shinichirō Yamamoto (ja), who took up the position in September 2016, succeeding Noriyuki Kazaoka.

History of the position[edit]

The origins of the structure of the Imperial Household can be traced back to the reign of Emperor Monmu, with the organisation of the government structure in 701 AD.[3]


Prince Naruhito, in May 2004, criticised the then-Grand Steward, Toshio Yuasa, for putting pressure on Masako Owada, Naruhito's wife, to bear a male child. At a press conference, Naruhito said that his wife had "completely exhausted herself" trying to adapt to royal life, and added "there were developments that denied Masako's career (up to our marriage) as well as her personality." [2][4][5]


  1. ^ The Imperial Household Agency at Cultural Profiles of Japan
  2. ^ a b The Future of Japan's Monarchy, Time Asia Magazine
  3. ^ History of the Imperial Household Agency Archived 2007-12-15 on Wayback Machine. at the Imperial Household Agency official site
  4. ^ Imperial family exposed to media speculation in 2004, Japan Policy and Politics, 10 Jan 2005
  5. ^ Crown prince back in Japan, will not meet press, Japan Policy and Politics, May 24, 2004

External links[edit]